DUIs Cost More Than Money

Detroit DUI Lawyer

According to the National Highway Traffic Control Safety Administration (NHTSA), “in 2017, 10,874 deaths were caused from drunk driving crashes.” And despite the fact that it’s illegal to drive in the US, Michigan included, with a BAC of .08% or higher, The Michigan State Police (MSP) says that, “tens of thousands of people are arrested annually in Michigan for alcohol-related driving offenses.” But if this large number of car accident deaths caused by drunk drivers doesn’t make them feel guilty enough to stop driving under the influence of alcohol, maybe the financial and legal punishments will.

Fighting the cost and consequences of a drunk driving conviction can be like fighting for the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones. The MSP discusses what they are.

Costs And Consequences Of A Drunk Driving Conviction

If BAC is below .17 and this is a first offense:

  • Up to $500 fine.

  • Up to 93 days in jail.

  • Up to 360 hours of community service.

  • Up to 180 days license suspension.

  • 6 points on a driver's license.

If BAC is .17 or higher and this is a first offense:

Detroit Drunk Driving Lawyer
  • Up to $700 fine.

  • Up to 180 days in jail.

  • Up to 360 hours of community service.

  • Up to one year license suspension.

  • 6 points on a driver's license.

  • Mandatory completion of an alcohol treatment program.

  • Ignition interlock use and compliance after 45 days license suspension is required to receive a restricted driver's license. Convicted drunk drivers have limited driving privileges, are prohibited from operating a vehicle without an approved and properly installed ignition interlock device, and are responsible for all installation and upkeep costs for the device.

Jay-walking may lead to a slap on the wrist and littering may lead to a small fine, but drunk driving can ruin lives. The irony is that drunk driving car crashes are 100% avoidable. Car accidents happen all the time. Drivers can’t 100% stop their cars from slipping on black ice or crashing into a deer that came out of nowhere. But, avoiding drunk driving car crashes is as simple as not driving after drinking alcohol.


Drunk drivers put the lives of everyone on the road at risk when they make the dangerous decision to get behind the wheel after drinking. DUI attorneys may be able to get the drunk driver out of trouble, but the guilt of causing avoidable injuries to innocent people can never be erased. The drunk driving car crash attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC help drunk driving victims seek justice for their injuries. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

CBD Is Legal In Michigan!

A new law will keep CBD oil from being regulated under Michigan’s Medical Marijuana Laws.

Detroit Marijuana Lawyer

If residents of Michigan don’t already know, the recreational use of marijuana was legalized a few months ago! While there still some kinks to work out in the law, The Michigan Law Firm, PC’s blog discussed these new Michigan recreational marijuana laws.

With the interest in marijuana growing every day, many consumers are becoming more curious about what is and isn’t marijuana and the various forms it comes in. These include cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two natural compounds found in plants for the Cannabis genus. CBD is found in extractions from the hemp plant and is non-intoxicating while THC is the psychoactive compound that gives users the high sensation.

On December 28, 2018, Public Act 642, which clarifies that CBD oil and other products extracted from hemp fall under the scope of industrial hemp, not marijuana, was passed into law. Rep. Steven Johnson who sponsored the legislation stated, “CBD oil derived from hemp doesn’t get you high...It contains no more than 0.3 percent Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs decided last summer to start classifying it the same way they do marijuana, which contains 5 to 35 percent THC.”

The Detroit Free Press informs readers that in a few weeks, effective March 28, 2019, CBD oils will be able to be used by Michiganders recreationally and buyers will not require a medical marijuana card! Now that they can buy it, people may be wondering what they can do with CBD. Well, CBD has recently found its way into many products such as pills, creams, oils, edibles, and even drinks. CBD oils are also commonly used by individuals for health benefits and pain relief. According to Medical News Today, “people take or apply CBD to treat a variety of symptoms,” including, reducing inflammation, preventing acne, and as an antidepressant. Ale Mary’s in Royal Oak, Michigan even served a CBD drink on the menu last month.

Detroit Weed Lawyer

However, just because CBD doesn’t cause people to get high, doesn’t mean it can’t harm people in other ways. Major health agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), have stated that additional CBD testing and research is necessary. CBD might counteract or negatively react to certain medications or some people might just be allergic to it! A study conducted by the National Library of Medicine National Institute of Health (NCBI) published a study detailing the side effects of CBD oils. Some of these side effects include tiredness, diarrhea, and changes in appetite, and weight. Another study published by NCBI states that, “Without independent testing (e.g. USP certification) of CBD products for content and purity, as well as bioavailability testing of specific products, uncertainty surrounds the use of available CBD products in routine clinical settings.”

So, people should talk to their doctor or do some research before ordering that CBD drink on the bar menu or buying the CBD lotion on display at Sephora!


Hit Backspace On Bullying

Michigan Cyberbullying Lawyer

Many know the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” That’s not the case in the 21st century. With the rise of technology came social media platforms where young teens, and even adults propel words at victims to cause them pain just as powerful as a punch to the stomach can. “You’re stupid,” “you’re dumb,” “get a life loser!” “UGLY!” are just a few tame examples of how hurtful a cyberbully can be in the comments section of many YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook posts.

