September 2022

Subscribers to the Criminal Defense Resource Center’s online resources, found at, have access to more than 1,800 appellate pleadings filed by SADO Attorneys in the last five years.  The brief bank is updated regularly and is open to anyone who wants to subscribe to online access.  On our site, briefs are searchable by keyword, results can be organized by relevance or date, and the pleadings can be filtered by court of filing.  Below are some of the issues presented in briefs added to our brief bank in the last few weeks. For confidentiality purposes, names of clients and witnesses have been removed.

BB 321618: Defendant was denied his state and federal constitutional right to due process where he was visibly shackled and in jail clothing for his trial.

BB 321619: Defendant is entitled to jail credit where (1) the jail credit statute provides that individuals are entitled to credit upon “conviction” and (2) the delay between his plea and sentencing was based upon an error of law by the prosecution and the court regarding the standards for determining eligibility for mental health court.

BB 321624: Possessing contraband in prison is not a strict liability offense.

BB 321625: The forfeiture doctrine set forth in People v Carines, 460 Mich 750, 764 (1999), does not apply to claims of an invalid waiver of counsel. The Court of Appeals erred in concluding that the trial court’s failure to comply with the requirements of People v Anderson, 398 Mich 361 (1976) and MCR 6.005(D) did not warrant reversal. This Court should not extend the forfeiture doctrine to claims of an invalid waiver of counsel.

BB 321626: The officer-in-charge was erroneously qualified as an expert witness. His testimony vouching for a witness and telling the jury defendant had time to premeditate and deliberate before the death of the decedent was erroneously admitted.

BB 321643: Defendant received a prison sentence of 24-240 months for his probation violations, when MCL 771.4b(1)(b)(iii) permits no more than 45 days in jail for three technical violations and requires courts to place someone in jail when they are awaiting a bed in a treatment program. This error requires remand for resentencing.

BB 321646: Defendant was deprived of his Fourth Amendment right to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures where he was stopped and arrested based on an officer’s hunch rather than reasonable suspicion or probable cause. Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to challenge the stop and arrest and move to suppress all derivative evidence.

BB 321649: The right to a speedy trial is not waived by a guilty plea. Defendant’s right to a speedy trial was violated and his convictions must be vacated.

BB 321654: Defendant’s convictions violate due process and must be vacated where there was insufficient evidence that the officers performed a lawful arrest. Defendant had the right to resist the officers under the circumstances of this case.

BB 321662: The trial court acted within its discretion when it severed defendant’s trial.

BB 321665: The affidavit in support of the search warrant for defendant’s home is deficient because it failed to establish even a minimal nexus between the alleged drug trafficking activity and his home. Because the warrant is devoid of facts to establish a nexus, the officers cannot avail themselves of the good-faith exception and suppression is required.

BB 321666: The Michigan Parole Board acted within its discretion when it granted defendant parole. The circuit court erroneously reversed the Board’s decision.

BB 321667: The Sixth Amendment right to a jury trial and the Michigan Constitution entitle defendant to a unanimous jury verdict. Defendant was denied that right when the jury was instructed, and the verdict form told them, it could convict him of first-degree premediated murder and/or felony murder without being unanimous as to which crime he committed. Alternatively, defendant’s trial attorney was ineffective when he failed to object to the erroneous instruction and verdict form.

BB 321668: Where the sentencing judge did not rely on the challenged information in the presentence report, defendant is entitled to a corrected presentence investigation report with the challenged information removed.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor