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  1. #1

    Default Prosecution Of Trespassing Charges

    My question involves police conduct in the State of: Michigan

    I was arrested for misdemeanor trespassing because the police found me in a common parking lot adjacent to the business were I was allegedly banned from; the lot is part of a corner strip mall and therefore controlled by the landlord evidenced by the fact that my attorney got this charge dismissed, but this is not an important issue. I was also charged with another misdemeanor that I am told has a chance for a conviction, so be it.

    I was bailed out from the jail and went physically to the court and appeared before the court clerk the same day with my bail receipt. I was to be informed of a court date by regular mail.

    Several weeks later, I learned of a ppo and went back to the business, remaining beyond the parking lot to take pictures in defense of my motion to dismiss the ppo and I was chased all night by the police, and my wife and family were harassed at home, so they could investigate another complaint of trespassing (and harass me some too).

    Several days later, I was arrested for a failure to appear (for arraignment). After I was bailed out, I again went back to the court with my bail receipt and the warrant was rescinded because there was no court date.

    Several days after that I was arrested for trespassing and harassment.

    To date I have been to several pre-trial conferences since January, mainly because the prosecutor would not release the arrest reports, but I have never been arraigned. My attorney got the first trespassing charge dismissed, which should have had a domino effect on the other two charges, and I have a court date for a trial on all three remaining charges on the same day, something my lawyer said couldn't happen because two incidents = two trials and the first trial would predjudice the jury for the second.

    Obviously there is more to this, but I decided to keep it basic and minimize my questions.

    Questions:

    What is the deadline in Michigan for a misdemeanor arraignment?

    I was told that I don't have a case for false arrest, but since it is obvious that the prosecutor manipulated the system for the second arrest to get me arrested for failure to appear, isn't that prosecutorial misconduct?

    Any clues on what may be happening since my attorney is not very communicative (in part because the court and prosecutor has had us into court a number of times and the fee I paid probably probably wouldn't have covered the excessive or extra appearances and the extra work that went along with it if it had been known up front)?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Police And Prosecutorial Harassment

    If you've had a pretrial, you've been arraigned. District court arraignments occur prior to pretrials.

    Courts, not prosecutors, issue nonappearance bench warrants. Michigan District Courts, not prosecutors, mail defendants notices of their court dates. It isn't the prosecutor's fault that the court issued a bench warrant.

    If your lawyer believes there are grounds to do so, your lawyer is free to bring a motion to bifurcate trial on your three offenses.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Police And Prosecutorial Harassment

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    If you've had a pretrial, you've been arraigned. District court arraignments occur prior to pretrials.
    Since the charges weren't read to me, and the potential penalty not explained to me, and I didn't plead "guilty", "not guilty", "no contest", or stand mute, I guess I wasn't arraigned after all...

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    Courts, not prosecutors, issue nonappearance bench warrants. Michigan District Courts, not prosecutors, mail defendants notices of their court dates. It isn't the prosecutor's fault that the court issued a bench warrant.
    I didn't said it was a bench warrant; I never saw it. But can you say with 100% certainty that a prosecutor couldn't manipulate the system.

    Since, as a Californian, you have such a grasp on Michigan law, what is the deadline for arraignment on a misdemeanor charge?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Police And Prosecutorial Harassment

    If you don't think the court followed proper procedure when it arraigned you, take it up with your lawyer. But as you've been told, if you're at the pretrial stage you've been arraigned. Ask your lawyer, and you'll get the same answer.

    The issue of a "deadline" is irrelevant - you've been arraigned. Beyond that, it depends upon the circumstances, such as whether you're in custody. If you are in custody, you will normally be arraigned within 72 hours. Otherwise, the only time limit is the statute of limitations (although if charges have actually been authorized, undue delay may trigger speedy trial or due process issues).

  5. #5

    Thumbs up Re: Prosecution Of Trespassing Charges

    You know, I have my thoughts about you, and you about me, but the speedy trial idea has some merit since this has dragged on some 6 months so far.

    I did research MI law, the deadline is 180 days (if it hasn't been explicity waived or implicitly by the action(s) of my lawyer).

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Prosecution Of Trespassing Charges

    What do you propose to be the basis for this rule? (Statute, case law....) You seem to be citing a "speedy trial" rule.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Prosecution Of Trespassing Charges

    So you're changing the subject from arraignment to speedy trial? Because it is correct that if your case has proceeded to pretrial, you have been arraigned. That may have happened by video when you were in jail, or you may have waived arraignment through your lawyer (the "waiver of arraignment form" is a simple, one-page form you can sign to avoid the trip to court.)

    As for speedy trial rights, here's a summary from a recent case:
    Quote Quoting People v Jordan, No. 274149 (Mich App, Jan 10, 2008)
    A criminal defendant has a right to a speedy trial. People v Mackle, 241 Mich App 583, 602; 617 NW2d 339 (2000). Whether a defendant has been denied his right to a speedy trial involves consideration of four factors: (1) the length of the delay, (2) the reasons for the delay, (3) defendant’s assertion of the right, and (4) prejudice to the defendant. People v Cain, 238 Mich App 95, 112; 605 NW2d 28 (1999). If the delay is less than 18 months, the burden is on the defendant to prove that he was prejudiced by the delay. A delay of 18 months or more is presumptively prejudicial and the burden is on the prosecutor to rebut the presumption. Id.

    A delay of six months is necessary to trigger an investigation into a claim that a defendant has been denied a speedy trial. People v Daniel, 207 Mich App 47, 51; 523 NW2d 830 (1994). The delay period commences at the arrest of the defendant. People v Cleveland Williams, 475 Mich 245, 261; 716 NW2d 208 (2006). Defendant was arrested on December 20, 2003, and was scheduled to be tried on July 20, 2006. That is a delay of 31 months, which implicates the speedy trial right. However, defendant expressly waived his right to a speedy trial until his interlocutory appeal was resolved. The application for leave to appeal was denied on September 29, 2004. Between September 29, 2004, and July 20, 2006, there was a delay of not quite 22 months, which is still sufficient to implicate the speedy trial right.

    In assessing the reasons for the delay, each period of delay is examined and attributed to the prosecutor or the defendant. People v Ross, 145 Mich App 483, 491; 378 NW2d 517 (1985). Unexplained delays are attributed to the prosecutor. Id. Scheduling delays and delays caused by the court system are also attributed to the prosecutor, but should be given a neutral tint and only minimal weight. Gilmore, [222 Mich App 442] at 460. Delays caused by the adjudication of defense motions are attributable to the defendant. Id. at 461.
    Of itself, the length of the delay is insufficient in and of itself to require dismissal. People v Simpson, 207 Mich App 560, 564; 526 NW2d 33 (1994).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Prosecution Of Trespassing Charges

    Quote Quoting aaron
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    So you're changing the subject from arraignment to speedy trial?
    No, that is just the direction things went. By the same token, nobody said any of the other issues are dead either.

    Quote Quoting aaron
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    Because it is correct that if your case has proceeded to pretrial, you have been arraigned. That may have happened by video when you were in jail, or you may have waived arraignment through your lawyer (the "waiver of arraignment form" is a simple, one-page form you can sign to avoid the trip to court.)
    I didn't push it because it appeared to me that Mr. Knowitall was going to be argumentative, but you make my point. Procedure says that I should have been arraigned, and we seemed to be agreed upon that. But you "assume" that I have been arraigned, just like a suspect is supposed to be read his Miranda rights before being questioned, but it "never" happens that this procedure is skipped or missed for some reason. As an objective observation, you don't know factually that I have been arraigned, and the possible scenarios you cite would have directly involved me, so I would have been aware of them.

    It occurs to me at this point that you guys jumped to a conclusion that I didn't know what an arraignmnet was, continuing to do so even when I demonstratred that I knew what an arraignment is. I ask this question because it appears that I haven't been arraigned and I am tring to determine if it is an issue that I should bring up with my lawyer or not.

    Quote Quoting aaron
    View Post
    As for speedy trial rights, here's a summary from a recent case:
    Of itself, the length of the delay is insufficient in and of itself to require dismissal. People v Simpson, 207 Mich App 560, 564; 526 NW2d 33 (1994).
    Thank you for this information. I should have figured Michigan would be different than other states who hold to a strict deadline, unless the defendent has waived this right.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Prosecution Of Trespassing Charges

    If you check the court file, you will find documentation of how and when you were arraigned.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Prosecution Of Trespassing Charges

    How do I get access to that?

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