Satawa Law recently has won another Title IX hearing, as the office for title 9 and institutional equity at University in Western Michigan “unanimously determined that the preponderance of evidence does not support a finding that the responded engaged in sexual assault or sexual harassment.”Read More

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We have previously reviewed how cases are commenced in federal court and discussed the unique laws particular to many of the common federal crimes. Today, we will begin a series of blogs focused on the sentencing process in federal court. Specifically, this blog examines the basics of the United States Sentencing Guidelines or “USSG”. Later blogs will address nuances created within the USSG as it relates to certain offenses, crimes, and criminal histories. This blog will first look at the history and evolution of the USSG, before explaining the mechanics…Read More

I am not an angry person, but my wife and I got into an argument. Now I am facing a charge of Domestic Violence. Will I get any jail time? The numbers related to domestic violence are at an epidemic level. The Michigan State Police report over 91,000 cases of domestic violence in 2017. https://www.michigan.gov/msp/0,4643,7-123-1878_1711-10257--,00.html. This had led to a political climate where increasing penalties for Domestic Violence have continued to grow. Defendants face the prosect of going to prison for even a misdemeanor DV charge, This hysteria can be…Read More

I was arrested for child abuse; what punishment will I receive? Every defendant in every situation must ask this question. In the case of child abuse, there are several penalties a person might face, including jail or prison time. In this blog, I will address your question more fully. I will look at the statutory penalties within the child abuse statute, and concentrate on the effect the Michigan Sentencing Guidelines may bring to your situation in calculating your minimum sentence. Child Abuse 1st Degree [MCL 750.136b(2)]. A person is guilty…Read More

I was arrested for drunk driving. Is this a felony? Will I go to jail? These are essential questions to have answered as you evaluate your defense. In most cases, a defendant’s first drunk driving case will be a misdemeanor, which means a maximum sentence of less than a year in jail – most typically less than 93 days. However, if the defendant has a total of three drunk driving convictions in his lifetime, or even if it is a first offense and causes serious injury or death to a…Read More

I have been charged with a sex crime that is not CSC 1st Degree, are my changes better at avoiding prison? Most of the time, the answer is usually “yes”. In 2019, the State of Michigan reported a total of 10,782 sexual assaults resulting in criminal convictions. https://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/2019_Crime_in_Michigan_Report. Of that number, less than half involve the most serious charge of Criminal Sexual Conduct 1st Degree. This means that CSC 2nd, CSC 3rd, and CSC 4th make up the rest of the sexual assault convictions in Michigan. As we saw with…Read More

I have been charged with sexual assault; will I go to prison? This is a difficult question to answer and varies based on a number of circumstances. In Michigan, a sex crime, which historically was known as rape, is called “Criminal Sexual Conduct.” CSCs are divided into four different levels based on the severity of conduct by the defendant. As you might expect, the more egregious the defendant's alleged actions are, the higher the criminal charge and likely the more time in prison. The most serious is CSC 1st Degree…Read More

If a peace officer has reasonable grounds to believe that a person has committed a drunk driving offense as described in MCL 257.625c(1), the officer must request a chemical test. MCL 257.625a(6)(d). Generally, a police officer will develop reasonable cause through the administration of Standardized Field Sobriety Tests (SFSTs), which was discussed in my previous blog. In this blog I will focus on the legal issues involving the battery of SFSTs approved for use by law enforcement by the NHTSA. The Vehicle Code’s Standardized Field Sobriety Test Provisions: The Vehicle…Read More

Generally, a police officer in a roadside stop investigating a suspected drunk driver will develop probable cause to arrest through the administration of standardized field sobriety tests (SFSTs). SFSTs are a battery of three tests developed by the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), a division of the United States Department of Transportation. NHTSA SFSTs are designed to be used by officer’s during a roadside stop to assist the officer in determining if a driver is exhibiting signs of being under the influence of alcohol. If the driver fails the…Read More

More people are convicted on their own words, than on fingerprints or DNA. Federal Rule of Evidence 801 and Michigan Rule of Evidence 801 provide that a party (the prosecution) can introduce the out of court words of the opposing party (you), by having someone testify to what they claim they heard you say. Such testimony may be given by a police officer, detective, or any other person. Using such testimony against you does not violate rules against introducing hearsay evidence. While some statements elicited by police or agents can…Read More

While every case is different, we have developed a 10 step approach to winning that gets results, and most (sometimes not all) of these steps will be used in your case. ADDRESS CLIENT’S IMMEDIATE NEEDS Seek release with favorable bond amounts and conditions Contact people designated by client and provide such information as the client wishes to release Determine whether the client needs an interpreter Determine if the client is a US citizen or has immigration concerns Determine if the client has health or safety needs that are not being…Read More

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