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Troy MI License Restoration Blog

Monday, December 8, 2014

MICHIGAN HEROIN DEATHS EXPERIENCING A SHARP RISE

Between 1999 and 2002, 271 people died from Heroin overdoses in Michigan. In half that time, between 2010 and 2012, the number of people that od on Heroin had risen to 728. Heroin deaths had more than doubled in half the time.

As I have discussed in a past blog, opiate addictions often times start out innocent enough with body pain of some sort that requires doctor intervention. Sometimes however, when patients over medicate (self-medicate) or simply by virtue of being under a doctors prescription for an extended period of time, they become dependent. Either way, many do not realize the extent to which they have slid into opiate dependency.

It does become apparent, however, when the patients prescription has been cut off by the doctor and now has to resort to buying the same pills off the street. Then when these drugs become too expensive, the only alternative left is Heroin!

BEWARE!!! YOU ARE ABOUT TO ENTER THE FELONY ZONE!!!

Possessing Heroin in an amount of 25 grams or more but less than 50 grams is a four year felony. When the possession is for greater amounts the penalty goes up considerably. For possessing 50 grams or over but less than 450 grams....20 years. For 450 grams and over but less than 1,000 grams....30 years. For possessing 1,000 grams or more....LIFE.

Using Heroin, on the other hand, is a one year misdemeanor. However do not think that a person may use a drug such as Heroin continuously and only be charged with use. As the charges continue to pile up so does the punishment. Getting caught using Heroin the first time will normally result in a charge no worse than "use". How the charge is resolved from there hinges on a number of different factors and is not the issue of this article. After the first time however, the charge most likely will be bumped up to a "possession" charge. The individual has taken the same behavior and taken it from a one year misdemeanor and turned it into a four year felony.

I have dealt with hundreds of these types a cases and know how to dispose of them without the client ending up with a criminal record.

If you have legal problems dealing with Heroin or any other controlled substance, the earlier you call the Law Offices of Martin Lievois the quicker we can get out in front of the problem.

In Troy Attorney Martin Lievois can be reached at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550.

 

 


Thursday, December 4, 2014

BEWARE: INTERLOCK VIOLATIONS AFTER REINSTATEMENT


As a Michigan license restoration lawyer,the satisfaction i get from seeing a client receive driving privileges after a long period of revocation is, as they say, priceless!! The thought of being able to take control of your life and operate in a normal fashion is empowering and gives one a sense that there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Part of the problem from here, if there is one, centers around the lack of focus a client displays after a successful reinstatement hearing. Understandably, at the completion of a hearing that goes well, the client is so elated that he/she does not comprehend that there are many possible pitfalls lying ahead.

DAAD reinstatement's, as i have indicated in previous blogs, come with strings attached. Most notably is the interlock device the client is responsible to have installed in their vehicle.
Read more . . .


Monday, November 24, 2014

Depending on Your Offense, You May Lose More Than Your License

It’s becoming more common that law enforcement officials seize vehicles as a result of a criminal investigation or simply pulling a driver over and deciding the person is suspicious. In Michigan, depending on what you’re convicted of, your vehicle may be seized by law enforcement. Given how important your vehicle is to your life, and that of your family, if you find yourself in this situation you need the help of an experienced criminal defense attorney.

If you repeatedly drive while your license is suspended/revoked/denied, or if you’ve committed multiple substance abuse-related offenses, you may be subject to vehicle forfeiture

• The court may order the vehicle be sold if you own the vehicle in whole or in part. 
• Proceeds from the sale would be distributed according to priorities defined by state statute, first to pay loans secured by the vehicle.
• If the vehicle is leased, it may be returned to the lessor. 

Vehicle forfeiture is possible and at the court’s discretion if:

• You are charged with your first DUI offense and a death or injury occurred because of your intoxicated driving.
• The DUI offense is your second such offense or if you have committed a prior DUI in the past seven years, if the offense was not a “zero tolerance” offense.
• It’s your third DUI offense or your third criminal offense in the past ten years.

The judge will decide during the sentencing phase of your trial if vehicle forfeiture is appropriate. Forfeiture only applies to a vehicle owned by the offender, not an innocent individual whose vehicle was borrowed.

A vehicle can be seized at the scene of the alleged crime before a trial occurs.  If so, you may ask the court to require the seizing agency to file a lien against the vehicle and return the vehicle pending conclusion of the case.  You would have to convince the judge the vehicle is needed for you or a family member while the case is pending.
You may be tempted to hide, sell, give away or transfer the vehicle order to avoid forfeiture. If so, you could be charged with an additional misdemeanor.

