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CRIMINAL LAW 9: Traffic stop reasonable for illegally tinted driver’s window.

In this case, while on patrol, Michigan State Police Trooper observed defendant’s vehicle and believed that it may have had illegally tinted driver’s side windows. Trooper testified that he also could hear the vehicle’s exhaust system through his closed vehicle window, and noticed that the exhaust system was louder when the car accelerated, leading Trooper to believe that the exhaust system may have been defective. He decided to pull the vehicle over because he believed that the vehicle’s front-window tint and loud exhaust system were possible traffic violations.

Trooper indicated that, after he pulled the vehicle over, he became suspicious that defendant was intoxicated. Defendant refused field sobriety tests, and Trooper eventually transported defendant to the hospital for a blood alcohol test.

Defendant’s blood alcohol count was tested at .192 grams of alcohol per 100 milliliters of blood, far in excess of the BAC required for an OUIL conviction. Another officer found an open and partially-consumed bottle of whiskey in defendant’s vehicle before its impoundment.

Defendant moved to suppress evidence gathered from Trooper’s stop, and the subsequent search, of his vehicle, arguing that when Trooper stopped defendant’s vehicle, he lacked a reasonable suspicion that a crime had been committed. Defendant testified and admitted that his driver’s license was suspended; however, he stated that after he had pulled over in response to Trooper’s lights and siren, he exited the car, opened the bottle of whiskey, and drank half of it. Defendant thus denied being guilty of either OUIL or possessing an open container of alcohol in a vehicle.

Trooper reported that he had observed that defendant’s front driver’s side window was tinted, in possible violation of traffic ordinances, when defendant first drove by him and then, following the stop, when he approached while defendant was sitting in the vehicle. Trooper also noted that, when he was following defendant, the exhaust system on defendant’s vehicle was so loud that he could hear it with his windows closed, raising the possibility that defendant was violating a traffic ordinance regarding the state of his exhaust system.  Because Trooper believed that he had observed an illegally tinted front driver’s window as defendant drove by, it was reasonable for Trooper to suspect that defendant may have been violating a traffic ordinance.

The trial court sentenced defendant as a fourth-offense habitual offender to a term of 3 to 20 years imprisonment for the OUIL III conviction, 12 months in jail for driving with a suspended license, and 90 days in jail for possessing an open container of alcohol in a vehicle, with credit for 213 days served.

MCL 257.709(1)(a) provides that a person shall not operate a motor vehicle with [a] sign, poster, nontransparent material, window application, reflective film, or nonreflective film upon or in the front windshield, the side windows immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger, or the sidewings adjacent to and forward of the driver or front passenger, except that a tinted film may be used along the top edge of the windshield and the side windows or sidewings immediately adjacent to the driver or front passenger if the material does not extend more than 4 inches from the top of the windshield, or lower than the shade band, whichever is closer to the top of the windshield.

There is no denying that Michigan has harsh punishments for drinking and driving; jail, probation and license suspension are all possible. Retaining a skilled and experienced criminal defense attorney who is committed to protecting your rights as soon as you are charged is essential. We will look into the details of your charges and determine if police violated your rights.

Aldrich Legal Services serves clients throughout southeast Michigan, including in Wayne County, Washtenaw County and Oakland County, who are facing traffic-related charges. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced lawyer.

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PROBATE 42: Dissolution of professional corporation.

This case involves the estate of a doctor whose professional corporation also had to be dissolved upon his death. The personal representative of the estate sold the company’s assets but did not pay off the company’s debts before transferring the proceeds to the estate and distributing them to the heirs.

REAL ESTATE 73: Quiet title action.

This case involves a dispute over real property located in Michigan. W and V who are D’s parents, acquired the property. In 1999, W and V conveyed the property to the Trust, to which W is the sole trustee, via a quit claim deed. At some point...

How Is Alimony Determined In A Michigan Divorce?

Originally posted on 06/22/2018. When filing for divorce in Michigan, you may seek alimony, spousal support, from their spouse whenever they require financial aid. A judge may order your spouse to pay certain alimony. However, it depends...

