A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with Improper Transportation after the police stopped our client in a parking lot for “suspicious activity.” Our client had forgotten to place his medical marijuana in a case in the trunk of his car. We filed a motion to dismiss the charges for a lack of probable cause to stop our client’s car, and argued that he was immune from prosecution of any charge involving marijuana based on the protections under Section 4 of the MMMA. The Prosecutor offered to reduce the charge to Double Parking, a civil infraction carrying no consequences. Our client accepted the Prosecutor’s offer.
Three Shyler Engel, PLLC clients had just finished seeing a comedy show held at Soaring Eagle Casino, and decided to smoke marijuana in the parking lot. This parking lot is somewhat notorious in the medical marijuana defense community because it is the same casino parking lot that was the subject of question in People v Carlton, the Court of Appeals’ case that determined whether the immunity and defenses provided under the Medical Marihuana Act apply to a person who smokes marijuana in his or her own car while that car is parked in the parking lot of a private business that is open to the general public. In People v Carlton, the medical marijuana patient lost because the Court concluded that a person’s own car, when in a public place, constitutes a public place, and therefore, medical marihuana protections do not apply.
Our clients’ prosecutor was, in fact, the very prosecutor who argued the case before the Court of Appeals. However, we had alternative theories of defense. Despite only one client having a medical marihuana patient card, we filed a motion to dismiss based on the difference between communal use and possession as it relates to medical marijuana patients, and other traditional defenses. One of our clients was even charged with delivery for simply sharing the marijuana, which we believed a complete overreach from the intent of the delivery statute. When the day of the motion hearing was held, all of our clients we offered and took advantage of the same deal: Possession charges were dropped. Delivery charge dropped, elimination of a non-public record after 30 days of non-reporting and non-testing probation. In fact, the court sent a check back to our clients because the arraigning judge had assessed a bond that well exceeded the fine imposed.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with Possession of Marijuana in a District Court known for its lengthy terms of testing probation. Our client had one goal: to be able to continue to using marijuana. We uncovered a potential Kolanek issue that would render him protected under Section 8 under the Medical Marijuana Act. We filed a motion and prepared for the Section 8 hearing. When we appeared, the prosecutor eventually offered our client a dismissal in exchange for a plea to Improper Transportation of Marijuana. Unfortunately, Improper Transportation of Marijuana in this court often results in testing probation as well. We explained to the judge firstly the necessity of the need for our client to use marijuana for medical purposes, and then secondly, our position that marijuana use for medical purposes is protected from violations of probation. With that, the judge agreed to simply place our client on non-reporting and non-testing probation. Further, with the dismissal of the Possession charge, our client also avoided all driver’s license sanctions. Our client left the courthouse with his goals achieved.
A non-medical marijuana Shyler Engel, PLLC client was charged with possession of marijuana. After reviewing the client’s limited medical history it was determined that the client had an arguable Section 8 defense. After filing three separate motions regarding the proper scope, burdens, and timing of the Section 8 hearing, the prosecutor decided it was time to make the client a deal. Rather than the license-suspending drug misdemeanor, the client would plead guilty to simply Improper Transportation of Marijuana, and after successfully completing non-reporting probation, the charge would come off the client’s record as if it never happened. No probation, no testing, no license suspension, and a clean record.
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 20-year-old client was caught with marijuana (for the second time) and alcohol just outside of a college campus. He was charged with possession of marijuana and minor in possession (MIP). The client had already benefitted once from a diversion program, and although he was technically eligible for HYTA, this court would not permit it. Furthermore, for a second offense the penalty often includes jail time in this court. Recognizing this, the client faced the choice of either fighting the charges or suffering the penalties of testing probation, and possibly jail. After explaining to the prosecutor the strengths of the client’s case, the charges were dropped in exchange for a plea to “use of marijuana,” the lowest level offense in Michigan involving marijuana, and the judge would have to simply assess only fines and costs. On the day of sentencing, everything went as planned, and the client walked away from these charges for the grand total of $225. No jail. No probation. No testing.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client had been violated for testing positive for marijuana again. The client pled guilty just 3 months ago to his second probation violation for use of marijuana. When he was sentenced, the judge told our client that if he violated again he go to jail for 90 days. Shyler Engel appeared at the probation violation hearing, explained to the probation officer how marijuana metabolizes through each person differently and the complications with the testing agency’s reports. In the end, the probation officer agreed to withdraw the violation if the client stayed negative for the next month. If the client tests negative over the next month, he will not face any possibility of jail time.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was caught with marijuana on three separate occasions within 5 months. The first charge was dealt with by another attorney who attained §7411 status for the client. He was placed on twelve months reporting probation. After he was caught for the second and third time, Shyler Engel, PLLC took over. At the client’s pretrial conference, Shyler Engel was able to convince both the state prosecutor and the city prosecutor that the client’s prior attorney should have used HYTA rather than §7411, which was now detrimental to the client. After a few rounds of negotiation, Shyler Engel was able to secure recommendations for HYTA from both prosecutors on both the second and third possession charges. When we took the plea agreement before the judge, the judge was hesitant to respect the plea agreement saying it was too lenient on our client. Nevertheless, the judge granted HYTA on both charges. The judge went even further and waived all fines and costs for our client, sentencing him only to six months non-reporting probation and 30 hours community service.
A Shyler Engel, PLLC client was caught for the second time using marijuana while on probation. Despite not having a medical marijuana card, Shyler Engel was able to demonstrate that the probationer was engaging in medical use and that he should not be penalized. The judge agreed and let our client continue probation without penalty.