Some people may be wondering what the differences are between traditional bullying and cyberbullying. Cyberbullying occurs when insults are directed at a victim through a virtual screen. As defined by stopbullying.gov, cyberbullying is, “bullying that takes place over digital devices like cell phones, computers, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur through SMS, Text, and apps, or online in social media, forums, or gaming where people can view, participate in, or share content. Cyberbullying includes sending, posting, or sharing negative, harmful, false, or mean content about someone else. It can include sharing personal or private information about someone else causing embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into unlawful or criminal behavior.” Traditional bullying involves face to face insults and physical harm. Stopbullying.com further breaks down the differences between cyberbullying and traditional bullying.

Differences Between

Cyberbullying and Traditional Bullying

  • Anonymity: While victims usually know who their bully is, online bullies may be able to hide their identities online. The anonymity of the internet can lead to crueler or harsher abuses from the bully, all while the victim has no means of discovering who his or her harasser is.

  • Relentless: Bullying typically ends once the victim is removed from the negative social situation. However, smartphones, laptops, and other devices have made it possible for people to communicate with each other at all hours and from nearly any location. Cyberbullies may be able to torment their victim twenty-four hours per day, seven days per week, making it difficult for the victim to escape it by going home or even changing schools.

  • Public: With traditional bullying, often only people that interact with those involved will know of the abuse. However, when content is posted or shared online, it’s possible that anyone may see it. This opens up the victim to more potential ridicule or pain from strangers. This is compounded by the anonymity afforded by virtual spaces: while bullying in person may be done covertly or out of view to avoid punishment, cyberbullies need not fear being witnessed in the act if their identities are not known.

  • Permanent: Because online content is impossible to delete entirely, cyberbullying may damage the victim’s, or possibly the bully’s, reputation permanently. Even if the content is removed or deleted from the original site, someone may find it posted elsewhere later. This may negatively impact future employment, college admissions, or relationships for victim and bully alike.

  • Easy to Overlook: Cyberbullying may be harder for teachers, administrators, and parents to discover, because they may not have access to students’ online activities. They may not be able to overhear or see the abuse taking place. Unless someone comes forward, parents and teachers may never know that bullying is taking place.

Detroit Cyberbullying Lawyer

The Michigan Law Firm, PC’s blog recently discussed how the effects of cyberbullying lead a young, 13-year-old girl, Zoe Johnson to commit suicide after a classmate tagged her name in a vulgar Facebook post. Unfortunately, while cyberbullying is on the rise, traditional bullying is still here too. On January 25, 2019 a 13-year-old, Michael Martin, took his own life after constant harassment and traditional bullying from kids at his school. Michael was constantly teased about his appearance and was even slammed against a wall in the school lunchroom, as reported by the Lansing State Journal.

Sticks, stones, and even words have major negative effects on the lives of people who are continuously being bullied. Under Michigan’s new cyberbullying law, perpetrators of cyberbullying will face major consequences for carrying out this harmful behavior. Bullying is bullying, whether its face to face or through the internet, and it’s always wrong.


Bullying hurts. Words should not cause such irreparable harm that a person chooses to end their life. Attorneys at The Michigan Law Firm, PC understand the emotional damage that traditional bullying and cyberbullying can have on a person, and happy to help cyberbullying victims find justice under the new cyberbullying law. Call us at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Move Over Or Face The Consequences

On February 12, 2019 a Michigan State Police trooper was hit not once, but twice while stopped on southbound I-75 as he was attending to a disabled vehicle. The officer reported he had his lights on and was stopped in the left and center lanes. The officer was taken to the hospital with neck and back pains, according to a report by MLive.

Accidents like this are why Michigan and several other states have the Move Over Law. The Move Over Law, “requires motorists to slow down and move over for stationary emergency vehicles with their lights activated.” However, the growing trend of stopped emergency vehicles getting hit by an oncoming driver in the next lane has clearly caused many collisions resulting in injuries and fatalities, which may be why Michigan has expanded the Move Over Law.

The expanded Move Over Law, which went into effect on February 13, 2019, protects emergency vehicles such as, police, fire, ambulance, rescue, road service, road maintenance, utility service, solid waste hauler, and tow trucks.

Expanded Move Over Law

  • When approaching a stationary emergency vehicle with its emergency lights activated, carefully slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit and fully move over into an open lane.

  • If this is not possible due to traffic, weather, or road conditions, slow down to at least 10 mph below the posted speed limit, and pass with caution allowing the emergency vehicle as much space as possible.

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

Drivers who fail to move over or slow down for stopped emergency vehicles could end up with 2 points on their driver’s license and a fine of $400, according to the new law. Also, “a driver could face felony charges and face up to 15 years in prison and/or a $7,500 fine if the violation causes death to a police officer, firefighter, or other emergency response personnel.”

For the safety of everyone on the road, drivers should move over when they see a stationary emergency vehicle with its lights on. Why pay fines and risk points on a license, when obeying the law is as simple as changing lanes?!


Changing lanes can be a lot like playing a game of chess; drivers must consider all of the pieces, or in this case, other vehicles in play. One missed blind spot or emergency vehicle and it could be checkmate and a car crash can occur. And remember, in the real world, there are no pawns to sacrifice on the road; every piece is a queen. The Michigan Law Firm, PC represents victims who have been injured in serious car crashes. Call us at 844.4MI.Firm for a free legal consultation with a Michigan accident attorney.

