A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with improper transportation of marijuana, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine. We’ve handled a fair number of these cases, but this one became contentious. The prosecutor filed a response and the judge seemed to indicate that she would deny our motion, meaning we would have to appeal or go to trial. We adjourned the original motion hearing for further negotiations. After three weeks of back and forth with the prosecutor, we still didn’t have a deal that would make our client happy. He wanted no probation, no testing, and no conviction. Finally, moments before the date-certain motion hearing, the prosecutor offered to reduce the charge to “Misuse of Property,” a civil infraction that has no criminal record, and of course, no possibility of jail or probation. Our client paid a $150 fine and left the courthouse for good.
Two Shyler Engel, PLLC clients were in the same position. They had been caught with marijuana while committing civil infractions, but they were behind in getting their patient cards. One of the clients simply hadn’t even seen a physician, and the other client had an expired card. Among other defenses, both had arguable Section 8 defenses.
We filed the appropriate motions and we were ready to argue a total of a combined 5 motions. The prosecutor offered the following deal: Plead to Improper Transport, and all other charges would be dismissed.
Both clients accepted the deal, and the judge gave them exactly the same sentence: 9 months non-reporting, non-testing probation, $400 fines and costs, and no issues using marijuana for medical purposes on probation. After probationary period, case will be completely dismissed pursuant to HYTA.
This means that both of our clients who faced a real drug conviction with reporting and testing probation, hundreds of dollars in fines and costs, plus the civil infractions walked away with just a $400 fine if they are able to stay out of legal trouble for 9 months.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with Improper Transportation of Medical Marijuana contrary to MCL 750.474. On the first day of court, our office had already filed and set the matter for a motion hearing. The prosecutor didn’t even put up a fight. Our client client was offered a dismissal in exchange for impeding traffic, which amounts to nothing more than a $165 fine. No conviction. No jail. No probation. No testing.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC non-medical marijuana client was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Improper Transportation of Marijuana after a traffic stop in the early morning. The client informed us that he had seen a doctor who certified him for medical use of marijuana, however he had never attained a valid patient card. Arguing that the charges would both be dismissed if were successful at a Section 8 hearing, the prosecutor dismissed the marijuana possession misdemeanor and offered that the Improper Transportation charge would come off of our client’s record after a term of non-reporting and non-testing probation. When the judge learned that the plea and sentence agreement was for non-reporting and non-testing, the judge simply terminated probation successfully on the same day of sentencing. The result: all marijuana charges dismissed with no consequences other than a small fine for a non-medical patient.
Two Shyler Engel, PLLC clients had their Improper Transportation misdemeanors dropped to Impeding Traffic after Shyler Engel provided motion and brief to the Prosecuting Attorney arguing that medical marijuana patients are protected from prosecution in this regard. Rather than up to 93 days in jail, a $500 fine, court costs, probation, the clients both walked out with a $150 fine and a civil infraction that carries no points and does not appear on a driving record.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC non-medical marijuana client was caught with marijuana under the passenger seat of his friend’s car. He admitted the marijuana was his and was charged with Possession of Marijuana and Improper Transportation of Marijuana. Since the traffic incident, my client had become a registered patient under the Medical Marihuana Act. A plea deal was reached with the prosecutor for an outright dismissal of both the Possession charge and eventual dismissal of the Improper Transport charge after a short term of probation. With all charged dropped, it was a no-brainer for my client, and all that was left to do was get the court to set terms of his probation during the delayed sentence period. However, the day before we were scheduled to place the plea agreement on the record, the probation office told us that they would vehemently oppose my client being able to use marijuana while on probation, and wanted him to be subjected to random testing. Despite the stellar plea deal, my firm is committed to getting the results my clients want; testing probation was simply not what we wanted. After starting discussions completely over with both the prosecutor and the probation officer, neither budged, and the prosecutor objected to private discussions with the judge to see what she might do regarding testing probation. They wanted testing and they were going to get it. We considered pulling the deal and taking the matter to trial, but inevitably my client decided to take his chances with the judge. I detailed the need for use of marijuana while on probation compared to the probation office’s meritless recommendation for no marijuana use. The judge agreed with us and placed an explicit term in her order of probation that he be permitted to use marijuana, and that he would not be drug tested randomly. My client left the courthouse with essentially only a fine. No criminal record after non-reporting probation, no jail, no testing, no license sanctions.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC medical marijuana client was looking forward to a relaxing weekend up north, however he was stopped by a Michigan State Police officer on I-75. Eventually our client was charged with violation of MCL 750.474, a misdemeanor carrying maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and a fine up to $500. Shyler Engel appeared and the prosecutor offered to dismiss the charge if the client plead responsible to “Impeding Traffic,” a zero point, nonabstractable (no record) civil infraction. $120 later, the client walked out of the courthouse with a clean record, no probation, and no testing.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with Improper Transportation of Marijuana after he was caught driving with marijuana in the front seat of his truck. According to the officer’s report the client was able to retrieve the marijuana in under 5 seconds. In a pre-trial conference discussion, the judge suggested that his sentence to any criminal conviction would be for 18 months of probation with frequent tests for marijuana, and he would send the client to jail if he tested positive for marijuana while on probation. After 9 months of litigation and two motions, the prosecutor finally agreed to voluntarily dismiss the charge if the client would plead responsible to a civil infraction traffic ticket. A $200 traffic ticket later, the client has no criminal conviction, retains his ability to use marijuana, and has no probation.