Breaking News 2014
December 12, 2014 - 3 MONTH REDUCTION IN PRISON SENTENCE - Mitch successfully appealed his client's sentencing guidelines after appealing his client's sentence for a cocaine delivery conviction in Shiawassee County. This appeal resulted in a re-sentencing where Judge Gerald Lostracco reduced this client's minimum prison sentence from 28 months to 25 months. This means that the parole eligibility date or earliest release date (ERD) will be moved up from October 2015 to July 2015. Judge Lostracco in August, 2014 had stated that the original sentence was appropriate and he would probably not reduce the sentence at a re-sentencing.
December 8, 2014 - EARLY TERMINATION OF PROBATION AT 52-1 DISTRICT COURT - Mitch's client was released early from probation after Mitch filed a motion to terminate probation and represented his client at a hearing in front of Judge Brian MacKenzie in the 52-1 District Court in Novi.
December 6, 2014 - CONTINUING LEGAL EDUCATION FOR DUI CASES - Mitch attended the Michigan Association of OWI Attorney's 2 day winter seminar in Detroit at the Westin Book Cadillac hotel. This seminar was for Michigan DUI attorneys and covered The Science Behind Blood/Breath Alcohol Measurements, Metrology, Calibration, Sensor Drift, Variables in Sample Provision, Persuasion, and Getting Your Jury to Open Up To Science. Notable speakers were Dr. Andreas Stolz from Michigan State University, Jan Semenoff from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Dr. Al Staubus, professor emeritus from Ohio State University, Attorney Bruce Kapsack from Oakland, California, and jury consultant and attorney Marjorie Russell.
November 24, 2014 - FELONIOUS ASSAULT TO BE DISMISSED - ALL OTHER FELONY COUNTS TO BE REDUCED TO MISDEMEANORS - Mitch negotiated a plea bargain for his client who was facing 3 felony counts (1 count of felonious assault and 2 counts of resisting and obstructing police officer) and 1 misdemeanor count, so that his client ended up with only 3 misdemeanors (1 count of misdemeanor domestic violence and 2 counts of attempt - resisting and obstructing police) at the Allegan County Circuit Court in Allegan. A misdemeanor is defined as an offense having a maximum possible penalty of not more than 1 year in jail. Prosecutor Fred Anderson approved this reduction before a trial was scheduled in front of Judge Kevin Cronin and after multiple court hearings. This plea bargain allowed his client to not have a felony on his record.
November 21, 2014 - PROBATION WITH ADULT TREATMENT COURT AND NO PRISON SENTENCE - Mitch's client was sentenced to 45 days in jail and probation with Oakland County's Adult Treatment Court by Judge Colleen A. O'Brien after a conviction for operating while intoxicated - third offense (a felony). This sentence was based upon a sentence agreement for not more than 45 days in jail. Mitch's client was facing up to life in prison as a habitual fourth felony offender, with sentencing guidelines which called for up to 46 months as a minimum prison sentence.
November 20, 2014 - 14 MONTH REDUCTION IN MINIMUM PRISON SENTENCE - Mitch appeared in court at the Bay County Circuit Court for a re-sentencing after a successful appeal to the Michigan Court of Appeals of the sentence that Judge Joseph K. Sheeran imposed for his client's unarmed robbery conviction that exceeded the sentencing guidelines (a departure sentence). Upon re-sentencing, Mitch pointed out the positive qualities and attributes of his client and persuaded Judge Sheeran to not depart above the guidelines. Mitch's client had previously been sentenced to 100 months to 15 years in prison. Upon re-sentencing, Mitch's client received a reduced minimum sentence of 86 months in prison, a reduction of 14 months. The judge at re-sentencing agreed to not exceed the sentencing guidelines for Mitch's client. This means that this client will be eligible for parole and to be released from prison 1 year and 2 months earlier than his previous earliest release date (ERD).
November 12, 2014 - REDUCTION TO IMPAIRED DRIVING WITH NO JAIL TIME ON A .19 AND .20 BREATH READING - Mitch's client was sentenced by Judge Michael K. McNally at the 33rd District Court in Woodhaven to probation without any jail time for a conviction of operating a motor vehicle while visibly impaired. The datamaster breath test results were .19 and .20. Mitch was able to get a plea bargain reduction from the prosecutor for his client to impaired driving from the original charge of operating while intoxicated (drunk driving). The prosecutor also agreed to not charge his client as a "superdrunk". Michigan's "superdrunk" law can be used for people testing at .17 or higher on the chemical breath or blood test and includes more severe penalties for drivers convicted under this law.
November 7, 2014 - MITCH EDUCATES HIS FELLOW LAWYERS AT THE CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS OF MICHIGAN FALL CONFERENCE - Mitch attended CDAM's 2014 Fall Conference and presented (with attorney John A. Shea) to the group their presentation on the new Preliminary Examination law that goes into effect in January 2015: "Preliminary Examinations: Perils and Opportunities in a New Era".
November 6, 2014 - HYTA GRANTED FOR CLIENT IN WAYNE COUNTY AFTER PLEA BARGAIN TO HOME INVASION - Mitch's client was originally charged with armed robbery, a felony punishable by up to LIFE in prison in Wayne County Circuit Court. At the preliminary examination date at the 19th District Court in Dearborn, Mitch persuaded the assistant Wayne County prosecutor to reduce the charges from Armed Robbery to Home Invasion - First Degree.
Mitch was then able to persuade the prosecutor to a further reduction to Home Invasion - Second Degree, a felony punishable by not more than 15 years in prison. At sentencing, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Megan Maher Brennan agreed to sentence Mitch's client to only 1 year in prison under HYTA (the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act).
This result will give Mitch's client the opportunity to continue with his life without a felony conviction if he successfully completes his prison term and probation. HYTA is a provision for youthful offenders (aged 17 to 20 years old on the date of the offense) that allows for certain offenses to be dismissed upon successful completion of probation. HYTA is available only at the sentencing judge's discretion, but is not available for certain offenses such as capital crimes, sex crimes, and traffic/drunk driving offenses. Armed Robbery is a capital crime, so Mitch's client would not have been eligible for HYTA if he wasn't granted the plea bargain to home invasion.
February 21, 2014 - FELONY MALICIOUS DESTRUCTION OF PROPERTY AND FELONY POSSESSION OF BRASS KNUCKLES IN WAYNE COUNTY DISMISSED AFTER GUILTY PLEA TO ONE MISDEMEANOR - Mitch's client was charged in Wayne County with 2 felony counts: (1) Malicious Destruction of Property $1,000 or more but less than $20,000.00; and (2) Possession of Metallic Knuckles - Dangerous Weapon. It was critical that the client remain felony free to preserve his employment. The case was set for trial before Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Dana Margaret Hathaway. Four days before trial both felony counts were dropped and Mitch's client pled guilty to one misdemeanor. This saved his job.
January 8, 2014 - REMOVAL OF REQUIREMENT FOR LIFETIME ELECTRONIC MONITORING - Mitch's client had been sentenced to 5 1/2 to 25 years in prison for criminal sexual conduct - first degree with the requirement that when he is released from prison he will be required to submit to lifetime electronic monitoring. Mitch appealed this part of his client's sentence by filing a motion to correct an invalid sentence before Oakland County Circuit Judge Leo Bowman, claiming that the monitoring requirement was a violation of the ex post facto clause of the Michigan and United States Constitutions. The Oakland County Prosecutor and Judge Bowman agreed and Mitch's client's judgment of sentence was removed to elimate the requirement of lifetime monitoring. This saved his client (in his 20's) from decades of being monitored and tracked electronically by the state.