(Legally) Get High But Don't Drive

Michigan Marijuana Lawyer

On November 8, 2018, Michiganders made some sweeping changes in the Great Lakes state when they went out to the polling stations. Democrat Gretchen Whitmer was elected Governor, hourly minimum wage was increased from $10 in 2019 to $12 in 2022, and legislative district lines will be re-drawn! Also, an awesome number of women were elected to the US Senate, US House, Michigan Supreme Court, Michigan House of Representatives, and for the first time in Michigan history, all of the top Michigan offices of Governor, Secretary of State, and Attorney General!

Perhaps the most controversial and astonishing result of this election was the victory of Proposal 1, the legalization of marijuana, with a 56% - 44% margin! As such, Michigan became the first state in the Midwest to legalize marijuana. But before people start to search Google Maps for the nearest hydroponic shop or post pictures of themselves lighting up on Facebook or Instagram, they should know that it may be a few years until they can commercially grow or purchase marijuana. While smoking marijuana is now legal, residents likely won’t be able to legally buy recreational marijuana until early 2020.

It should be clarified however, that Michigan legalized medical marijuana in 2008, so the proposal that just passed governs, “the personal possession and use of marijuana by persons 21 years of age or older.” So, what does adult recreational use of marijuana entail? Well, The Detroit Free Press discusses the new Michigan recreational marijuana laws.

Michigan’s Recreational Marijuana Laws

  • Allow individuals age 21 and older to purchase, possess and use marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles and grow up to 12 marijuana plants for personal consumption.

  • Impose a 10-ounce limit for marijuana kept at residences and require that amounts over 2.5 ounces be secured in locked containers.

  • Create a state licensing system for marijuana businesses, including growers, processors, transporters and retailers.

  • Allow municipalities to ban or restrict marijuana businesses.

  • Permit commercial sales of marijuana and marijuana-infused edibles through state-licensed retailers, subject to a new 10-percent tax earmarked for schools, road and municipalities where marijuana businesses are located.

While many are celebrating this new legislation, Michigan becoming the 10th state to legalize recreational marijuana may have negative consequences. Marijuana legalization may result in increased crime, abuse of the substance, and even more car accidents. A study conducted by the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) found that legal recreational marijuana sales in Colorado, Washington, and Oregon, which have legalized recreational marijuana, were associated with a 6% increase in collision claims compared with 5 neighboring states that did not legalize the drug. According to the study, “marijuana dulls the perceptual and cognitive abilities required for safely operating a motor vehicle.” Also, “results from simulator studies suggest that consuming marijuana increases lane weaving behavior and interferes with drivers’ ability to maintain a constant headway.”

Michigan has already been seeing some marijuana car crashes. On January 20, 2019, a driver under the influence of marijuana crashed into a parked Michigan State Police trooper who was responding to an accident on I-75. According to a local report, the 26-year-old man was arrested for driving under the influence of marijuana and was taken to the hospital for a blood test. The driver admitted to driving under the influence of marijuana and was issued a DWI.

With new laws come new responsibilities. Michigan drivers should know that the legalization of recreational marijuana doesn’t mean they can get high and drive. Most people know better than to drive under the influence of alcohol, so since marijuana is a psychoactive drug, they should know better than to drive under the influence of marijuana. Driving while impaired under the influence of any drug can cause car accidents! In fact, other states that have legalized marijuana have seen an increase in the number of marijuana car accidents, so there may be an increase in Michigan marijuana car accidents soon. And instead of calling a lawyer to get them off of a drug charge, Michigan marijuana smokers may soon be seeking marijuana car crash legal representation.


People typically don’t call attorneys for good reasons. Being hit by a driver under the influence of marijuana, or worse, being the impaired driver who causes a car accident, is a terrible circumstance in which to call a lawyer. The Michigan Law Firm, PC recognizes that calling a lawyer and dealing with a marijuana car accident case can be a tough process. Our attorneys are experienced in dealing with all types of car crash cases and help clients make the legal process as easy as possible. For a free legal consultation with a Michigan marijuana lawyer, call us at 844.4MI.Firm.

Cyberbullying Is Now A Crime In Michigan

On July 6, 2015, 13-year-old Zoe Johnson committed suicide a day after classmates tagged her name was tagged on a Facebook post reading, “tag a b**h you don’t like.” Zoe had just finished the seventh grade and was a member of the cheer team. According to her mother, Rebecca Abbott, Zoe had been experiencing bullying for many years and therefore suffered from mild depression. Towards the end of the school year, the bullying may have reached an all-time high, leading Zoe to her breaking point, Even after Zoe’s death, kids continued to post on the Facebook page, with one even writing, "good ur gone."

Michigan Cyberbully Lawyer

On December 27, 2018, former Governor Rick Snyder signed a bill, sponsored by Rep. Pete Lucido R-Shelby Township, into Michigan law that makes cyberbullying a misdemeanor crime. Going in effect in March 2019, Public Act 457 of 2018 mentions that cyberbullying includes posting a message or statement in a public media forum about any other person if both the following apply:

  • The message or statement is intended to place a person in fear of bodily harm or death and expresses an intent to commit violence against the person.

