Articles Posted in Criminal Law

A warrant is usually required for police officers investigating a crime to search a defendant, and a search conducted absent a warrant may violate a person’s constitutional rights. However, there are exceptions, such as when an officer has a reasonable suspicion that an individual is committing a crime. In such circumstances, an investigatory stop might be justified. A Michigan court recently addressed the right against unreasonable search and seizure in a matter in which the defendant was charged with multiple offenses after an investigatory stop. If you are charged with a crime, you should speak to an experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible regarding your rights.

The Facts of the Case

It is alleged that the police stopped the defendant at a gas station for carrying a concealed weapon without a warrant. An officer apparently noticed the pistol in the defendant’s waistband, as the handle protruding from his pants. The officer inquired whether the defendant had a permit to carry the weapon, to which the defendant replied that he did not. After the officer seized the pistol and arrested the suspect, he found heroin in the defendant’s possession as well.

Reportedly, the defendant was charged with multiple weapons offenses as well as heroin possession. He filed a motion to bar the prosecution from using the evidence obtained during his arrest against him at trial, claiming that it was obtained through an unlawful search and seizure. He further asserted that the gun was not hidden but was carried openly in compliance with the State’s open carry rule. The defendant’s motion was granted, and the State appealed. Continue reading

People convicted of crimes often fear that they will be hindered by their convictions for the rest of their lives. While a criminal history may be an obstacle with regards to obtaining housing or employment, many people are able to erase their criminal past through expungement.  Only certain convictions can be expunged, though, and recent changes to the law make the process of purging a criminal past complicated. It is prudent, therefore, for anyone with questions regarding expungement to contact an attorney as soon as possible. Ellen K. Michaels of Ellen K. Michaels and Associates, PLLC, is a trusted Michigan criminal defense lawyer, and she can assess whether you may be able to expunge your criminal record and if so, guide you through the process.

Benefits of Expungement

Essentially, expungement removes evidence of a person’s conviction from the public record. While the State will retain such records following an expungement, they will not be accessible by the general population and will typically only be accessed if the person is charged with a subsequent crime.

Generally, expungement permits people to move forward as if they were never convicted. In other words, they can lawfully and truthfully answer “no” if asked if they have been convicted of a crime in certain instances, like when they are applying for jobs or housing. Typically, convictions that were expunged will not show up on a background check either. Continue reading

Attorney client privilege is an essential legal privilege that keeps the communication between a client and their attorney completely confidential. The conversation between the two parties cannot be disclosed to any other third party. This privilege ensures clients that they will receive valuable legal counsel and empowers the client to fully disclose all of their information to their attorney. Also, the main reason for the communication must be for the client to ask their attorney for legal advice.Without attorney client privilege, someone may be hesitant and fearful to share all of their information with an attorney. Attorney client privilege exists solely to preserve the confidentiality of the information which the client gives the attorney and has no negative implications for the client in any way. However, this valuable privilege is not suitable to every form of communication between the client and the attorney. This entitlement to the client only exists when contact is with or from an attorney and must be completely confidential.

Attorney client privilege helps develop a positive relationship between the client and their attorney. By knowing that the information they share with their attorney will be completely confidential and will not be disclosed to any third party, the client will be inclined to share more information with their attorney. This entitlement helps establish trust between the client and the attorney since the client has a safe space to tell of their information to their attorney without there being any potential consequences. Attorney client privilege paves the way for truthful communication to take place between an attorney and their client. For hundreds of years, this privilege has existed to benefit the client and helps them ensure that they have the ability to tell anything they desire to an attorney without the involvement of any additional party.

Imagine that you are living in a certain country in the world and are arrested for a crime in a country where attorney client privilege does not exist. Information you share with your attorney will not remain confidential and any third party can potentially find out this information. Since attorney client privilege is not a right here, you will feel helpless and will have nobody in a position of power or authority where you can share confidential information with. Let’s fast forward to someone who committed a burglary crime in the United States. After you are arrested you are panicking and are looking for someone to talk to right away. You are granted access to a phone and are allowed to call an attorney right away and schedule to meet up with them in person. Later in the week, you are incredibly anxious and see an attorney for the first time in person. The attorney helps calm you down and ensures you that any communication with them will remain completely confidential. Since the conversation will remain completely confidential, you feel inclined to tell everything about the crime to the attorney which leads to you building a trustfulAttorney-Client-Priv relationship with the attorney. The difference between committing a crime in a country with no attorney client privilege and a country with attorney client privilege is astounding. Attorney client privilege is extremely beneficial to the client and will ensure that the confidential information you share with an attorney is preserved.

If you are arrested, contact a lawyer immediately and do not say anything incriminating to the arresting officer that may be used against you as evidence in court. Did you know that you do not have to say anything to


the officer arresting you besides your name and birth date? The police officers may attempt to bully or intimidate you into giving them more information. Always remain calm and never resist the police. Being difficult with the police will only escalate the situation and will not benefit you in any way. Even though you feel scared and powerless, try your best to keep a clear mind.

The Miranda Rights are several fundamental rights everyone has immediately after being arrested by the police.

The Miranda Rights are:


You have the right to remain silent while being interrogated by the arresting officer.

You can refuse to answer any of the questions that the arresting officer asks you.

Anything you say to the police officer can beused against you as evidence in a court of law

You have the right to consult an attorney before speaking to the police and if you cannot afford a lawyer, the government will provide a lawyer for you.

A very common mistake people make once they are arrested is that they feel panicked and tell the police officer incriminating information. One of the smartest choices you can make immediately after being arrested is to call for a lawyer and not say anything to the arresting police officer before the lawyer arrives. Consulting with a lawyer will ensure that your rights are not being violated. Lawyers are experts with helping people immediately after they are arrested by the police. Defense attorneys always deal with clients right after they are arrested and will work effortlessly to ensure there were no legal flaws involving your arrest.

Continue reading

Contact Information