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Paul J. Stablein

Paul Stablein’s Answers

14 total

  • In regards to warrant-less search and seizure, would a mobile phone of a deceased person be considered for warrant-less search?

    i.e. suspected drug overdose of an otherwise healthy young male. Evidence is limited in the immediate area. The phone has been identified as belonging to the deceased. With limited evidence, probable cause isn't sufficient enough to obtain a warra...

    Paul’s Answer

    From a criminal constitutional perspective, the short answer is "No." In order to complain about a warrantless search in violation of the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution, a person has to have standing to do so. Unlike the concept of privilege (like communications between doctor and patient or lawyer and client), the privacy expectations afforded persons under the Fourth Amendment do not extend past the death of the person who possessed the privacy right.

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  • Can I reverse a charge, if the defendant comes forward and confesses they were lying?

    I w ill make a long story short. After a night out, me and my wife came home. She was very intoxicated. She wanted to leave in one of the vehicles. I hid the keys. She calls 911. I didn't know she was talking to dispatch. She was previously tal...

    Paul’s Answer

    If your plea was taken fairly recently, you do have the option to file a motion to withdraw your plea if you can convince the trial court that your plea was involuntarily given or that it was taken in violation of the rules. I would need to see the transcript of your plea. I have had some success in getting pleas set aside that were not properly taken pursuant to the Michigan Court Rules. Get a copy of your plea hearing from the court reporter for your judge. Let me know if you have any further information to provide.

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  • Marijauna use charge legitament?

    Hello, during a traffic stop while I was a passenger, my friend (driver) was searched and allow a search of his car, he had a marijuana pipe which he openly addmitted and nothing else (He was not fined for the pipe). I was searched as well and the...

    Paul’s Answer

    Simply because the owner/operator of a motor vehicle consents to the search of his automobile, the officer is not then authorized to search the person of a passenger, unless there are other facts which would justify the officer in searching you. Did he ask your permission first? Did the officer find the pipe in area that was arguably within your control or within your reach as you were the passenger in the car? If so, these facts would probably justify the officer's search of your pockets.

    I would need to see the actual police report to see what facts, if any, the officer used to justify his actions. Additionally, I would want to view the patrol vehicle's dashboard videotape. It would behoove you to retain an attorney who specializes in criminal defense and who could adequately pursue these issues before you decide to plead to any charge. Let me know if I acan be of any further assitance.

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  • Misdemeanor possession of marijuanna and paraphenalia on 17 yr old son, first offense.

    officer did not write his badge number on citation and he also did not sign the citation, is the citation still valid? My son was walking in our downtown area looking for his friends car (who was waiting on him) and the officer said he was picked ...

    Paul’s Answer

    Because your son is charged with a misdemeanor, the piece of paper used to charge him with the crime is not called a "citation," but is called a complaint. Technically, the complaint issued by an officer is not valid if it is not signed. However, the defect is easily repaired by the officer simply showing up in court and swearing that the facts alleged in the complaint.

    The more important question is whether the officer had a reasonable suspicion to stop your son in the first place. If he did not, then any evidence gained as the result of the iilegal detention should be suppressed. Secondly, even if the stop was justified, the officer does not automatically have the right to search him without more facts to support a justified entry into his pockets (I am assuming the marijuana was in his pocket).

    Your question indicates your son was "picked up" which implies that he was actually arrested before the officer searched him. Based upon the facts you have presented, the officer's actions were clearly unconstitutional, unless there is more.

    Let me know if you need anything further. My office is in Oakland County and we practice in Genessee County often.

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  • My 19 year old college student was arrested for ouil in michigan and was denied an attorney at arraignment.He is 19 and indigent

    19 year old college student arrested ouil in michigan no job no assets was denied attorney at arraignment set for pretrial in less than a week any suggestions or pro bono work

    Paul’s Answer

    I don't know anything about the judge that denied your son's request for a court appointed attorney, but the law states that the State must appoint an attorney for indigent defendants. However, this rule only applies to defendants who may suffer jail time if convicted. It is likely thatt he judge has already decided that he will not jail your son if he pleads guilty. Assuming that this is his first offense, the prosecutor will probably offer him a plea to a reduced charge of Operating While Visibly Impaired. It carries fewer points on his driving record, lower fines, he won't suffer a suspended license (though he will be restricted for 90 days) and his driver responsibility fees will be lower. Bottom line is that the court did not appoint a lawyer because he knows he is not going to incarcerate your son. Make sure that he asks the prosecutor for a plea to impaired driving. He should be fine. Let me know if you have any further questions, I'll see if I can help.

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  • I missed a court date in one state but live in another

    i got a dui in alabama and got bonded out but i had to return to michigan,and i cant afford to return to alabama. what happends to me and what can i do?

    Paul’s Answer

    Most likely, a warrant will be issued for your arrest in Alabama. The warrant will be entered within a couple of weeks into the computer system and probably sit until you get pulled over or in some other way come into contact with police. They will discover the warrant, and detain you while they contact Alabama authorities to see if Alabama will travel to Michigan to come and get you and return you to Alabama for arraignment on the outstanding warrant. If Alabama does not come to get you within 14 days after you become available to them, then you will be released.