  • The message or statement is posted with the intent to communicate a threat or with knowledge that it will be.

The law defines cyberbullying as a “misdemeanor punishable by 93 days’ imprisonment and a fine of up to $500.” Repeat offenders could face a 1 year sentence, and fines up to $1,000. Individuals involved in a “pattern of harassing or intimidating behavior causing serious injury to the victim” are guilty of a crime punishable up to 5 years and, or a fine up to $5,000. If the online harassment is found to cause death, the violator is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.   

Governor Snyder stated, “Cyberbullying can cause just as much trauma as traditional bullying so it's important that it be considered a crime… With this bill, we are sending a message that bullying of any kind is not tolerated in Michigan.”


Hopefully now that cyberbullying is illegal in Michigan, fewer people will engage in this harmful behavior. They say that the pen is mightier than the sword, but in the case of cyberbullying, the keyboard can hurt people so deeply that they consider suicide as the only option to make the pain stop. The cyberbullies who inflict this pain on innocent victims deserve to be punished by the fullest extent of the law. The Michigan Law Firm, PC can now assist cyberbullying victims with obtaining pain and suffering compensation for cyberbullying in Michigan. Please call us at 844.4MI.FIRM. for a free legal consultation.

Happy Michigan Social Media Day!

Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and Youtube - These are just a few of the popular social media platforms being accessed by billions of people worldwide. According to Statista, there were 2.46 billion social media users in 2017, and that number is projected to grow over the course of the next few years. Statista estimates there will be 2.62 billion users this year, and over 3 billion by 2021. It’s clear that social media is here to stay!

Today, June 30th, is Global Social Media Day! It was officially declared a holiday nine years ago by the website Mashable. In 2012, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder joined in on the celebration, and released a proclamation to recognize Social Media Day in Michigan. For each of the following years, excluding 2016, the State of Michigan has commemorated this holiday, and according to Michigan.gov, the trend continues for 2018. Per the Michigan.gov Social Media Policy, “The state of Michigan encourages the use of social media, social networking sites and emerging web tools to enhance transparency, communication, customer service, collaboration and information exchange among the State of Michigan and the public.”

While social media is used 365 days of the year, June 30th specifically recognizes and celebrates the positive impact social media has on user’s daily lives. The wide variety of platforms allow for more communication with friends and loved ones, both in Michigan and all over the world. Additionally, social media accounts give residents the opportunity to easily interact with government officials and departments. If Michigan residents have a question, they may get a timely answer if they ask their question via a platform such as Twitter. For example, Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack is active on twitter, and regularly replies to tweets.

 

The State of Michigan is very active online, with over 450 accounts amassing over 5 million followers! In 2012, the Center for Digital Government awarded Michigan with an “A” rating, based upon, “social media implantation, ROI, innovation, creativity and collaboration,” according to StateTech. One prominent State of Michigan account, The Michigan Supreme Court (@MISupremeCourt), recently tweeted the news of #SMDayMI. Michigan’s highest court is active on several platforms including Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. In April, to spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving, the Michigan Supreme Court sent out a tweet about Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Michigan Law Firm added to the conversation, and retweeted the Supreme Court’s tweet. Social media allows the Michigan Supreme Court to use their influence to highlight important topics, and help people stay informed.

Social media is not only easy to use and cost effective, but it also provides the latest, up to date information to its followers and the general public. In the case of Michigan’s government departments and agencies, this means Michiganders are informed of everything going in the state, including important information such as laws that are passed, details concerning local events, reminders of the multitude of resources available to residents, as well as closures and construction projects to name a few.

It’s not all serious, however. There is plenty of fun content for followers to enjoy! For example, the Michigan Supreme Court released a tweet two days ago about “Cops and Cones,” an event held recently in Holland Township. The local Sheriff's office treated kids 12 and under with free ice cream! It’s a simple story, but one that spreads positivity and puts a smile on your face!

While social media may have its downfalls, it has undeniably been a powerful tool in the 21st century, leveraged by both the public as well as the government. As stated by Governor Snyder, “The ever-expanding exchange of information allowed by social media is an important factor in our mission to create a more people-focused government.” Social media allows everyone to join in on the conversation and connect like never before. These platforms provide information the public needs to be well informed and create positive change. To celebrate Michigan Social Media Day today, use the hashtag #SMDay and #SMDayMI on your social media platforms!


The warning, “don’t text and drive” cannot be reiterated enough. However, In the age of social media, distracted driving can involve much more than just texting. Popular platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram can be informative and entertaining, but they can also be incredibly distracting when behind the wheel. Distracted drivers put themselves, as well as others on the road, at risk of serious injuries from distracted driving car accidents. Drivers should keep their phones out of sight so their attention can be fully maintained on the road. If you or someone you know has been involved in a distracted driving automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC to speak to an experienced car accident attorney. For a free legal consultation, dial 844.4MI.FIRM.

What To Do If Your Dog Bites Someone!

