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August 3, 2016

Possessing and using marijuana is a serious offense that can carry severe penalties if convicted. Unless you have a legal right to use and possess marijuana, beating the charge can be a long and costly process.

In Michigan, there are two types of marijuana users who can benefit from a section 8 or section 4 affirmative defense under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act (MMMA). Qualifying patients and patients. Sounds the same, but they are actually very different statuses - each with their own limitations. The MMMA makes a distinction between a “Qualifying Patient” and a “Patient.” A “qualifying patient” is a person who has been diagnosed by a physician as having a debilitating medical condition listed in section 3(b)(1)-(3) and who otherwise meets the requirements of the MMMA.  In plain English, a “qualifying patient” is a person who meets the requirements of the Act and has received their registry card from the Michigan Department of Community Health (MCDH). Al...

Breath alcohol tests in Michigan must be done in accordance with the procedures established by Michigan’s administrative rules.   These rules are important because an improperly administered breath test can have a devastating impact on your DUI OWI case.  In Michigan, officers in every city are required to follow specific rules on how and when to properly give a breath test. 

One of the most important rules is the 15-minute observation period. An officer can only collect a breath sample after he or she has continuously observed you for 15 minutes.  Why is this rule so important?  Because a Breathalyzer test uses infrared spectroscopy technology to detect the presence of a methyl group in the molecules on your breath.  It sounds technical because it is.  What this means is that even the smallest trace of alcohol can be detected with a breath test.

For example, one small burp can transport trace amounts of alcohol from your stomach to your mouth, which is...

A commercial driver’s license (CDL) is required if you operate certain types of vehicles over a certain gross weight.  This typically includes tow trucks, tractor trailers, and buses.  The primary reason a person obtains a CDL is for employment purposes.  Because operating a tow truck, bus, or other heavy vehicle is a career choice, losing the license means losing your ability to adequately support yourself and your family—which can be devastating.

In 2005, the law covering suspension of a commercial driver’s license increased its penalties to include CDL suspension even if your conviction involved only your personal vehicle.  This is a very stiff penalty considering that your CDL will be automatically suspended if you are convicted of any drinking and driving offense, which includes operating while impaired (OWI) or refusing a breath test. If it is your first offense, your CDL will be suspended for one year.  However, if it is your second or third offense your license wi...

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