Category Archives: Holly Valente

Livonia, Michigan Tops List For Most Speedtraps

According to the website www.speedtrap.org Livonia, Michigan ranks highest in the United States and Canada for its number of speedtraps.  The city averages 27.9 speedtraps per 100,000 residents well above runner up Windsor, Ontario’s 17.6.

What does that mean for you? Slow down in Livonia or face  high odds of speeding tickets and fines.  Hopefully stories like this will help the city to recognize it may need to resurvey appropriate road speeds.

If you would like to fight your Michigan traffic ticket call Daniel Ambrose at 248-624-5500 or visit our website www.ambroselawgroup.com

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Filed under Holly Valente, Traffic Citations/Laws

Drunk Driving Scandal In West Bloomfield

According to Detroit’s Channel 4 News a drunk driving scandal has surfaced involving West Bloomfield Township supervisor Michele Economou Ureste and her husband.

The supervisor’s husband was pulled over in mid-August for a suspected DUI.  He failed a breath test but was not ticketed or arrested.  Instead the officer on scene put the couple in his police car and drove them home.  He has claimed he was worried about how an arrest may have a negative impact on an upcoming millage in the town.

Other township leaders are upset by what they call an abuse of power used by the Supervisor.

Ironically the officer who pulled over Ureste’s husband is the same officer who arrested Jalen Rose, a local celebrity who received 20 days in jail for his DUI.

It is important for everyone who drinks and drives to be held responsible for their actions regardless of who they are.  Instances like this may tarnish the police’s authority and support backlash against strict drunk driving laws in the state and Oakland County.

To read channel 4’s coverage of this story click here

Read the Detroit Free Press coverage here

If you have questions about a drunk driving charge in Oakland County contact Daniel Ambrose at 248-624-5500 or visit our website at www.ambroseduiattorney.com

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Filed under Daniel D. Ambrose, Drunk Driving/OWI/DUI/OWVI/DWI, Holly Valente, Local Legal News

Judge Small Challenged on Drunk-Driving Sentences

48th District Court Judge Kimberly Small is know for her harsh DUI sentences. As DUI attorneys we know convincing her to sentence drunk-driver’s to no jail time is a challenge.

Some find her sentencing unjust and  a Bloomfield Hills attorney  and Wayne State University Law Professor are filing a motion that argues her DUI sentences are unconstitutional. The attorney’s argue that due to her deep bias against drunk driving she should excuse herself from hearing DUI cases.

Judge Small has declined to comment on the pending case.

Read the full story here

If you have been charged with drunk driving in Michigan contact Daniel Ambrose at (248) 624-5500

or visit our website www.ambroseduiattorney.com

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Filed under Drunk Driving/OWI/DUI/OWVI/DWI, Holly Valente

Schuette Calls Medical Marijuana Law Holier than Swiss Cheese

Michigan’s medical marijuana law has been abused, exploited and hijacked by pot profiteers, said state Attorney General Bill Schuette in pushing a package of bills that will close loopholes in the law that was intended to provide pot to people with terminal, debilitating and chronic diseases.

“The law has been hijacked by drug dealers who want to make money, line their pockets and make a huge profit,” Schuette said at a news conference this morning where he was flanked by lawmakers, police, prosecutors and doctors. “This law has as many holes as Swiss cheese. It’s out of control and we need to fix it.”

With those strong words Schuette has reaffirmed his position against medical marijuana in Michigan.

As someone who’s father suffers from Multiple Sclerosis I’ve seen the toll prescription medicine can take on someone’s body, and while my father has not chosen to use medicinal marijuana I’m glad it is an option. I find it hard to believe our state leaders are still trying to take away the right we voted for.  I have yet to see the use and distribution of medical marijuana hurt anyone, and in today’s economic climate I feel like our lawmakers and leaders have bigger issues to worry about. While the legislation may need to be updated I hope the Attorney General does not lose sight of what the voters wanted.

View our earlier post here

Holly@ambroselawgroup.com

For more information on Michigan’s marijuana laws visit our website www.marijuanalawyermichigan.com

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Filed under Holly Valente, Medical Marijuana

U.S. Supreme Court Rules Driver’s Have The Right To Confront B.A.C Analyst Who Administered Test

In a decision that has wide-ranging implications for photo enforcement, speeding tickets and driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) charges, the US Supreme Court yesterday reconfirmed the Sixth Amendment right to confront one’s accuser applies to analysts who claim to have certified evidence from a machine. The 5-4 decision concluded that “stand-in” expert witnesses are not a substitute for the individuals who actually conducted the tests. The decision broadens the applicability of the landmark Melendez-Diaz ruling from 2009, which has already led to appellate division cases in four California counties to throw out red light camera evidence.

