Kent County – Case Handled by Barone Defense Firm Partner Michael J. Boyle
Client was charged with 2 Counts of shop lifting, which in Michigan is also called retail fraud in the first degree, (for property over $1000), as set forth in the Michigan Penal Code, Act 238 of 1931, MCL sec. 750.356c. These two felony charges were both punishable by up to five years, and;
Client was also charged with possession of a controlled substance (possession of Marijuana), pursuant to MCL sec. 333.7403. Client did not have and had not applied for a prescription to use medical marijuana, so there was no section 8 defense. Accordingly, this misdemeanor was punishable by up to one year.
After review of all the discovery, videos, and interviews, we were able to negotiate a dismissal of the possession of marijuana charge. We were able to do this even without the medical marijuana exception. We also were able to negotiation the dismissal of one of the retail fraud first degree charges.
We were able to pursuade court to agree to dismissal of final felony count as well, but way of the delayed sentencing statute, Michigan Compiled Laws sec. 771.1. Consequently, we were effectively able to have all charges dismissed!
Kent County – Case Handled by Barone Defense Firm Partner Michael J. Boyle
Client was charged with Possession of Heroin, pursuant to Michigan Complied Laws 333.7403, a 4-year Felony. In addition, he was charged with 2nd or Subsequent offense, which doubles it to an 8-year possible sentence, and as a Habitual Offender, which allows for one and one-half times the maximum sentence. Through the Discovery process and negotiations we were able to Dismiss the Felony, the 2nd offense, and the habitual and plea to a Misdemeanor Use of Controlled Substance and a sentence of time served.
In addition, due to the relationships Mr. Boyle and the Barone Defense Firm have developed with Grand Rapids area treatment centers, we were able to get client into a treatment center at no addition expense to client or client’s family.
In this case our client was involved in a three car accident. She misjudged the yellow light, and accelerated into a left turn as the other two vehicles in front of her stopped. This caused the car in front of her to crash into the car in front of it, thereby resulting in a three car pile up. A passenger in one of the vehicles was injured. The client had at least two prior drunk driving offenses making this her third drunk driving, and therefore a felony. She was professionally employed as licensed health care worker, and the consequences of a conviction were significant.
According to the police report, driver/client smelled of intoxicants, had repetitive slurred speech, and her eyes were bloodshot and glassy. Despite having a Master’s level education, she was unable to state the alphabet. A witness claimed to see her dump out a plastic cup from her car, and she admitted drinking wine earlier in the day. There were other even more damaging admissions that were made while in the patrol vehicle on the way to the police station. A breath test came in at .15/.16.
Because the case was a felony, and because there was an accident with injuries, the Oakland county prosecuting attorney’s office refused to negotiate the charge to a lesser offense. The case was therefore set for trial.
Prior to trial the client hired one of the top experts on breath testing. He was in court and ready to testify about the unreliability of the breath test in this case. However, during cross-examination of the police officer that administer the breath test it become clear that he did not follow his breath test training and made many mistakes. These included having his cell phone on in the breath test room, and allowing the accused to handle the mouth piece. We were able to establish through their own witnesses that these things could impact the breath test. Because of this we did not call our own expert witness. However, due to the facts adduced during the cross-examination the jury found that the breath test was unreliable and therefore they refused to convict on the OWI theory of UBAL.
Based on all other facts in case, the jury did return a verdict on the common law OWI theory of OUIL.
This case was the subject of an extensive blog addressing exactly what happened leading up to the dismissal of this 48th District Court drunk driving case. As criminal defense lawyers who actually try these cases will tell you, wonderful things can happen when you answer “ready for trial.”
Client was pulled over by a City of Roseville Police Officer after being observed swerving between lanes of traffic. The police report indicated a strong odor of intoxicants and blood shot eyes. The Police Officer asked the client to perform field sobriety tests, including walking a straight line, one leg balance, and finger-to-nose. The police report indicated that the client did not perform well, and did not follow instructions. The client and was given a preliminary breath test, and blew over the legal limit. He was arrested for drunk driving, and taken back to the station to be processed. At the station he was given the evidentiary breath test (Datamaster), and blew 0.08. He was charged with OWI.
During the Police Officer’s investigation the client was told that he was suspected of breaking into automobiles in the area, and his car was searched. A number of cell phones, and cell phone parts were found in his vehicle. Client was processed for OWI, and a warrant was requested for the suspected stolen property.
Pretrial motions were filed attacking the validity of the breath test results. These motions included citations from the scientific literature indicating that the breath test instruments used were of dubious accuracy (copies of these journal articles were attached as exhibits). Before arguing these motions, the City Prosecutor was persuaded to and agreed to offer a reduced charge of careless driving. All of the possible charges relative to the telephones were either dropped or not pursued. The client received a small fine and four points on his driving records, with no further driving sanctions.
Officer observed Truck fail to stop at intersection, and then swerve towards fog line and then centerline prior to making the traffic stop. Officer detected odor of alcohol and client admitted to drinking. Client failed 4 FSTs conducted by the officer and refused to take the PBT. Officer placed client under arrest for OWI. Client refused the DataMaster and a warrant for a blood test was obtained, and client’s blood was drawn. Client had 3 prior alcohol related driving offenses out of state since 1997. Was able to negotiate a Reckless Driving and fine and avoid Trial.
Officer made traffic stop on client for allegedly crossing center line and speeding. Client performed well on FSTs. Client was arrested and subsequent DataMaster resulted in a .10 and .09. Because client was a pending law school student a Special Petition to Wayne County Prosecutors Office was filed requesting permission for reduction, which was denied. Case was scheduled for Trial. Case was ultimately dismissed at Trial for insufficient evidence.
Client was stopped for failure to stop at stop sign. Officer detected an odor of alcohol and an empty wine bottle in the back seat and requested client to perform FST’s. Officer administered 5 FSTs and according National Highway Traffic Safety Administration scoring system client passed all tests. However, officer still requested a PBT but was conducted in violation of the administrative rules. She was arrested and subsequent DataMaster resulted in a .12 and .12. Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Probable Cause was filed. Prior to the motion Hearing client accepted a plea to Reckless driving and the OWI was dismissed.
Officer made traffic stop after observing client make a turn “at a high rate of speed”. Officer claimed that client had odor of alcohol, slurred speech, slumped against the door, and bloodshot eyes. The officer conducted 5 field tests, however, none were Standardized Field Sobriety Tests. Further, no PBT was administered because the officer did not have one in his patrol unit. Client was arrested, and subsequent DataMaster resulted in .17 and .17. Motion was filed to dismiss for lack of probable cause for a valid arrest. Client subsequent pled to Reckless Driving.
Officer dispatched to possible hit and run accident, where fire hydrant was found to be knocked over and car was left at the scene. Police arrived at registered owners home where she was found to be intoxicated. Client admitted to drinking wine earlier. A PBT resulted in a .101 reading. She was arrested and DataMaster resulted in a .08 and .08. Thorough review of DataMaster simulator logs resulted in finding several deviations from the Administrative Rules regarding breath testing. A jury was picked and a trial date was scheduled. The morning of Trial prior to Opening Statements, prosecutor dismissed OWI and leaving the scene of PDA, and client pled Responsible to Careless Driving.