Is My Conviction Eligible for Expungement?

Originally posted on 10/11/2019. At one point or another, we have all made mistakes. For some people, those mistakes involved breaking the law. Convictions have a large impact on someone’s life. Beyond the sentencing ranging from...

PROBATE 45: The court held that the probate court did not err by granting summary disposition for Plaintiff, or by denying Defendant’s request for an extension of the discovery period, adjournment of mediation, and issuance of subpoenas and by dismi

This case arises out of competing petitions for probate. On November 19, 2018, Defendant initiated this case by filing a petition for probate, attaching Decedent’s death certificate and purported last will and testament, dated March 9, 2007,...

DIVORCE 57: Holding that the trial court’s factual findings were not supported by the record evidence, and thus could not stand, the court reversed, vacated the portion of the Amended Default JOD ordering defendant to pay $3,325 to plaintiff, and re

Plaintiff first testified that she and defendant purchased the marital home in 1995. At the time the first default judgment of divorce was entered in September 2017, plaintiff had the home appraised. The value of the home was determined to be...

FAMILY LAW 68: The court held that the satisfaction of the statute relating to the termination of parental rights does not necessarily provide clear and convincing evidence in a parenting time dispute that a child will be harmed by reintroduction to

In a separate case, defendant’s parents filed a petition to terminate plaintiff’s parental rights and adopt RM on the ground that plaintiff had been absent from RM’s life for over three years. One month before the petition was...

FAMILY LAW 66: The court affirmed the trial court’s retroactive child support modification as to the second credit to which plaintiff-mother admitted at the referee hearing, and reversed and remanded as to the trial court’s equitable abatement of th

The parties have two children in common, and both children are now adults. The parties were never married, but plaintiff was granted custody and defendant was ordered to pay child support. After the youngest child turned eighteen, defendant sought a...

FAMILY LAW 65: The court held that because the ECE was not altered by the change of school districts, the referee properly applied the preponderance of the evidence standard when reviewing the best interest and parenting time factors.

BASIC FACTS The parties divorced in 2018. Their judgment of divorce provided that plaintiff would have primary physical custody and that the parties would have joint legal custody of the two minor children. The judgment of divorce stated that the...

FAMILY LAW 64: The court reversed the trial court’s order granting joint physical and legal custody of the parties’ children to defendant-father, concluding that the trial court improperly conflated his motion to change custody with plaintiff-mother

The parties divorced in 2013. The judgment of divorce granted mother sole physical and legal custody and ordered that the child’s domicile would remain in Michigan. In 2015, the trial court granted mother’s motion to change domicile,...

5 Common Misdemeanors Affecting People in Michigan

Originally posted on 11/08/2019 There are many different levels of crime and the consequences once someone has been charged with them. One bracket of crimes is known as a misdemeanor. Let’s go over this level of crime and some common...

PROBATE 44: The court held that the probate court did not err by declaring a will executed by the decedent invalid on the basis that she lacked testamentary capacity to execute it and that it was the product of petitioner’s undue influence.

Defendant and Decedent met in August 2017. In approximately November 2017, Decedent began talking constantly about wanting Defendant to take her to see an attorney for the purpose of changing her will. On March 19, 2018, Defendant filed a petition...

Michigan Expungement Law Updates For 2021

There has been a new law regarding expungements for the state of Michigan.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed legislation that expands the criteria for expungements related to traffic offenses, marijuana convictions, and minor...

Wills and Trusts

Originally posted on: 02/14/2014 Aldrich Legal Service provides legal advice and representation for residents in Plymouth, Ann Arbor, and Southeast Michigan. We also review recent legal cases to examine what took place and what we can...

REAL ESTATE 68: Holding that plaintiffs-buyers’ allegations of fraud in this case arising from the sale of a residence did not preclude the trial court from granting defendants’ motion for summary disposition based on a release, the court affirmed.

This cause of action arises from plaintiffs’ purchase of a residence from defendant, who had rights in the house under a land contract from co-defendant, the legal owner of the house. Before the house was for sale, in January 2018, an upstairs...

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