Springstead Law Offices

Arrested?


Did you attend the Electric Forest Festival resulting in criminal charges? 

Many people attend the Festival and end up being charged with crimes in Oceana County.  In Michigan, there are two categories of crimes- Misdemeanor and Felony.  Felony charges are punishable by more than one year in the county jail and Misdemeanor charges are punishable by less than one year in the county jail.  There are several criminal procedure steps after being charged with a crime:

  • Arraignment
  • Preliminary Examination Conference (Felonies)
  • Preliminary Examination (Felonies)
  • Pretrial Conference
  • Plea or Trial
  • Sentencing after Plea or Guilty Verdict

You will need to appear in Court for some or all of these steps and should be prepared to do so.

 

We have achieved excellent results for our past clients- call us today!   (231) 873-4022 or (231) 924-3222

24/7 this weekend, 213-873-4022. Erin will be available to take your calls during the Electric Forest Festival. Have fun this weekend, stay safe, and be smart! Know your basic rights: you do not have to consent to a search and you can and should ask to speak to an attorney prior to any questioning! As proud American citizens it is not only our right but civil duty to know and defend our Constitutional Rights. Remember that in any any encounter with the police, either a Prosecutor before charging or a Judge before signing a search warrant or Jury deciding whether or not to convict after charges are brought by a Prosecutor, they will be looking (after the fact) at whether the police even had a right to stop you in the first place. This standard is in place because our 4th Amendment of the Constitution says that you have a right as an American citizen to freely go about your own business unless the police can demonstrate that they had a belief you were engaged in some form of criminal activity. The first question out of your mouth in a situation where an officer has stopped you should be, “Am I being detained?” And then, “Why? What am being stopped for? Am I free to go? Am I under arrest?” Memorize that. It can be hard to remember when you are nervous. And let's face it, the police don't make anyone feel calm and relaxed when they stop people.
Be very respectful but clear yet firm in what you ask the officer. It is reasonable (and absolutely legal) to ask why you are being stopped by the officer and to ask whether or not you are free to go now. Also: One of the most pervasive urban myths is that the police must read you "Miranda rights" or the arrest will later be thrown out of court.
100% not true. The police don’t "have to" read you your rights, so forget about that. In fact, on a side note, the police have the right to downright lie to you in any interview at any time. Yes. They can lie to you! Now is not the time to make deals. You will give them what they want and they will give you nothing. I repeat, the police can (and will) lie to you. Ok, back to Miranda rights...The only time the police "have to" read you your Miranda rights is if:
1)You are under actual arrest
2)The police are planning to use a statement you made after being arrested in court. The Right against Self Incrimination is in the Bill of Rights for a reason, so exercise it. You should not, not, not give a statement to the police without a lawyer. Period. Ever. Don't do it. For example, police questions like “whose bag/back pack/hat/purse/drug bag is this?” should be answered with a calm and respectful, “Officer, I am now choosing to remain silent. I want to talk to a lawyer.” Also, please please please do not give consent for searches of your body/car/clothes/tent! This is why you withhold this consent. If the police are asking you for permission to search you or your property, this usually means the police know they are making a totally illegal search without it. Let that fact resonate and sink in... When the police ask you “Can I search....?”, they know in that moment that they are asking you to let them make a search they are not legally entitled to make yet...mind blown? It's true though. So then what? Say, “Officer, I’m sorry I’m not giving you my consent to search my person or my property. If I’m free to leave I’d like to go now. If not, I’d like to speak to a lawyer please…” this makes it so the police have to either let you go if they do not have probable cause or declare what they believe their probable cause to be. One more thing I'd like to say now, because it's important, to all friends-of-friends that are about to be searched or arrested at the festival...now is NOT the time to valiantly shout out "hey cop, leave my buddy alone!" Or "my dad/uncle/neighbor is an attorney!" No. This is bad festival friend behavior and entirely unhelpful. Now is your time to remain un-arrested so you can bail out your friend from jail and/or call their folks/girlfriend/boyfriend/cool sibling or whoever they'd want you to tell that he or she was just arrested. But if you have a phone, you could (actually) help by peacefully recording the encounter. If challenged by the officer to shut off your phone, say this:
“Officer, I’m not interfering with you. I am documenting this arrest. We are in a public place and I’m entitled to record this”. After staying this you should follow up with backing up to prove you are merely observing. Stay safe. Don't lose your head in a police encounter, and have a wonderful festival experience! Sincerely, Erin Fisher (your hopefully-unnecessary-yet-available-attorney, should you find yourself needing me this weekend)