The high court examined the case of Donald Bullcoming whose vehicle rear-ended a truck belonging to Dennis Jackson in Farmington, New Mexico on August 14, 2005. Jackson went to exchange insurance information with Bullcoming and noticed that the man smelled of alcohol. Bullcoming fled the scene on foot before police arrived, but Officer Marty Snowbarger caught up to him and arrested him for DUI. After a breath test was refused, Snowbarger obtained a warrant to take Bullcoming’s blood. Forensic analyst Curtis Caylor’s test of this sample showed a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.21, a result that served as the primary evidence against Bullcoming at trial.

The blood testing process is performed by a gas chromatograph machine but remains subject to human error. The court noted a “fairly complex” Colorado lab mistake systematically produced high BAC readings for 206 defendants. Caylor did not testify at trial because he had been put on unpaid leave from his job for an unspecified reason. Instead, Gerasimos Razatos testified regarding the results which he had neither observed nor reviewed.

The high court examined the question of whether a lab report could be introduced as evidence by an “expert” who did not actually conduct the tests in question. The prosecution argued that the gas chromatograph machine was the accuser in the case and that Caylor simply wrote down the result without exercising independent judgment. For that reason, Razatos was an equivalent substitute. The court disagreed.

“Suppose a police report recorded an objective fact — Bullcoming’s counsel posited the address above the front door of a house or the read-out of a radar gun,” Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote for the majority. “Could an officer other than the one who saw the number on the house or gun present the information in court — so long as that officer was equipped to testify about any technology the observing officer deployed and the police department’s standard operating procedures? As our precedent makes plain, the answer is emphatically ‘No.'”

The court majority noted that using a surrogate witness would conceal any lapses or lies on the part of the certifying analyst. It also noted that the burden on the prosecution from the requirement of live testimony could have been cured by having Razatos retest the blood sample, which was preserved in accordance with New Mexico law.

“As a rule, if an out-of-court statement is testimonial in nature, it may not be introduced against the accused at trial unless the witness who made the statement is unavailable and the accused has had a prior opportunity to confront that witness,” Ginsburg concluded.

The decision represented a rare coalition of the most liberal and most conservative members of the court. Ginsburg and President Obama’s nominees to the court, Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, were joined by Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas.

View the ruling here 

If you have been pulled over for a DUI/OWI charge in Michigan contact Daniel Ambrose at 248-624-5500 and visit our website www.ambroseduiattorney.com

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Filed under Daniel D. Ambrose, Drunk Driving/OWI/DUI/OWVI/DWI, Holly Valente, Uncategorized

Felony Email Case On Hold In Michigan

From Freep.com

The state Court of Appeals has put on hold a felony computer hacking charge against a Rochester Hills man who read his wife’s e-mail.

But the court will let a charge of illegally accessing CLEMIS, a law enforcement computer system, stand against Leon Walker, 33.

“This court concluded that serious questions exist as to whether this felony criminal statute was intended to be applied to domestic relations cases of the sort presented here,” the court panel said Monday in a unanimous opinion by E. Thomas Fitzgerald, Kathleen Jansen and Henry William Saad.

The court ordered the trial judge, Martha Anderson, to file an order explaining why she believed the statute should be used, and gave her within 35 days to file it.

Walker’s attorney, Leon Weiss, said the appellate decision sends a message to the prosecutors and the courts: “It says the circuit court was dead wrong in not throwing this out.”

He said he would take the CLEMIS matter back to the Court of Appeals on Wednesday if prosecutors try to proceed to trial.

“That case is even more frivolous than the first case,” he said.

Paul Walton, chief Oakland County assistant prosecutor, said the trial on the CLEMIS matter would proceed Thursday, while they await the appellate decision on the hacking case.

“He accessed CLEMIS, a criminal investigative database. It’s against the law,” Walton said.

In the CLEMIS matter, Walker said he asked county officials how the system worked, and they showed him, because he was preparing a Freedom of Information Act letter to find out whether anyone else in the county had been charged with reading a spouse’s e-mail. None have.

Walker, a computer technician for Oakland County, also was to go to trial Thursday on the hacking charge.

He suspected his wife, Clara, was having an affair, and in the summer of 2009, he read her Gmail account on the family computer, using a password he said she kept in a notebook.

