Criminal Law

Can police extend a traffic stop to search your vehicle with a drug dog?

Can police extend a traffic stop to search the vehicle with a dog? No, unless a police officer has a reasonable, articulable suspicion of criminal activity; a police officer cannot extend a traffic stop beyond the time necessary to address the traffic violation that is the basis for the traffic stop. That seems easy enough to say, but what does it mean in the real world?

The Michigan Court of Appeals just addressed this issue in a published case that was released on July 6, 2017: People v Kavanaugh, Mich App, Case (more…)

Does A Marijuana Roach Count For Weight Allowance?

I’ve been asked whether a marijuana roach counts in the weight allowance under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.

A marijuana roach is the unsmoked, left-over end of a marijuana joint, blunt, or cigarette. And, yes, marijuana roaches contain useable marijuana that can be smoked and do count towards the weight allowance under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. That’s why marijuana smokers save the roaches, right? If there isn’t any useable marijuana in the roach, why save it? Why not just throw it in the trash or flush it? (more…)

When can you use deadly force in Michigan?

In 2006, Michigan passed the Self-Defense Act, which governs when an individual can, and cannot, use deadly force against another individual. Pursuant to the Act: 

(1) An individual who has not or is not engaged in the commission of a crime at the time he or she uses deadly force may use deadly force against another individual anywhere he or she has the legal right to be with no duty to retreat if either of the following applies: (more…)

Can I Modify My Firearm?

Michigan law does not prohibit the modification of a firearm. Common firearm modifications include replacing or modifying: (more…)

What are Pistol-Free Zones?

In response to the terrorist attacks in the United States and in Europe, many Michiganders are obtaining concealed pistol licenses. However, it’s important to understand that Michigan law limits where a concealed pistol or taser can be carried. (more…)

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