    My experience is that most states will not pay for the officer time and travel expense to another state to bring someone back for a misdemeanor. However, your license to drive will surely be suspended in Alabama, which will make it impossible to get a valid driver's license in Michigan.

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  • Oun record

    can I get a copy of my oun criminal record,..and how can I get it?

    Paul’s Answer

    Criminal histories, or CCH's, are available to the general public for a fee. I believe the Michigan State Police provide the information as to how to get a CCH through the State of Michigan website at,1607,7-123-35301-112947--,00.html. The website indicates that the records are availble for $10 using Visa or Mastercard. These records, you should be aware, are the public criminal histories and do not include convictions that were taken under advise and later expunged, such as those under MCL 333.7411 (first offense drug possessions) and the Homes Youthful Trainee Act (first offense for defendants under the age of 21 at the time they commit the offense). I hope this answer helps. Contact me if you need anything else.

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  • Miranda Rights

    What can happen if you are not read your miranda rights before being interagated?

    Paul’s Answer

    Miranda v Arizona, a United States Supreme Court case, was the first decision to hold that if a defendant is interrogated following his arrest, any statements that are taken from him may not be used as evidence against him in any trial of the matter unless the interrogators first advise the defendant that he has certain rights, now referred to as Miranda rights. Therefore, if a defendant is in custody, is asked questions that are desigend to elicit an incriminating response and is not first advised of his right to remain silent and his right to counsel, any reponses made to the interrogator's questions cannot be used against him in a trial.

    Your question doesn't provide much in the way of facts, so it is difficult to provide anything more than a general answer to your question. I hope it helps, if you need anything further, please contact me with more information.

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  • Searches

    If the police searched my car for someone and didn not find them do they have any more reason to keep searching my car?

    Paul’s Answer

    I would say that the short answer is, "No, unless the police have some reason to keep searching." That doesn't answer your question, I know, but we need to know more facts.

    Generally, police may search a vehicle without a search warrant under a number of judicially recognized scenarios. I'll list a few of the most common, but all of them assume first that you were stopped for a valid reason:

    Probable Cause: If the police have probable cause to believe that evidence of a crime will be found in the car, they may search it without a search warrant. Probable cause to search is defined as facts that would lead a reasonably cautious person to believe that evidence of a crime will be found in the stated place. The search may encompass the entire car including the trunk and any locked or unlocked containers theren.

    Search Incident to Arrest: If any occupant of a vehicle is arrested for a felony or a misdemeanor, the police may search the car and any containers in the car. This search is limited only to the passenger compartment of the vehicle and does not authorize search the trunk.

    Consent: Obviously, if the driver or owner of a car consents to a request to search the car by the police, they police will have the right to search it. The consent must be given, however, freely and voluntarily, without duress or coercion. The police do not have to advise the defendant that he has the right to refuse to grant the consent. The consent can be limited to a specific area, and may be withdrawn at any time during the search.

    Inventory: If the police have the right to impound a vehicle, they have the right to complete an inventory of the items therein in order to protect the department from claims that something was in the car and taken by the police. This inventory of items covers the entirety of the car, but does not authorize tearing the car apart to look for hidden compartments or the like. Also, the plice department must have a specific policy regarding inventories so that the decision when or when not to do the inventory is not left up to the individual officer.

    I hope that this answer helps in your case. If you have any further facts to provide, it would be much easier to advise you as to whether the police in your case were acting within their rights to search your car. Let me know.

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  • Criminal Offense.

    I am seeking help for my cousin, who is incarcerated in the Standish Maximum Correctional Facility. He has four charges against him. He was 15 when sentenced and he is now 33 years old. His mother is out-of- state and she told me that she was not ...

    Paul’s Answer

    Because your cousin was convicted 18 years ago, he clearly has no right to appeal his conviction in the Michigan courts. However, under MCR 6.500, et seq., he would be allowed one opportunity to file a motion in the trial court if some issue exists that would entitle him to a new trial, and the issue was one that he did not already present to the Court of Appeals (or could have presented).

    Your question indicates your cousin was convicted of murder, but does not indicate the degree. I am surmising that because he was convicted of assault with intent to robe while armed, he was convicted of first degree felony murder, meaning that the victim was killed during the commision of an attempted robbery and, therefore, your cousin was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. Because so much time has elapsed, I do not believe he would still be eligible for appellate relief, but I would need to know more about his case, what efforts were made by his counsel at the trial level, what issues were presented to the appellate courts and what, if any, applications he may have made in the federal system. Knowing his name would help.

    If he has no further appellate remedies available to him, his only avenue of relief would be a commutation of his sentence by the governor of the State of Michigan. All commutation petitions are reviewed by the parole board whose members then make their recommendation to the governor. The vast majority of the petitions are ultimately denied, however.

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