Walker then learned that his wife was having an affair with her second husband, a man who had been arrested for beating her in front of a child she had with her first husband. Walker shared the e-mail with the first husband, who included it in his child custody fight.

The couple, who share a child, have since divorced. Walker has insisted he shared the e-mail with the first husband because he was worried the child would be subject to more domestic violence.

The story has made international headlines.

Do you think accessing your spouse’s email account should be a felony?

If you have a question concerning a divorce case or a criminal charge contact Ambrose Law Group at (248) 624-5500

We have experienced Michigan family law and criminal law attorneys who can answer your questions and help you with your case

www.ambrosefamilylawattorney.com

www.ambrosecriminallaw.com

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Filed under Divorce, Holly Valente, Social Media And The Law, Uncategorized

ACLU Fights Livonia’s Ban On Medical Marijuana

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is fighting to overturn the city of Livonia’s ban on Medical Marijuana.

Lawyer’s for the ACLU argue the city’s ban violates Michigan’s 2008 Medical Marijuana law that states patients and caregivers “shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner.” The city’s attorneys argue that Federal Law banning marijuana trumps the Michigan Law.

This case once again highlights the confusion surrounding medical marijuana in Michigan.

Read more about this story here

If you have questions about medical marijuana contact Samantha Moffett at (248) 624-5500

Ambrose Law Group

Holly@ambroselawgroup.com

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Filed under Holly Valente, Medical Marijuana

All You Need To Know About Michigan’s Interlock Ignition Device Law

The Law

If you have any of the following combination of drunk or drugged driving convictions, the law indicates that you are a Habitual Offender:

  • Two or more convictions within 7 years.
  • Three or more convictions within 10 years.

The Secretary of State is required to revoke the driver license of a Habitual Offender and deny his or her application for another license.

After the minimum period of revocation/denial, a Habitual Offender may be eligible for a driver license appeal hearing. If a restricted license is ordered, the hearing officer must require that the Habitual Offender install a Breath Alcohol Ignition Interlock Device [BAIID] on any vehicle he or she owns or intends to operate. The person cannot drive until the BAIID is properly installed and proof of installation is presented to a local Secretary of State branch office.

Beginning October 31, 2010, anyone with a restricted license that requires a BAIID must continue to drive with the device until the Secretary of State authorizes him or her to remove it.

How does an Interlock Ignition Device Work?

A BAIID is a breath alcohol analyzer, with computer logic and an internal memory. It connects with a motor vehicle’s ignition and other control systems. The BAIID measures the driver’s bodily alcohol content [BAC], and keeps the vehicle from starting if the BAC is .025 or higher. The device will also ask for random retests while the person is driving [rolling retests].

If the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures in a monitoring period, or 1 rolling retest failure, or if it detects tampering, the vehicle must be taken to a service center immediately. If that service is not done, the BAIID will go into a “lock-out” mode, and the vehicle cannot be operated.

Test failures, tampering, or other BAIID-related violations will result in an extension of the time before the driver can ask for another driver license appeal hearing, or may require that the original license revocation/denial be reinstated.

So to put it simply: If you blow into your device and it detects alcohol, you’re not going anywhere and you’ll have to wait even longer to get your license back

How do I get a Interlock Ignition Device Installed?

The device must be installed by a vendor that is approved by the State of Michigan. A list of current vendors should be included with your driver’s license appeal order.

You may also visit this link to view a list of approved vendors http://michigan.gov/sos/0,1607,7-127-15719-70471–,00.html

Reports and Removal Authorization

If a hearing officer orders a restricted license for you with a BAIID requirement, you must drive under the restrictions, with a properly installed BAIID, for at lest 1 full year.

If there are alcohol readings or other BAIID violations after the device is installed, your vendor will report them to the Secretary of State. As indicated before, the possible consequences of those reports may include an extension of the time before you can request another license appeal hearing, or the reinstatement of the original license revocation/denial.

When you are eligible, you may request a license appeal hearing to ask that the restrictions be removed from your license. At that hearing, you must present the report(s) from your BAIID provider(s) to prove that the device was installed for at least the minimum required length of time, and to establish whether there were any alcohol readings or other BAIID violations.

If your hearing was held, or your restricted license that requires a BAIID, was issued on or after October 31, 2010, you must keep the device on your vehicle until the Secretary of State authorizes you to remove it.

What is considered an Interlock Ignition Device Violation?

Violations of the BAIID program for habitual offenders are divided into “minor” and “major” categories.

Minor Violations:

  • A driver has 2 months after the BAIID is installed to become familiar with the device, and to learn that certain substances, such as mouth wash, may cause the device to record a test failure. After the first 2 months, it is a minor violation if the BAIID records 3 start-up test failures within a monitoring period. A start-up test failure means the BAIID has prevented the vehicle from starting. A monitoring period is the full length of time the BAIID is required to be properly installed.
  • If the driver fails to report the BAIID installer for servicing within 7 days after his or her scheduled monitoring date, it is a minor violation.

Major Violations:

  • Rolling retest violation:
    • Failing to take the rolling retest when prompted by the BAIID; or
    • The random retest detects a BAC of .025 or higher, and there is no subsequent sample with a BAC of less than .025 within 5 minutes.
  • An arrest or conviction for drunk and/or drugged driving.
  • Tampering with the BAIID.
  • Circumventing the BAIID.
  • Three minor violations within a monitoring period.
  • Removing the BAIID without having another device installed within 7 days, unless the Secretary of State has authorized the removal.
  • Operating a vehicle without a properly installed BAIID.
Consequences

Minor violations will result in a 3-month extension of the time before you may request another license appeal hearing.

Major violations will result in the immediate reinstatement of your original driver license revocation/denial. You may appeal that action to the DAAD. The appeal must be in writing, and must be submitted within 14 days after the effective date of the reinstatement.

Interlock Ignition Device + Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving Law
Effective October 31, 2010, the law requires tougher sanctions for a driver convicted for operating a vehicle with a BAC of .17 or higher, even if it is her or her first conviction.

If you are convicted of the High BAC crime, in addition to any penalties ordered by the court, your driver license will be suspended for 1 year. You will be eligible for a restricted license after serving 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is installed on every vehicle you operate. The restrictions remain in effect for the remainder of the 1-year period, and until the Secretary of State authorizes you to remove the BAIID, and until you pay a license reinstatement fee.

A High BAC offender has the option to keep the license suspension for the full year, and not have the BAIID installed. At the end of that year, if no other sanctions have been imposed, you may pay the license reinstatement fee and return to full driving.

If you decide that you want the restricted license, you will have 2 months after the BAIID is installed to become familiar with the device, and to learn that certain substances, such as mouth wash, may cause the device to record a test failure. After the first 2 months, if monitoring of the BAIID reveals any instance of a .025 or higher BAC reading, you will receive another 1-year suspension of your driver license, and again be eligible for a restricted license after servicing 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is properly installed on every vehicle you operate.

If you are arrested for driving without a properly installed BAIID, the law enforcement officer must impound the vehicle. If you own or co-own the vehicle, the officer must destroy the metal registration plate.

If you are convicted of operating a vehicle without a properly installed BAIID, there will be another 1-year suspension of your driver license, and you will again be eligible for a restricted license after serving 45 days of the suspension if a BAIID is properly installed on every vehicle you operate.

For more about Michigan’s Super Drunk Driving Law click here 

For more information you can also visit Michigan’s Secretary of State website 

If you have questions about a driver’s license appeal or a DUI Charge contact Aida Spahic at (248) 624-5500 or  visit our website

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Filed under Aida Spahic, Driver's License, Drunk Driving/OWI/DUI/OWVI/DWI, Holly Valente

FBI Raids Home Looking For On-Line Gaming Gold

We spent alot of time this month blogging about FBI raids , but we had never heard of a story like this.

The FBI may have had the wrong address when they recently raided an apartment in Michigan, investigating a World of Warcraft gold-selling claim. No arrests have been made following the March 30 raid.

The Bureau visited the Ann Arbor apartment in University Towers trying to find any information about “fraudulent sales or puchases of virtual currency” in the popular online game. An FBI spokesperson has explained to local media that she could not comment on the real-life raid, as many documents remain sealed.

Read the full article here 

Holly@ambroselawgroup.com

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Filed under Holly Valente

Low-Sodium as an Insanity Defense?

A Roseville man accused of stabbing his mother to death because she wouldn’t give him money to buy drugs will claim temporary insanity at his upcoming trial.

Timothy Kohler, the court-appointed attorney for Charles Foresi, this morning said the defendant experienced brain dysfunction because he suffered from hyponatremia, low sodium, that wasn’t being treated properly.

Read the full article here

Do you think this kind of defense will fly in court?

Holly@ambroselawgroup.com

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Filed under Holly Valente, Violent Crimes