Detroit Dog Bite Lawyer

Raising a dog is an amazing experience! Despite the fact that a pet is an entirely different species, many people grow just as attached to a dog as they would a person. People talk to dogs like humans, care for dogs like children, and love them with all their hearts. A pet isn’t just an animal, it becomes a part of the family. Despite dogs being thoroughly domesticated and their usually lovable natures however, dogs have still maintained their predatory instincts and it’s important to be cautious when interacting with these animals. That's why April 8-14th this year is Dog Bite Prevention Week! As we previously mentioned in other Dog Bite Prevention Week articles this past week, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) recommends that people do not approach a dog that is acting oddly, or aggressively, or the person might risk receiving a dog bite injury.

A dog can’t be held completely responsible for its behavior in attacking, but dog owners are responsible for their pet and their pet’s actions toward those it comes in contact with. So to not be blamed for their dog biting someone, tearing up the lawn next door, or starting a neighborhood dog fight club, the AVMA recommends that pet owners train their dog to prevent it from acting out, which could lead to dog bite injuries. Even basic commands like “sit” and “come” help dogs understand what’s expected from them and can help avoid possible dog attack situations. Also, remembering to keep dogs on a leash while in public, ensures the safety of the dog, prevents it from running away, and is a comforting measure to people who may feel uncomfortable around dogs. It should also be noted that it is illegal in the State of Michigan to have an unleashed dog in public.

However, even a well-trained dog can be set off by a person’s actions and decide to bite them, in self defense. In dog attack situations, responsible dog owners should be aware of the following information provided by the AVMA


What Do I Do If My Dog Bites Someone?


Dog bites are scary for everyone involved – the person who has been bitten, the dog owner and even the dog. If your dog happens to bite someone, remember that you are responsible to help the person who has been bitten and to remove your dog from the situation. What should you do if the unfortunate happens?

Detroit Dog Bite Injury Lawyer
  • Restrain your dog immediately.
  • Separate your dog from the scene of the bite.
  • Try to confine your dog in a safe place.
  • Check on the bite victim’s condition.
  • Make sure that the wounds are washed with soap and water.
  • Encourage the bite victim to seek professional medical advice to check on the seriousness of the wound and the risk of rabies or other infections.
  • Call 911 if a response by paramedics is needed.
  • Provide important information.
  • Give the bite victim – or others who are with the person at the time of the incident – your name, address and phone number, as well as information about your dog’s most recent rabies vaccination.
  • Obey local rules and laws regarding reporting of dog bites.
  • Talk to your veterinarian for advice about dog behavior that will help prevent similar incidents in the future.

Before approaching any dog, even one with its owner, the AVMA recommends that people pay attention to the behavior of a dog before engaging and to ask the owner before petting their pooch. The dog may not be friendly towards strangers or might be in distress and see the person as a threat, which could leave the well-intentioned dog lover with a dog bite and a trip to the ER. After all, dog bite injuries are serious injuries. 1 in 5 people bitten by a dog require medical attention. 

The bond between man and dog is undeniable. People love dogs and many would feel lost without them. There are about 70 million dogs living in U.S. households, according to the AVMA, and such a large number shows how much people value dogs in the U.S. today. However, it’s always better to be safe than sorry with so many dogs around, so it’s important to be aware of dog bite prevention tactics and what to do in the case of a dog bite injury. 


Dog bite injuries can occur unexpectedly. Any dog, stray or house pet, can cause a dog bite injury. Therefore, it’s important to take safety precautions before approaching a dog, and as the owner of a dog, to be vigilant of its actions. If you or someone you know has been the victim of a dog bite accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PC at 844.464.3476 for a free consultation with a dog bite attorney. Dog bites are painful but the medical bills they create can be equally agonizing. 
 

10 Year Old Takes Mom's Car for a Joyride

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

A kid stealing a car and speeding around town and on the highway may seem like something out of an action movie or a video game, but a very real joyride happened just south of the Michigan border last month. According to USA Today, on October 26, 2017, a 10-year old from northern Ohio lead police from multiple departments as well as state highway troopers on a high speed chase through his town and eventually onto the Ohio Turnpike in a stolen vehicle.

The boy had stolen his mom’s 2004 Toyota Avalon, and began driving it through his neighborhood in Westlake, Ohio. A police officer saw the boy go speeding by at around 9:30 AM, and was being chased by another vehicle that was driven by the boy’s mother. Police were also tipped off to the joyride by two 911 calls. One caller reported the vehicle swerving in and out of lanes and running other vehicles off the road. A second caller said the boy appeared to be traveling at speeds of 90 mph or higher.

Two other police vehicles began chasing the boy, following him for about 15 miles. They tried to stop him from entering the interstate, but failed. Once he entered the interstate, he drove through a toll both on the Ohio Turnpike, at which point 4 other police vehicles joined the chase. The police vehicles formed a moving road block, in order to the slow the boy down, who at the point was reaching speeds of 100 MPH. The chase on the interstate lasted about 20 miles, before the boy eventually pulled over into a grassy area. A police vehicle gently bumped up against the boy’s vehicle in order to prevent him from reentering the highway. Reportedly, police motioned to the boy to pull over several times, which he responded to by shaking his head no. Luckily, no was injured in the chase.

