February, 2021

Subscribers to the Criminal Defense Resource Center’s online resources, found at www.sado.org, 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 321234:  The trial court violated defendant’s rights to due process and the effective assistance of counsel when it denied trial counsel’s motion to withdraw where there was a complete breakdown in the attorney-client relationship. Defendant is entitled to a new trial.

BB 321236:  The Court of Appeals correctly found error, but incorrectly ruled that plea withdrawal was the only appropriate remedy. The correct remedy is resentencing or at the very least, defendant’s choice of remedies as what occurred here amounted to a failure to follow the plea agreement as understood by defendant.

BB 321241:  Where the sole issue at trial was whether or not defendant acted in self-defense in shooting the decedent, defense counsel was ineffective in failing to introduce evidence of the decedent’s prior arrests for assault.

BB 321243:  The affidavits in support of the searches of defendant’s cell phone lacked probable cause as there was no nexus between the offenses alleged and the contents of defendant’s cell phones. The results should have been suppressed as violating the Fourth Amendment. Trial counsel was ineffective for failing to move to suppress the results of the unconstitutional search.

BB 321250:  Twenty-year-old defendant’s life without parole sentence violates the Eighth Amendment to the Michigan and United States Constitutions because the mitigating properties of youth should be considered before a court imposes the harshest possible sentence.

BB 321254:  Defendant’s rights under the federal and state constitution to be free from unreasonable search and seizure were violated when the police department searched her car without probable cause under the pretext of an inventory search. Trial counsel was constitutionally ineffective for not moving to suppress.

BB 321255:  The defense suppression motion should have been granted because the traffic stop violated defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights. A traffic stop must be based on information actually known to the officer making the stop. The hearing judge here erroneously upheld the legality of the stop based on information the officer did not learn until afterwards.

BB 321256:  This Court should grant defendant a new trial because the photo lineup was unduly suggestive and unreliable. The in-court identification should also have been suppressed. To the extent that counsel did not move to suppress the in-court identification defendant was denied the effective assistance of counsel.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor