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New Criminal Laws in Michigan in 2020

Feb 28, 2020, by Maurice Davis in Criminal Defense
New Laws in Michigan in 2020

Michigan’s state legislature has recently passed several new criminal laws that deal with juvenile delinquency, sports betting, vaping, and civil asset forfeiture. Overall, these new laws represent a step in the right direction for a state that for many years has maintained harsh and old fashioned policies. But there is still much work to be done to make our criminal justice system more fair to people who end up on the wrong side of the law.

If you or a loved one has been charged with a crime, you need to call a Detroit criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible to avoid unnecessarily harsh penalties and dragged out procedures. At Davis Law Group, we will fight for you at every stage of the process to give you the best chance of receiving a good outcome to your case. For a free consultation, call us today at (313) 818-3238 or fill out our online contact form.

Michigan Has Finally Reformed Its Civil Asset Forfeiture Rules

One of the most reprehensible practices of Michigan law enforcement agencies will be significantly restricted under new rules that go into effect this year. Civil asset forfeiture involves the confiscation of personal property from people suspected–but not convicted–of committing crimes. The idea behind this confiscation of property is to keep criminals from enjoying the money gained from their illegal schemes.

But in practice, civil asset forfeiture is a way for the police to profit from their law enforcement duties and to bypass the constitutional guarantee that no one should be deprived of their property without due process of the law. Under the new civil asset forfeiture rules, the police can only confiscate property after the owner has been convicted of a crime, or if the property is worth more than $50,000.

Michigan Will No Longer Consider 17 Year Olds as Adults

Michigan was one of a handful of states whose criminal justice systems consider 17-year-old children as adults. Thousands of children each year were subject to the harsh consequences of prosecution in adult courts, facing criminal strict penalties instead of rehabilitation or treatment. But now, Michigan has decided to shield children from the adult criminal justice system except in the most serious of cases, such as murder and rape.

This change won’t go into effect immediately. Until October 2021,17-year-olds may still be charged as adults for most crimes. Another, related change will prohibit the detention of minors alongside adult offenders. In situations where minors and adults are detained within the same facility, the minors will need to be physically separated from older inmates.

Michigan Gives the Green Light to Sports Betting, But Clamps Down in Vaping

Gambling may be a legal industry in Michigan, but one of its most lucrative sectors, sports betting, has long been prohibited. But now, gambling on the outcome of sporting events is legal. The only problem is that casinos still need to obtain state permits, and regulators have not yet started accepting applications. The reforms also loosened restrictions on online gambling, whether it’s sports betting or poker.

Michigan just closed a legal loophole that allowed the sale of electronic cigarettes containing nicotine to minors. The use of electronic cigarettes–or vaping–by minors is now a punishable offense too. This change is largely symbolic, however, since federal law already prohibits the sale and use of electronic cigarettes to minors. Michigan also tried to ban the sale of vaping products to adults, but the proposed rules were blocked by the courts.

Call a Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Today

When you get charged with a crime, the outcome of your case depends in large part on how quickly you retain a lawyer. By acting fast and getting legal representation, you are ensuring that your rights will be protected as you pass through the criminal justice system. To learn more about the possible defenses that could apply to your case, call Davis Law Group today at (313) 818-3238 for a free consultation.