If you are in the Flint or Troy, Michigan area, have been charged with a crime and have had your vehicle seized, or you may lose it as part of your sentence, contact Martin T. Lievois today to defend your rights, your freedom and your ability to keep your vehicle.  He can be reached in Troy at (248)419-1566 and Flint at (810)250-4550.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Serious Charges for Drunk Driver That Hit Young Girl

Driving while intoxicated and driving under the influence are serious offenses.  These crimes become more serious when the driver is drastically over the blood alcohol limit and/or when they cause injuries to another person.  In a recent Michigan case, a drunk driver caused injuries to not one, but two, other people.

In late August, Bonnie Babcock and her 12 year old daughter, Jordan, were walking down the side of Cook Road in Williamsburg, Michigan.  It was getting dark so the two were using a light.  At approximately 9:15pm, Jordan was struck by a car.  The vehicle was driven by Jason Scott Lemieux.  Jordan ended up in the road after being hit and Bonnie went to her daughter’s side.  Unfortunately, another car traveling down the road struck Bonnie, causing her serious injuries.

As a result of the accident Jordan was seriously injured, suffering from a fractured pelvis, damaged hip joint and a ruptured bladder and spleen.  She spent time in the hospital and in rehab.  Her mother suffered a fractured vertebra.  

Lemieux was given a Breathalyzer at the time of accident and was found to have 0.151 blood alcohol content.  This is more than double the legal limit under Michigan law.    He was arrested and charged with two counts of operating under the influence causing serious injury and one count of operating while intoxicated.  He was charged with Bonnie’s injuries in addition to her daughters because it was his alleged misconduct that led to her harm.  In early November, he pleaded guilty to one charge of operating under the influence causing serious injury and the other charges were dismissed.  He could serve as much as five years in prison for this crime.  

If you have been arrested for or charged with driving while intoxicated or driving under the influence, you need an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you in order to achieve the most favorable outcome. Contact Michigan attorney Martin T. Lievois for a consultation by calling him in Flint at (810)250-4550 or in Troy at (248)419-1566.

Thursday, October 30, 2014

MICHIGAN'S OPIATE PRESCRIPTION ABUSE EPIDEMIC

Not too many years ago it became the norm for doctors to much more freely write opiate prescriptions for patients who complain of pain. These drugs include Oxycodone, Oxycontin, Morphine, Opana, Vicodin, etc.

While these drugs, some of which have been around for a long time, are traditionally used for treating pain, the proliferation of prescription writing doctors has grown to alarming levels. Often times patients visit their doctor with valid pain issues which need to be addressed. In turn, they rely in good faith on their doctor to treat them in a conscientious manner. When, take for example, the Vicodin script is filled and the patient who is in pain begins taking the pills, the pain is greatly reduced and all in the world is good once again. After awhile the patient realizes that the same amount of Vicodin does not mask the pain as well as it used to. More pills are taken, often times without the doctors guidance (self medicating) but many times at his direction and with his blessing.

This is where, for many,things begin to go downhill!!

When people begin to chug 3,4,5 Vicodin at a time when they are supposed to be taking one, clearly the risk of overdose and also of opiate dependance rises exponentially (not to mention the devastating effect on the liver it poses). Then of course when the patient simply cannot ingest enough Vicodin to make the pain subside, they search out other more potent opiates and the vicious downward cycle accelerates.

Sometimes the doctor will increase the potency for treatment and prescribe a different drug. This often times only delays the inevitable - opiate dependency.  Many times, however, the doctor determines the the course of treatment should end and then no more scripts - leaving the patient with nowhere to turn but the streets for relief.

When people can no longer fill that $5.00 dollar co-pay and cannot afford paying high street prices for the drugs (e.g. $80.00 dollars for a 80mg Oxycontin), that's when things really start getting ugly. Opiate dependency makes people do things they never in a million years would dream of doing. Prostitution, Armed Robbery, B&E homes are but a few of the dangerous and destructive activities someone will do in order to get drugs to feel better.

There are many options we can investigate to address the legal problems that often times arise as a result of these kinds of activities. Some of these options have, as the end result, dismissal of the charges.

Results like dismissal do not present themselves on a silver platter for us to merely "cherry pick". I am proud to provide a much higher than average level of experience and skill to my clients to reap extraordinary results.

If you are having legal problems as a result of prescription abuse or any other drug abuse please call the Law Office of Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 and in Flint at 810-250-4550.

 


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Police Officer Investigated for Shooting Felon Will Not Be Charged

Usually, civilians suspected of committing a crime and investigated by the police face the possibility of criminal charges.  Every once in a while though, the police do something questionable that warrants an investigation and has the potential to be considered criminal.  A recent Flint, Michigan case shows that police actions are not always taken at face value.

On July 16, 2014, Flint Township Police pulled over a speeding vehicle.  Three passengers, one of which was a child, accompanied the driver.  The officer gained consent to search the inside of the vehicle and backup arrived.  After requesting that the occupants exit the vehicle so the office could conduct a search, all but one of the passengers, 23 year old Dominique Charon Lewis, stepped out.  Instead of exiting the vehicle, Lewis jumped into the driver’s seat and attempted to flee the scene.  The backup officer moved in front of the car and shouted at Lewis to stop.  Lewis did not obey the direction and instead continued to drive, almost hitting the officer.  At that point, the officer pulled out his weapon and shot and killed Lewis.  At the time of the shooting, Lewis was on parole and was found to be carrying a loaded stolen handgun.

The Genesee County Prosecutor, David Leyton, is charged with investigating every police shooting that occurs within his jurisdiction.  He has said that his office will not bring the officer up on criminal charges as the shooting was justified.  Leyton’s office has decided that the officer was justified in shooting Lewis because he did so in order to stop him from fleeing and in self-defense.  

Interactions with the police do not always go as planned.  A relatively minor traffic infraction can lead to a serious situation in which one or more people are injured or killed.  If you have been involved in a traffic stop or other situation that led to criminal charges, you need the advice of an experienced criminal defense attorney.  Contact Michigan attorney Martin T. Lievois by calling him in Flint at (810)250-4550 or in Troy at (248)419-1566 for a consultation today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

WHAT MAKES A MICHIGAN LICENSE RESTORATION TESTIMONIAL LETTER GOOD

Testimonial letters are "evidence" that are presented to the hearing officer for his review and consideration. They get submitted along with the petition and other documentation well in advance of the hearing.

After years of doing license restoration hearings i have "modified" my procedure for preparation. Because everything is on a time line (certain documentation have expiration dates) it is crucial to have everything completed in a timely manner so as not to have expired "proofs" at the time of filing. To that end i immediately generate a request of my client to compile five testimonial letters from his friends and family.

These "letters" are not just, what i like to refer as "good guy"  letters. Testimonial letters echo all the testimony that the petitioner puts on the record in person at the hearing. They address specific elements of proof that are required.

And i certainly do not leave it to chance that the client knows what needs to be included.

Along with my request for the testimonial letters i include a list of the issues which need be included. They need only one sentence referencing each issue (obviously more if appropriate and the author feels so inclined or as is necessary). If the writer has some special insights or know of some things which might influence the hearing officer in a positive way then by all means include it after all the "requirements" are met.

So many people launch right into how bad the petitioner needs his license and how he/she has paid their debt to society. Then there are those who like to talk about how good of a employee the petitioner is or what a lovely disposition he/she has. While all this type of information is fine and good, the hearing officer is looking for specific information, and, if we can give it to them without them having to sift through fluff, all the better for you.

DAAD hearing officers schedule these hearings every half hour, the less time of theirs we take the happier they are which translates into a better outcome for you hopefully.

Win your petition for driving privileges in Michigan or any state you live in by perfecting your testimonial letters. Don't leave anything to chance, call Attorney Martin Lievois in Troy at 248-419-1566 or in Flint at 810-250-4550.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Woman With Checkered Driving History Charged With Two Crashes in One Day

For some of use, driving is nothing but trouble.  Whether we are not talented drivers or make poor decisions, driving offenses can lead to serious criminal liability.  A great example of this is the story of a Michigan woman who was recently involved in two accidents in one day and who will face criminal charges in both of them.

Crystal Louise Rincones of Wyoming, Michigan, has a less than perfect driving record.  Over the past 16 years, her license has been suspended multiple times for reasons such as driving under the influence, failure to pay parking tickets and license restoration fees. Rincones was also involved in a crash in which three people were hurt. She also has a criminal history and was convicted of a drug crime.

Now, again with a suspended license, Rincones was involved in not one but two crashes in the same day.  In the early morning hours of this particular day, she was a party to a minor accident in a Walgreen’s shopping center. No one was injured in the accident and only property damage occurred.  The police found that Rincones had a suspended license and after evaluating her sobriety drove her home instead of charging her.  Later in the same day, at around 10:00am, Rincones was driving and SUV down Highway U.S. 131 when she struck another car head on.  Rincones and the other driver, Vickers Charles Hansen, were seriously injured.  Police subsequently charged Rincones with reckless driving and driving with a suspended license, second offense, both charges stepped up due to the bodily injuries that resulted.  They also decided to charge her for the accident she was involved in at Walgreen’ earlier in the day.  These are serious crimes and could lead to five years of incarceration for the woman.

