December, 2018

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 315535:  The plea is invalid because the factual basis is inadequate under the sexual delinquency statute, violating defendant’s rights under state law and due process guarantees under the federal and state constitutions.

BB 315715: The trial court’s questioning of witnesses demonstrated the trial court’s partiality toward the prosecution and improperly influenced the jury by creating the appearance of advocacy and partiality against defendant.

BB 315986:  The trial court violated defendant’s due process rights by failing to consider an updated presentence report.

BB 316122:  Defendant-appellant is entitled to jail credit for the time he served in jail because his inability to furnish bond was the sole reason for his being held. The court’s failure to award credit was plain error, or in the alternative, counsel was ineffective for failing to object.

BB 316203:  Defendant was acting under a belief that he had a First Amendment right to speak to and film the police. Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to, at a minimum, seek a jury instruction that would have informed the jury that a command is not lawful if it impermissibly infringes on a person’s constitutional rights.

BB 316310:  Defense counsel’s decision to forego having a retained expert in fire cause and origin testify at trial before reasonably investigating the prosecutor’s case and other potential evidence that could support an accidental fire cause theory deprived defendant of his constitutional right to effective counsel.

BB 316407:  Defendant is entitled to resentencing where he was not physically present in the courtroom during the resentencing hearing. Instead, he appeared by video, in violation of the Sixth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution, article 1, §§ 17 and 20 of the Michigan Constitution, MCL 768.3, MCR 6.425(e), and MCR 6.006.

BB 316718:  The probation conditions effectively barring defendant from residing in his own home with his family are unlawful and thus must be modified or vacated.

BB 317601:  To apply the additional requirements of SORA added well after defendant was already on the registry for a conviction entered several years prior violates the state and federal constitutional protections against ex post facto laws. Defendant’s convictions for violating those ex post facto provisions must be vacated.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor