Monthly Archives: July 2012

NRPC pulls Fantastic Result in Rochester Hills!

Details to follow…


*Updated* List of 2012 Notable Victories

Neil Rockind, P.C. has updated the list of 2012 Notable Victories!

Check out the updated list HERE!

– Colin Daniels

OWI 3rd: 1 year of hard work = DISMISSAL!

A year ago our firm began the defense of an individual charged with Operating While Intoxicated 3rd Offense in Bay City, Michigan.

He was innocent. He had not been operating the vehicle.

The actual driver (and owner of the car) had fled on foot immediately after the accident. Our client had stayed, knowing that it was a crime to leave the scene of an accident. What did he get for abiding by the law? Charged with OWI 3rd.

The prosecution’s whole case was premised on the fact that the person who had been rear-ended, upon exiting her vehicle, only saw our client existing the vehicle (due to the fact that the actual driver had immediately fled the scene.) Our client attempted to explain to police that he was not driving and that his friend had fled on foot – but the police didn’t believe him – most likely because he has two past OWI convictions. Ultimately, he was charged. Yet, he was innocent.

We got involved and immediately set out to prove that our client was not the driver. We talked to witnesses, we talked to the actual driver, we talked to friends of the actual driver, we talked to co-workers of the actual driver. We elicited statements from all of these people consistent with our claim that our client wasn’t the driver of the vehicle. We sent subpoenas to the actual driver’s cell phone company, so that we could prove that he was at least in the area. We had our client take a polygraph – which he passed. Finally, we convinced the actual driver to take a state polygraph.

It took a lot of hard work, but we eventually convinced the prosecutor’s office that our client was not the driver of the vehicle and last week we received the order of dismissal.

Victory is sweet. A dismissal is sweeter.

Another Good Medical Marijuana Opinion From the Court of Appeals

Ever since the Michigan Supreme Court weighed in on the issue of Medical Marijuana in People v. Kolanek and King, the Michigan Court of Appeals has somewhat fallen in line.

Yesterday, the Michigan Court of Appeals released another medical marijuana opinion in People v. Kiel

Notably, this opinion holds that having a medical marijuana card is prima facie evidence of the necessary burden of proof regarding subsections 1 and 3 of the Section 8 defense. In other words, if a person has an actual medical marijuana card and wishes to present a medical marijuana defense at trial, all the person has to do at an evidentiary hearing is present some evidence of subsection 2, which is that the amount possessed was reasonable. This can be done by calling the defendant or an expert to testify that the amount possessed was going to be used by the patients within a reasonable amount of time.

This is great news, because it almost assures that most people with cards will be able to present a medical marijuana defense at trial – which is really all we’ve been asking for for the past 3 years.

Small steps, small steps…

Michigan Court Zaps State Stun-Gun Ban

Michigan’s second-highest court on Tuesday ruled that the state’s stun-gun ban violates the Second Amendment. In so doing, the Michigan Court of Appeals also said the Second Amendment protects the open carrying of at least some weapons.

From the opinion:

Because tasers and stun guns do not fit any of the exceptions to the Second Amendment enumerated in [D.C. v. Heller], we find that they are protected arms. Heller found unconstitutional a law which completely banned the possession of protected arms in the home. We therefore hold that a complete ban on tasers and stun guns in the home violates the Second Amendment.

The next question is whether the protected status of these arms makes unconstitutional a complete ban on carrying them in public. Heller specifically addressed only a full ban of protected weapons inside the home, not in public. Further, the analysis in Heller focused in part on the unmatched popularity of handguns for self-defense, and did not make clear to what extent greater restrictions could be applied to less popular weapons.

On the other hand, Heller states that concealed weapons may be banned, but makes no such statement regarding openly carried arms. Indeed, Heller cites with approval two state cases that struck down laws prohibiting the public carrying of hand guns. The Second Amendment explicitly protects the right to “carry” as well as the right to “keep” arms. Likewise, the Michigan Constitution specifically allows citizens to “bear” arms for self-defense. We therefore conclude that a total prohibition on the open carrying of a protected arm such as a taser or stun gun is unconstitutional.

Stun guns are legal in 43 states. They are banned in Hawaii, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Virgin Islands and Wisconsin.

via The Wall Street Journal

Michigan Court of Appeals rules in favor of medical marijuana patient

LANSING – A Michigan medical marijuana patient cannot be prosecuted for illegal drug possession, despite not having proof of his registration at the time of arrest, the Michigan Court of Appeals said in a decision released this morning.

The court said, however, that police were within their rights to arrest the patient, identified in court records as James RG Nicholson, of Ottawa County, because he was unable to establish proof of registration on the spot.

Prosecutors had argued that Nicholson was not protected by the medical marijuana law because he did not “possess” a registry identification card at the time of arrest. He told police at the time, May 2011, that his registration card was in a car at his residence.

But the court found that, since Nicholson was a registered patient before his arrest and had the registration card in his possession when he appeared in court, he was immune from prosecution.

via Freep