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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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

It is every new parent or babysitters worst nightmare – an infant goes to the hospital, with seizures or labored breathing. Then everyone at hospital starts to treat your differently, and pretty soon it is obvious that the doctors, nurses, social workers, and police think you hurt the child. You hear the term shaken baby syndrome for the first time, or maybe the new one: abusive head trauma. They have pre-judged you guilty, and expect you to prove your innocence. The Mayo Clinic describes “shaken baby syndrome” (SBS) — more…Read More

The Sixth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees every criminally accused the right to a trial by an impartial jury. Likewise, every state in the union, including Michigan, has a similar provision in their respective constitutions. No matter what state you are in—you have the right to a trial by jury. However, a troubling development has strengthened where the “collateral costs” of going to trial have forced the majority of defendants to engage in plea bargaining, even when they are innocent, and forego their Constitutional right to a trial…Read More

Have you been charged with “criminal sexual conduct”, the Michigan statutory term for rape or molestation? If so, then the psychological history of your accuser could go a long way towards determining the truthfulness of the allegations, and her true motivation for bringing the allegations of sexual assault. Certainly, women report instances of rape because they were in fact sexually assaulted. Unfortunately, the number of false allegations of sexual assault is huge – even the Department of Justice acknowledges that sexual assault is the most over reported crime, with false…Read More

Are the laws surrounding possession of child pornography draconian and over the top? Are the sentencing guidelines and the resulting sentences for possessing child pornography excessive? At least one federal judge may believe so. In a recent New York Times article ( , Judge Jack B. Weinstein of the United States District Court in Brooklyn, New York (, explained his reasoning. While he obviously does not approve of child pornography, he believes that defendants accused of mere possession, as opposed to those who produce and distribute the offensive material, are…Read More

The Sixth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees every person accused of a crime the right to “confront” and cross examine the witnesses against him in court. The United States Supreme Court has emphasized over the years that except in the most extreme circumstances, this guarantee requires face to face confrontation in an open courtroom. However, when it comes to allegations of sexual assault against minors, trial courts will frequently try to take shortcuts; and in one recent case, a majority of the Michigan Supreme Court turned a blind…Read More

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