WKYC reported that once the boy finally pulled over, he was taken first to a hospital, and then placed in the custody of Erie County Children’s Services. The boy was reportedly very combative with police, kicking and spitting at officers once he had pulled over. Remarkably, this is the second time in only two weeks that he has taken one of his parent’s cars for a joyride. On October 16, 2017, he stole a Dodge Charger and lead police on a very similar chase. Currently, police are speaking with the Erie County Prosecutor’s Office about criminal charges.  

Michigan Car Accident Lawyer

The boy is not the only one who could be facing criminal charges. While laws vary by state, the boy’s parents could be held responsible for his actions to some degree. If this situation took place in Michigan, according to Michigan law, the parent only faces criminal charges if they were involved in a child’s “bad act,” or if they had knowledge the child was planning to commit a bad act. In 2003, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled “parents may be held liable for failing to exercise the control necessary to prevent their children from intentionally harming others if they know or have reason to know of the necessity and opportunity for doing so.” More so, parents of a child who commits a crime may have to pay for any damages they caused if they child is unable to pay for them.

Joyrides such as this one may sound far fetched, but they do need to be taken seriously. While statistics on underage kids taking cars for joyrides are unavailable, it only takes a quick Google search to know that they do happen, and that they can be extremely dangerous. Parents need to ensure that their car keys are never left out in the open for children to take, as well as make sure their kids know how dangerous it is for them to operate a car. It may sound like something that could never happen to you or your child, but cars are fancy, secretive objects that can be very appealing for a child to try and get their hands on. Once behind the wheel however, a child's lack of experience in driving, a lack of education in road rules, and shorter stature may lead to the child causing a car accident. 


A child speeding down the highway is never something a driver expects to see, much less knows how to respond to. Highways are dangerous enough for the most seasoned driver, and having a child driver only increases the risk of a car crash happening. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation. 

Michigan Horse-drawn Buggy Collision Kills 3

Grand Rapids Car Crash Lawyer

A horse-drawn buggy collision in central Michigan has killed three and injured several others. The Detroit Free Press reported that at 8:34 AM on Sunday, October 29, a pickup truck rear-ended a horse-drawn buggy that was carrying a family of nine in Montcalm County, Michigan. The buggy was traveling east on Condensery Road near Wood Road in Bushnell Township, Michigan when it was struck but a Dodge truck. The truck was driven by Brandon King, 29, from Sheridan, Michigan.

Three children traveling in the buggy suffered fatal injuries. A 7 year-old girl, a 9 year-old girl, and an 11 year-old boy were all pronounced dead at the scene. An 18 month-old girl, a 2 year-old boy, 3 year-old boy, and 8 year-old boy were all transported to Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The 18 month-old has since be released. The children’s parents, Paul Martin and Judith Martin were also injured, and were taken to Hurley Medical Center in Flint, Michigan and Spectrum Health Butterworth in Grand Rapids, Michigan, respectively. King was a wearing a seatbelt at the time of the truck accident and was not injured. Investigators have ruled out alcohol as a factor.

Under Michigan law, horse-drawn buggies are street legal and are considered traffic. However, there are no types of licensing laws when it comes to horse-drawn buggies, so they can be driven by a person of any age. Michigan legislature states that “a person riding an animal or driving an animal-drawn vehicle upon a roadway shall be granted all of the rights and shall be subject to all the duties, criminal penalties, and civil sanctions applicable to the driver of a vehicle.”

Michigan Horse Car Crash Lawyer

According to Mlive, horse-drawn buggies are considered “implements of husbandry”, which is any sort of vehicle use for farming or agricultural purposes. As such, they are required to display an orange safety triangle on the rear of the buggy, which indicates that they are a slow moving vehicle. They also must not obstruct traffic, meaning that if a large line of vehicles forms behind the buggy, it must pull of to the side of the road and let the vehicles pass. It is not until the person dismounts the buggy that they are considered a pedestrian, and the horse is considered an animal.

While seeing a horse-drawn buggy, or any other sort of “implements of husbandry” may be frustrating due to their slow moving speed, it’s crucial that automobile drivers remember that there are people riding in them, and that those people are at a bigger risk for injury should a motor vehicle collision happen as compared to the driver who is protected inside their metal vehicle. Passing and overtaking a buggy may seem like a quick fix drivers to get back up to the speed they want to be going, but buggies don’t operate the same way vehicles do, and it’s impossible to predict how a horse will react when a car goes flying by. No one likes to have to slow down, but under Michigan law, horse-drawn buggies have as much of a right to be on the road as any driver.


Driving on rural roads can present obstacles many drivers aren't used to, such as slow moving farm vehicles, sharp curves, and unpaved roads. It's important that drivers are extra cautious when traveling in a rural area, especially if it's something they don't do often. If you have been involved in an automobile accident, including a car crash in a rural area, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free legal consultation.

Drugged Driving Accidents Increase In Michigan

Michigan Drunk Driving Accident Lawyer

Now that opioid addiction has been declared a national epidemic, it should come as no surprise that drugged driving has increased as well. Although drunk driving is still an issue that many police officers and legislators are combating nationwide, the increase in social acceptance of using marijuana and prescribed medications is making driving under the influence of drugs hard to combat. Statistics from the Michigan State Police (MSP) speak for themselves with "fatal drunken-driving crashes across the state down 36%, while those caused by people impaired by drugs have risen 263%."

