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Zoey_ JD
Zoey_ JD, JustAnswer Criminal Law Mentor
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 17390
Experience:  Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.
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I live in Michigan and I am trying to find an attorney who

Customer Question

I live in Michigan and I am trying to find an attorney who is familar with the DNR laws. I have been convicted of violating the Ban on Baiting and Feeding without any evidence. I hired a Horrible Defense attorney, who gave me terrible advise (bench trial). There was no clarification on the "Ban on Baiting and Feeding" the entire time since the arrest and my sentence. On March 9th I was offered a NOLO CONTENDRE plea. Not understanding what it was and being assured by my attorney that the case would be dismissed I wanted to speak to him for a few minutes. The judge would not allow it. During our arraignment (there was a warrant for both of us) the judge made a comment that I was inebriated and I had to take a breathelizer test which of course I passed. During the plea agreement she stated that she lives on 14 acres and there are no deer on her property. There are wetlands behind our entire street and we live about a mile from a huge State Park (Kensington). I have many oak trees in the back of the property and a pear tree in the front yard. On October 2nd the same DNRE officer spoke to my husband. Apparently the same people complained (we don't know) and there was a warrant issued for his arrest. He had to post a $500 cash bond. I don't even know why he did not get a ticket the first time as I had been warned before but he had no dealings with them or had any prior conviction ever. What do I do? How do I know that I will get proper representation for him. He is scared of losing his job at GM. How do I get the neighbours to call the anyonymous hotline?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Jacustomer,

Baiting in MIchigan is a criminal offense punishable by up to 90 days in jail and/or a fine of anywhere from $50 to $500. The section of the law that defines and controls this offense in MIchigan is below:

3.100 Taking of deer; prohibited firearms, “bait” and “baiting” defined, conditions for baiting established in certain area; unlawful acts.

(1) A person shall not use a rimfire firearm .22 caliber or smaller for the taking of deer.

(2) A person shall not pursue, capture, shoot, kill, chase, follow, harass, or harm a deer while the deer is swimming in a pond, lake, stream, or other body of water.

(3) For the purposes of this section, "bait" means a substance composed of grains, minerals, salt, fruits, vegetables, hay, or any other food materials, whether natural or manufactured, which may lure, entice or attract deer. "Bait" does not include the establishment and maintenance of plantings for wildlife, foods found scattered solely as the result of normal agricultural planting or harvesting practices, foods available to deer through normal agricultural practices of livestock feeding if the area is occupied by livestock actively consuming the feed on a daily basis, or standing farm crops under normal agricultural practices. For the purposes of this section, "baiting" means to place, deposit, tend, distribute, or scatter bait to aid in the taking of a deer.

(4) It shall be unlawful for a person to make use of bait to aid in the taking of a deer within the Lower Peninsula.

(5) In the Upper Peninsula a person may engage in baiting only if all of the following conditions apply:

(a) The baiting occurs only from October 1 to January 1.

(b) The bait material may be of any food type.

(c) The bait is scattered directly on the ground by any means, including mechanical spin-cast feeders, provided that the spin-cast feeder does not distribute on the ground more than the maximum volume allowed as described in subdivision (d) of this subsection. "Scattered" means that the bait is dispersed or thrown over a minimum of a 10-foot by 10-foot or equivalent area so that individual pieces of bait are separated and not placed in piles. The purpose of scattering is to mimic natural feeding conditions.

(d) The volume of bait used at any 1 point in time shall not exceed 2 gallons at any 1 hunting site.

(6) It shall be unlawful for a person to make use of bait to aid in the taking of a deer if the bait and baiting does not meet all of the conditions specified in subsection (5) unless specifically authorized in the minimum quantity and for the minimum time required under the conditions of a permit issued pursuant to chapter V for a scientific research project or for the control of deer by a governmental agency.
__

The elements of the crime above would be what the state would have to prove against your husband beyond a reasonable doubt in order to convict him of this crime. If he is not guilty of this offense, he will need to hire a criminal lawyer and fight the charges.

It sounds like on your case you didn't want to risk trial and took some kind of a deferred disposition whereby you pled no contest and your conviction was dismissed after you completed your mandatory sentencing requirements. If that is so, then your attorney managed to keep you from getting a criminal record, which for a plea agreement is about as good as you could get.

By taking any kind of a plea you give up the right to challenge the evidence against you. That would apply to your husband on this new matter as well. If he wanted to get some kind of a deal, he too could probably manage to resolve it in some way that could keep him from getting a criminal conviction in some way similar to what you did. If dismissed, then it should not affect his job, though he should certainly raise this topic with his attorney.

If he wants to challenge the lack of evidence and take the case all the way to trial, his maximum risk would be no more than the 90 days in jail and $500, but a conviction would certainly harm him professionally.

Legal experts here are not allowed to refer customers to a specific attorney. We can only steer you to some good referral services where you can find an experienced criminal laywer. You can get a one-time, 1/2 hour consultation with a member of the Michigan criminal bar in good professional standing by contacting the MIchigan State Bar Association's Lawyer Referral Service. The consultation is low priced ($50 or less) and your husband would not be required to hire the lawyer unless he wanted to. You could also contact a service such as Martindale.com, which has a customer rating system that might be helpful to you. Martindale is a well-regarded referral service with which many good attorneys register.

Good luck!
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I asked you a question about the Harassment by the 5 anonymous complaintants and you did not address it. I can't stop the deer from coming onto the property and that's the only reason the DNRE officer showed up. As far as the DNRE laws are concerned it was not clear and is still not clear of how bird feeding relates to it. I did not need any clarification on the rules. The new Bill 6324 shows the absurdity of the law and the ineptness of the DNR. You can watch the sessions on UTUBE. In my case the laws weren't clear on the baiting and feeding and the DNRE did not have anything on the ban from February thru December of 2009. By miracle, my attorney received something from the DNR the day before my sentence. I did not want to plead guilty nor did I want to opt out for some kind of plea because I was innocent. There was no investigation done whatsoever. I am 62 years old, retired and almost legally blind. Why would I want to enter into any kind of a plea agreeement. I was provided with horrible defense. My attorney never investigated anything. I was convicted based on false and anonymous reports. I think that we are harassed and will continue to be unless we move. That is what my question is about and I will not accept your answer at this time.
Expert:  Zoey_ JD replied 4 years ago.
Hello,

You didn't mention the word harassment anywhere in your post. You also did not say anything about looking to stop anonymous complaints or mention that deer come on your property. What you did say was that you were looking to find an attorney because you were not satisfied with the results of your last one and you further said that you were concerned about your husband losing his job as a result of this new incident.

I can only frame my answers based on the information provided me in your question. You are certainly not required to accept an answer that does not meet your needs.

I will opt out to let another expert try to do so.

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Zoey_ JD
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Admitted to NYS Criminal defense bar in 1989. Extensive arraignment, hearing, trial experience.