September, 2021

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 321376:  Defendant was denied his constitutional right to a speedy trial when trial began nearly 17 months after the date of his arrest, the delays were largely attributable to the prosecutor, defendant invoked his right to a speedy trial, and defendant was prejudiced by the delay.

BB 321378:  The prosecution violated defendant’s right to silence and a fair trial where it used her pre-trial silence as evidence that her story was “concocted” after she was advised she had the right to remain silent at arraignment. Alternatively, trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to the prosecution’s improper argument.

BB 321379:  Defendant’s sentence to lifetime electronic monitoring is cruel and/or unusual punishment and an unreasonable search, violating defendant’s constitutional rights.

BB 321384:  The Parole Board acted within its discretion when it granted defendant parole. The circuit court impermissibly substituted its judgment for that of the Board.

BB 321385:  The jury should have been instructed on the self-defense and accident defenses as well as the Michigan rules that a person cannot be guilty of breaking into a dwelling he has a right to enter, and that someone who honestly believes he has such a right lacks the intent needed for breaking and entering. Trial counsel was ineffective for not asking for such instructions.

BB 321388:  The trial court erred when it concluded that the knowing restraint element of unlawful imprisonment can be satisfied by “psychological restraint.” In the alternative, trial counsel was ineffective for failing to object to a legally unsound, outcome determinative conclusion at a bench trial.

BB 321393:  The circuit court erred in holding that the Governor’s Executive Orders that forbade police officers from arresting drivers for license and registration violations and impounding their cars during that time of the pandemic did not deprive the police of the discretion to stop and investigate people for the same alleged license and registration violations. This Court should reverse and remand for the circuit court to hold an evidentiary hearing and apply the test for Entrapment by Estoppel.  Additionally, this Court should direct the circuit court to determine whether the Executive Orders created a reasonable expectation of privacy that was violated where the officer pulled defendant over to investigate an exempted license violation, such that the stop violated his federal and state constitutional rights to be free from warrantless and unreasonable searches and seizures.

BB 321397:  The trial court plainly erred in admitting unhelpful, unreliable and prejudicial testimony regarding the frequency at which children  
lie about sexual abuse and that children usually recant false allegations before it gets too far. This amounted to vouching, and defendant was denied his right to a fair trial. In the alternative, defendant received ineffective assistance of counsel where his attorney failed to object to such testimony.

BB 321398:  The trial court erred in permitting police officers to testify that they identified defendant from the Speedway gas station surveillance videos. The evidence was minimally relevant, it invaded the province of the jury, and the prosecutor used it to introduce other inadmissible and highly prejudicial evidence of defendant’s prior police contacts and criminal history. Alternatively, trial counsel rendered constitutionally deficient performance in allowing such testimony to be given.

BB 321398:  The trial court erred in admitting the hearsay police statements of a witness that defendant possessed a firearm. The evidence was an out of court statement admitted not merely to “explain the officer’s actions,” as the prosecutor claimed, but to prove the truth of the matter asserted – that defendant possessed the gun found in the car.

BB 321400:  Once the trial judge decided he lacked a valid reason to impose consecutive sentences, resentencing should have been limited to correcting the invalid maximum term for CSC II and amending the judgment of sentence to make the sentences concurrent.

BB 321403:  Due process entitles defendant to a new trial based on the prosecution’s failure to disclose impeachment evidence of a witness’s prior criminal convictions for receiving and concealing stolen property.

BB 321404:  OV-19 was improperly scored because defendant’s use of a cellphone did not threaten the security of a penal institution.

BB 321405:  The trial court denied defendant his right to a fair trial where it allowed the admission of other acts evidence relating to alleged prior domestic abuse of his mother where the evidence was not admissible under either MCL 768.27b or MRE 404b.

by John Zevalking
Associate Editor