If you have a less than perfect driving history or a criminal record and have been implicated in another crime, it is essential that you contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible.  Contact Michigan attorney Martin T. Lievois by calling him in Flint at (810)250-4550 or in Troy at (248)419-1566 for a consultation today.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014

EXPUNGMENTS: FIRST THINGS FIRST

When considering whether or not you want to try to clear your adult criminal record, the first thing you must know is: YOU CANNOT EXPUNGE ANYTHING OFF YOUR RECORD IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE CONVICTION!!!

There are very few exceptions to this rule. Generally speaking, the legislature has decided that it is in societies best interest to give individuals a chance to redeem themselves (in essence, a do-over), to have a fresh start and enjoy all the rights of a full U.S. citizen. Rights such as owning a gun, voting, working in certain fields, etc.,.

In the age of the internet there is very little a prospective employer cannot find out about you if they want - especially a criminal record since they are a public record. This is why it is so important that under the expungement statute your record is erased and therefore invisible to any internet snooping. 

So, lets say you were convicted of two felonies during the commission of a crime - you are not eligible for expungement.

 Even if you have only one felony on your record, if you are unfortunate enough to have even a misdemeanor on your record (with only a few exceptions - and most people do not fit within these exceptions), you will not be eligible for expungement. Especially if the misdemeanor conviction is for drinking and driving. Once a drinking and driving conviction is entered on your record nothing thereafter is expungeable. Although the general rule is that one conviction, whether it be a misdemeanor or felony, may be expunged from your record, for whatever reason, the legislature decided that if the conviction is for drinking and driving, then nothing is expungeable!

The petitioner must also be aware that there is a time element requirement that must be met before you become eligible. Furthermore, the mere act of petitioning the court for expungement relief is not an automatic guarantee of winning the desired relief (although i have never lost one petition). The relief is discretionary. In other words, the judge can do whatever he/she wants.

The "time" element requirement therefore relates to the "discretionary" aspect of this type of relief. Although the judge looks at the nature of the crime, one of the most crucial things they consider is how you have conducted yourself since the commission of the crime. Have you had continuous employment, are you married, do you have children that you support, how do you fill your spare time, what goals are you trying to accomplish, how will granting the requested relief further those goals?!? Therefore the passage of time becomes an important element so as to give the judge a "feel" of how to predict your future behavior and whether you deserve a do-over.

Call attorney Martin Lievois to discuss your eligibility, whether you fit into one of the exceptions and what you need to do to win. In Oakland County call 248-419-1566; in Genesee County call 810-250-4550.


Friday, September 19, 2014

Michigan Man Could Lose License Due to Medical Marijuana Charge

Being arrested and convicted of a crime can have consequences that you might not think are possible.  A conviction can affect your right to vote, your ability to get a job and many of the privileges you enjoy.  For example, some crimes, even ones that are not driving related, may result in the mandatory suspension of your driver’s license, as evidenced by a recent Michigan case.

Stephen Olin Lothamer is a medical marijuana user.  During an investigation by the Michigan State Police, he was found to be advertising marijuana plants on craigslist.com.  An investigator responded to the ad claiming to be an authorized medical marijuana user and met Lothamer at his home. There, the undercover officer purchased 31 plants from Lothamer without showing any proof of his authorization to use marijuana.  After the sale, the officer returned, revealed himself and asked to search the suspect’s home.  Lothamer agreed to the search of his home and greenhouse which turned up almost 500 plants.  

Under Michigan law, a medical marijuana patient is allowed to possess 12 plants for personal use, with the rarely invoked exception that allows as many plants as are necessary for treatment.  Medical marijuana caregivers are allowed to possess 72 plants and to distribute them to patients.  In other words, there are no circumstances under which a private individual is allowed to possess more than 72 plants.  

As Lothamer and his wife are medical marijuana patients, they are each entitled to possess 12 plants.  It is unclear whether Lothamer was authorized to act as a caregiver and distribute the plants to others.  He claims that he would start the plants and then give them to others patients that were in need.  Lothamer was charged with controlled substance delivery-manufacture of marijuana and, since he would not respond at his arraignment, the judge was forced to enter a not guilty plea for him.   He is facing four years in prison, a $20,000 fine and the suspension of his driver’s license.

Contact Troy and Flint, Michigan criminal defense attorney Martin Lievois if you are facing charges that might result in the temporary suspension or permanent revocation of your driver’s license.  Call us in Troy at (248)419-1566 and in Flint at (810)250-4550.


Friday, September 5, 2014

Auburn Teen Convicted of DWI for the Second Time


Driving while intoxicated is a serious crime.  It becomes more serious when you are not even old enough to drink.  A Michigan teen, 18 year old 
Read more . . .


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