Have fun this weekend, stay safe, and be smart! Know your basic rights: you do not have to consent to a search and you can and should ask to speak to an attorney prior to any questioning!  
As proud American citizens it is not only our right but civil duty to know and defend our Constitutional Rights. Remember that in any any encounter with the police, the legal community will be looking (after the fact) at whether the police had a right to stop you in the first place. This standard is in place because the 4th Amendment of the Constitution says that you have a right as an American citizen to freely go about your own business unless the police can demonstrate that they had a belief you were engaged in some form of criminal activity. The first question out of your mouth in a situation where an officer has stopped you should be, “Am I being detained?” And then, “Why? What am being stopped for? Am I free to go? Am I under arrest?” Memorize that. It can be hard to remember when you are nervous. And let's face it, the police don't make anyone feel calm and relaxed when they stop people.  Be very respectful but clear yet firm in what you ask the officer. It is reasonable (and absolutely legal) to ask why you are being stopped by the officer and to ask whether or not you are free to go now. 

Also: One of the most pervasive urban myths is that the police must read you "Miranda rights" or the arrest will later be thrown out of court. 100% not true. The police don’t "have to" read you your rights, so forget about that. In fact, on a side note, the police have the right to downright lie to you in any interview at any time. Yes. They can lie to you! Now is not the time to make deals. You will give them what they want and they will give you nothing. I repeat, the police can (and will) lie to you. Ok, back to Miranda rights...The only time the police "have to" read you your Miranda rights is if:

1)You are under actual arrest

2)The police are planning to use a statement you made after being arrested (a custodial interrogation),  in court. The Right against Self Incrimination is in the Bill of Rights for a reason, so exercise it. You should not, not, not give a statement to the police without a lawyer. Period. Ever. Don't do it. For example, police questions like “whose bag/backpack/hat/purse/drug bag is this?” should be answered with a calm and respectful, “Officer, I am now choosing to remain silent. I want to talk to a lawyer.” Also, please, please, please do not give consent for searches of your body/car/clothes/tent! This is why you withhold this consent. If the police are asking you for permission to search you or your property, this usually means the police know they are making a totally illegal search without it. Let that fact resonate and sink in... When the police ask you “Can I search....?”, they know in that moment that they are asking you to let them make a search they are not legally entitled to make yet...mind blown? It's true though. So then what? Say, “Officer, I’m sorry I’m not giving you my consent to search my person or my property. If I’m free to leave I’d like to go now. If not, I’d like to speak to a lawyer please…”  This makes it so the police have to either let you go if they do not have probable cause or seek a search warrant and declare what they believe their probable cause to be. One more thing I'd like to say now, because it's important, to all friends-of-friends that are about to be searched or arrested at the festival...now is NOT the time to valiantly shout out "hey cop, leave my buddy alone!" Or "my dad/uncle/neighbor is an attorney!" No. This is bad festival friend behavior and entirely unhelpful. Now is your time to remain un-arrested so you can bail out your friend from jail and/or call their folks/girlfriend/boyfriend/cool sibling or whoever they'd want you to tell that he or she was just arrested. But if you have a phone, you could (actually) help by peacefully recording the encounter. If challenged by the officer to shut off your phone, say this:  “Officer, I’m not interfering with you. I am documenting this arrest. We are in a public place and I’m entitled to record this”. After saying this you should back up to prove you are merely observing. Stay safe. Don't lose your head in a police encounter, and have a wonderful festival experience!