Posts Tagged ‘misdemeanor’

Why Does the Public Have a Negative Opinion of Lawyers?

February 11, 2011 1 comment

Without a doubt, I’m sure that you have heard jokes about lawyers. You may even have a few of your own. My question is why do people have such a negative opinion of lawyers?

Since I’ve become an attorney, I have listened to the horror stories of several disgruntled individuals who have fired their lawyer and needed someone else to handle their case. While I haven’t kept track of their complaints, there were a few common threads that stuck with me:

  1. Poor Communication. By far the biggest complaint that I have heard from people is that their lawyer did not return their phone calls.
  2. They Charged Me Too Much Money.
  3. They Didn’t “Fight” For Me.

Please comment with your thoughts on this topic.

Teen arrested after shining laser in pilot’s eyes –

February 9, 2011 1 comment

Teen arrested after shining laser in pilot’s eyes –

As reported in the article, there were more than 100 cases of laser pointers being shined in cockpits around LAX in 2010. At this time, Michigan does not have a statute that criminalizes this behavior. However, in 1998 the City of Dearborn enacted an ordinance making it a misdemeanor to harass someone with a laser pointer.

A bill, “Securing Aircraft Cockpits Against Lasers Act,” has been introduced four times in the U.S. Congress, however has yet to be enacted. If enacted, it would make it a federal crime to shine a laser pointer into the cockpit of an airplane, punishable by up to 5 years in federal prison and a fine.

Man faces misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty after his dog kills young raccoon that caused some damage to garage |

February 9, 2011 2 comments

Man faces misdemeanor charge of animal cruelty after his dog kills young raccoon that caused some damage to garage |

While I disagree with the intentional killing of any animal, it appears as if the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office is setting a confusing precedent by choosing to charge this man with animal cruelty. MCL 750.50b defines an animal as any animal having a vertebrae, other than a human being. Obviously, a racoon is an animal with a vertabrae, however, a mouse is also a vertabrate.

So if we travel back in time, my mom engaged in criminal behavior when she used mouse traps to decrease the mouse population in our old farmhouse and my dad was a misdemeanant when he furthered his crusade against the woodchucks that would destroy our yard. However, was it likely that the Gratiot County Prosecutor would have charged my parents with a crime? No, because no self-respecting prosecutor would have charged my parents with killing a mouse or a woodchuck because these animals are pests and can potentially cause damage.

While this isn’t the type of behavior we want to encourage, is this really criminal behavior? In my opinion, the statute should include a distinction between domesticated and wild animals. If the statute is applied as written, without any distinction between domesticated and wild animals, it leads to absurd results – such as the possible prosecution of my parents in the example above and the Jackson County case.

So why is the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office bothering with this? What are your thoughts on this issue?