"Drunk driving is no longer socially acceptable, but drugged driving is socially acceptable because people don't think it's a problem...I fault the pharmacists and the doctors. They do not do a good job of educating their patients about these drugs," said Candace Lightner, the founder of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and We Save Lives.

Drugged Driving Statistics

According to a report released by the Foundation for Advancing Alcohol Responsibility and the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), 43% of motorists that have been fatally injured as a result of a car accident are known to have tested positive for drugs in their system. This number that is surprisingly higher than the 37% of drivers that have tested positive for alcohol in their system after a fatal car crash.

Drugged Driving Car Crash Lawyer

Another scary fact, is that unlike drunk driving, drugged driving has been shown to occur at any time of the day, not just at night or on the weekends, like most predictable drunk driving accidents. According to the Detroit Free Press, The University of Michigan’s Transportation Research Institute collected data from 2011 to 2015 in order to prove there was a correlation between the time of day a drugged driving car crash took place and the results of the driver operating a vehicle while under the influence of drugs. 

"Alcohol-involved crashes are very concentrated late at night and on weekends when bars close, but drug-involved crashes seem to occur at all times of day." said Carol Flannagan, a research associate professor at The Transportation Research Institute.

Drugged driving has grown to be such a major issue on the roads in Michigan that a roadside drug testing pilot has been planned to roll out before the end of this year in 5 undisclosed counties. The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog previously discussed the drug testing pilot program.

Michigan Roadside Drug Testing Pilot

Since drugged driving is so hard to convict due to most drivers using drugs that were prescribed to them, Michigan law has allowed for a driver to be legally persecuted if a Drug Recognition Expert (DRE) can prove that the drug(s) impaired their driving. The roadside drug testing pilot will only allow for state approved DREs to identify drivers who may be driving while under the influence of an abused substance and request an oral sample that will be sent off to an independent lab to be tested. If a driver is found guilty, legal repercussions include but are not limited to 15 years in prison, community service, and thousands of dollars in fines and legal fees, according to The Michigan Secretary of State (SOS). The reason behind such harsh punishments is to drive home the seriousness of driving under the influence of drugs (DUID).

Detroit DUI Lawyer

The roadside drug testing pilot was influenced in part by a drugged driving car crash took place in Escanaba, Michigan involving a truck driver under the influence of THC, a chemical often found in marijuana. The high driver crashed into an elderly couple,Thomas and Barbara Swift, both 73, on the highway. Thomas died at the scene of the crime whereas Barbara died 3 days later succumbing to her injuries in a hospital. Their son, Thomas Swift, proposed a bill in memory of his parents and Governor Rick Snyder later passed the bill as law.  A second case that highlighted the severity of drugged driving made international news after a driver in a pickup sped erratically in Kalamazoo, Michigan and killed 5 bicyclists before police could arrest him. The driver was identified as Thomas Pickett Jr., 50, and was found not to have alcohol in his system as expected, but methamphetamines, painkillers, and muscle relaxers. He was charged with 14 felonies and is facing trial this year.

With data showing that drugged driving happens throughout the day coupled with the knowledge that 10 million Americans, 12 years and older, have admitted in a 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health that they have driven under the influence of drugs, it is enough to scare anyone away from driving. However, people should have faith that the roadside drug testing pilot, once implemented, will hopefully decrease and deter the number of car crashes caused by people driving under the influence of drugs or alchohol. Then, Michiganders will only have to worry about horrible Michigan winters cuasing them road trouble.


It is sad that medications meant to help people handle their illness are oftentimes abused, not only by the prescribed user, but possibly by loved ones too. Until pharmaceutical companies, patients, and lawmakers can come together to figure out how to properly handle this growing epidemic, drugged driving accidents will continue to be a problem motorists face on the roadways. Have you been hit by a drunk driver or a drugged driver? Call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC at 844.4MI.FIRM today. With our legal team by your side, you can hope to receive any compensation you may be entitled to under Michigan law.  

5 Years Later: Revisiting Michigan's No Helmet Law

Lawmakers and motorcyclists continue to rumble about the 2012 repeal of a Michigan law that previously required motorcyclists to wear a helmet at all times. The new version of the law gives motorcyclists the option to decide whether or not they want to wear a helmet. “Our perspective is that this is a freedom issue and an individual rights issue,” said Jim Roades of American Bikers Aiming Toward Education (ABATE) of Michigan, a nonprofit cycling rights group that was vital in the push for the 2012 repeal. When asked about a potential return of the mandate, Rhoades said, “We would fight tooth and nail. We want people to know we’re not going anywhere.” 

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

The Republican-controlled Congress does not appear to be showing any signs of bringing back the mandate, although science and statistics reveal the price that’s paid when head meets pavement in a motorcycle crash. 146 people were killed in 2016 due to motorcycle crashes, according to Michigan State Police data, which is the highest number since 1985. MLive reports that from 2000 to 2011, an average of 112 motorcyclists were killed per year. From 2012 (when the law took into effect) to 2015, that number has averaged nearly 126 people. 

In a 2016 study of 345 motorcycle crash victims treated at Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan, 10% of riders who were not wearing helmets died, compared to 3% of riders who did wear a helmet. The study also found that not wearing a helmet leads to more severe motorcycle crash head injuries, more days in intensive care, and more time on a ventilator. Additionally, getting into a motorcycle accident without a helmet and living to tell the tale will cost riders more, as the average hospital cost for non-helmeted riders was $27,760, 32% higher than for riders wearing helmets. 

