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A Better Partnership

October 2016

Oct 2016
October 14, 2016

Police Beware: Consent to search dwelling for illegal drugs is not consent to seize defendant's cell phone, wallet, and keys

In People v. Mahdi, No. 327767, the Court of Appeals held that the consent to search an apartment for the limited purpose of uncovering illegal drugs does not constitute consent to seize any item. Therefore, the seizure of defendant’s cell phone, wallet, and keys pursuant to the consent exception violated his Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures. Accordingly, evidence regarding the items seized in violation of the Fourth Amendment should have been excluded at trial and defendant was entitled to a new trial. 

Oct 2016
October 12, 2016

MSC to hear MOAA on whether prosecutor satisfied notice requirements when seeking enhanced sentence

The Michigan Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on whether a Michigan law requiring notice to a criminal defendant should be strictly construed. In People v. Swift, No. 151439, the defendant was sentenced as a three-time habitual offender. MCL 769.11 allows the prosecutor to seek an enhanced sentence for repeat offenders. But MCL 769.13 requires the prosecutor to file “a written notice of his or her intent to do so within 21 days after the defendant’s arraignment.” In this case, the felony warrant and felony complaint, both of which were filed before the defendant’s arraignment, indicated the prosecutor’s intent to seek an enhanced sentence. On the day of arraignment, the defendant was also given a copy of the felony information, which also indicated that the prosecutor intended to seek an enhanced sentence. The defendant challenged this notice as insufficient under the statute.

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