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Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Law Blog

Michigan man denied bond for having sex while a teenager

When judges decide who is and is not eligible for bond, they generally look to see who will be a threat to society. Though there is no hard and fast rule about who is and who is not eligible, judges often don't deny bond unless there is a good reason. In this case, however, it is unclear just whether a judge's reason for denying a 22-year-old Saginaw man's bond as he awaits an appellate court's decision was truly for good reason.

According to a Saginaw County circuit judge, the age gap between the now-22-year-old and his alleged sexual companion was too great in his statutory rape case. When the man was only 19-years-old, prosecutors say he had sex with a 14-year-old girl. Though there doesn't seem to be anything nonconsensual about the affair, the man has been charged with two counts of accosting a child for immoral purposes and four counts of third-degree sexual conduct with someone between the ages of 13 and 15. One of these encounters happened while he was merely 18-years-old and still a senior in high school.

Ochocino arrested for allegedly head butting wife

We have covered numerous times the problems that come with being arrested and charged with domestic violence. While the American legal system insists that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, many people in Grand Rapids know that there are certain people for whom it is reversed: they are guilty until proven innocent. People in the public eye, such as famous athletes, are often assumed to be guilty the moment an accusation comes out.

Many people in Michigan have heard of Chad "Ochocinco" Johnson, a former wide receiver with the Dolphins. After he was recently arrested and accused of head-butting his wife, Johnson's contract was cut and he will not be playing in the NFL this year. Despite the fact that there was merely an accusation of domestic violence, the football team has already determined he is guilty and fired him.

Michigan activists push for more super drunk convictions

In Michigan and across the country, there is a lot of moral condemnation of drunk driving. When people are convicted of drunk driving, it comes with considerable negative assumptions about the individual and his or her behavior. In reality, some of the people who are convicted of operating while intoxicated may have had just one drink too many. That has not stopped some people from talking about how upset they are that there aren't more drunk driving convictions.

A member of Mothers Against Drunk Driving has said that he is "appalled and offended" that there have not been more people in Flint convicted under the state's super drunk law. The two-year-old law increases the penalties for individuals who have a blood alcohol content of 0.17, more than twice the legal limit in Michigan. What has been particularly aggravating for the activist is that many of the people who were originally charged under the super drunk law have pled down to less serious charges.

Felony conviction hinges on whether man was seriously injured

The difference between a felony and a misdemeanor conviction lies in the hand of a visiting Saginaw County circuit judge after a suspended Michigan State Police officer was arrested and charged with operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated causing serious injury and is also facing charges under the Michigan Super Drunk law. The officer had asked that the felony charged be dropped, but the county's chief circuit judge said the question of whether the man the trooper allegedly hit was seriously injured needed to be decided by the trier of fact.

Some people in Michigan may wonder why the 45-year-old trooper would want to have a judge decide his case instead of a jury, but some situations are best dealt with by a single, impartial judge than 12 seemingly impartial jury members. While it was a decision that he likely made after careful consideration with his attorney, it is possible to request a trial by judge rather than a trial by jury.

Facebook video leads to arrest of 2 teenagers for murder

There is a new story emerging about the lengths police will go to investigate crimes. Two teenagers, 17- and 18-years-old, have recently been charged with first degree murder following the death of a 62-year-old man. In order to be charged with such a serious crime, police need to have substantial and credible evidence of these teenagers' involvement in the crime. What they actually have, however, calls into question whether prosecutors had sufficient evidence to charge the teens.

Police and prosecutors are using video evidence that had been posted to Facebook as the basis of their case. While video evidence could potentially be altered or unclear, this forms the cornerstone of officers' arrest of the teens. A video which purportedly shows a 16-year-old beating the 62-year-old was brought to police after a long line of people saw it and did nothing. From this video, which was allegedly shot by the 17- and 18-year-olds, police made their arrest.

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