Motorcycle Accident Lawyer

Dr. Carlos Rodriguez, a trauma surgeon at the hospital, told MLive that he happened to be on call the first few days following the law repeal. “We had three or four really bad motorcycle crashes and all of them had not been wearing helmets. It made an impression on me. I thought, ‘Wow, this is more than we normally see.'” The study also found that the number of riders brought to the hospital who had not been wearing a helmet during a crash had quadrupled. 

In 2014, Senator Rebekah Warren, a Democrat from Ann Arbor, Michigan introduced a bill that would restore mandatory helmet use in Michigan. The proposal was so unpopular among the legislators that it never even came to a vote. Warren once again proposed a similar piece of legislation in 2015, but it faced the same fate as the 2014 effort. “It’s very disappointing. This is really a public health issue. We are seeing a lot more injuries and deaths for people not wearing helmets,” Warren said. Warren has also stated that she is seeing growing support for restoring the law from medical groups. However, public support means little if the public doesn’t get a chance to vote on the issue. “I feel like with an issue like this, if we could actually have a hearing on what it means in our emergency room, what this means to our loved ones and what it means to all of taxpayers, I think you could change some minds,” Warren expressed. 

Senator Warren isn't the only one concerned about the risks to one's health that are created by choosing to ride without a helmet. Dr. Nicholas S. Adams of the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids recently led a study that found the number of skull fractures and other head and facial injuries doubled in the first three years following lawmakers' decision to make motorcycle helmets optional. Researchers estimate that the risk of facial trauma may be reduced by half and facial injuries by more than 30 percent just by wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle. Despite these facts, a third of motorcyclists do not wear helmets, even in states where they are required.   

Michigan Motorcycle Crash Attorney

Under current law, riders 21 and older may ride a motorcycle without a helmet as long as they pass a safety course or have ridden a motorcycle in the past two years. They are also required to carry $20,000 in medical insurance. Michigan became the 31st state to allow motorcycles to ride without helmets when Governor Rick Snyder signed the bill that was twice vetoed by former Governor Jennifer Granholm. For the time being, it seems the laws will stay the same. Snyder reportedly does “not have any initiative underway to revisit the law," contrary to advice from doctors and researchers such as Adams, who say, "We urge state and national legislators to re-establish universal motorcycle helmet laws."

Motorcycle crashes can put riders, passengers, and other people on the road at risk of a severe injury or fatality. The easiest way to help prevent getting hurt from a motorcycle accident is to wear protective headgear. The endless discussion on whether or not helmets should be required will likely go on for years to come. Yet one thing remains clear: nothing bad ever came from wearing a helmet while riding a motorcycle. 


Previously, The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC blog discussed helpful tips on how to safely ride a motorcycle. In this article, wearing a helmet was the number one tip. Wearing a helmet can be the difference between a trip to the hospital and a trip to the morgue, and in a state with poor road conditions like Michigan, you can never take too many safety precautions. If you or somebody you know has been injured in a motorcycle accident or an automobile crash involving a motorcycle, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in working side by side with victims to identify possible legal solutions. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation. 

Michigan House Eliminated $80 Million Tax Credit to Insurance Companies

Back in May 2016, the Michigan House of Representatives approved a measure which would eliminate an $80 million tax credit accidentally awarded to auto insurers. The elimination of this tax credit would be a major boost for the current and future state budgets, which have been impacted by lower than expected state revenue lawmakers told MLive. According to the latest estimates, state revenues are projected to be $174 million lower than expected this fiscal year and $159 million lower in 2017.  

Michigan Car Crash Lawyer

The notable drop in revenues for the state was the deciding factor that really brought the proposal of eliminating the tax credit to the forefront. “I think this creates a real incentive for folks to understand we just can’t have a corporate 80 million handout giveaway. And that needs to get fixed. So I think it puts a little more urgency on that,” House Appropriations Chairman Al Pscholka said. 

“It’s not retroactive, so it doesn’t take the money back, but they (auto insurers) can’t claim the credit in this year,” Gideon D’Assandro, spokesman for House Speaker Kevin Cotter said. The problem first began in the 2011-2012 legislative session, when the House approved what came to basically be an administrative charge for the Michigan Assigned Claims Plan. MLive reports that it was reassigned from the Secretary of State to the Michigan Automobile Insurance Placement Facility, which then opened a tax credit worth somewhere around $60-80 million for insurance companies. 

Representative Jim Townsend, a Democrat from Royal Oak believes that the tax credit aided auto insurers and at the same time hurt middle class families. “Passing these bills shows that Republicans are listening to our message of tax fairness, and understanding that we need to help the working families who are carrying an increasing share of the state’s tax burden,” Townsend said in a statement. 


Insurance companies can be tricky and it can be difficult to face them alone. If you or somebody you know has been involved in an accident and has been having a difficult time getting help from your insurance company, call The Michigan Law Firm, PLLC. Our attorneys are experienced in working with insurance companies in order to get our clients the best help available. Call us today, at 844.4MI.FIRM for a free consultation.