Press and Media Center
Michigan’s new expungement laws are now in effect, significantly expanding the number of people that can expunge criminal convictions in Michigan. Principal Attorney Barton Morris discusses the changes and benefits of expungement with Channel 7’s Jenn Schanz.
More than two decades after being sentenced to 40-60 years, Michael Thompson, Michigan’s longest serving cannabis prisoner, is finally a free man thanks to Gretchen Whitmer’s commutation and the Last Prisoner Project.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer granted requests for clemency for four people who were put behind bars due to the War on Drugs, including Michael Thompson, who was sentenced in 1996 to up to 60 years in prison after selling marijuana to an undercover cop.
Social justice advocates are asking Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to pardon a metro Detroit man who is serving time for marijuana offenses. Rudi Gammo, a pioneer in the medical marijuana industry, was sentenced to five years in prison for conducting a criminal enterprise; a non-violent marijuana offense that is now legal.
COVID-19 Crisis for Michigan Inmates – March 31st, 2020 | WWJ Newsradio 950
“I believe Michigan really has to step up, because as soon as it becomes a significant death toll in our prisons, I fear it’s going to be too late.” (Audio 1)
“There’s a lot of people in jails or prisons in Michigan that are at risk, and that need to be released.” (Audio 2)
There are more than 1 million arrests in the United States for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol annually, according to the FBI. Just because someone was arrested does not mean they are guilty. Every person arrested for DUI should be investigating the potential defense strategies that exist in each case.
Michigan State Police say it’s unclear just how many certification records were falsified or how long it’s been happening. But the agency says the discrepancies it’s revealed so far do not directly impact results of evidential breath tests. Criminal defense attorney Barton Morris doesn’t buy it.
Michigan State Police are halting a contract with the company who processes results from breathalyzers in DUI cases. What does this mean if you’ve recently been charged with a DUI?
Royal Oak defense attorney Barton Morris says anyone recently convicted of a DUI may want to place a call to the prosecutor’s office.
Concern over a widely-used breath alcohol testing device is sparking action from Michigan State Police. “I think it’s really an eye-opener because breath alcohol testing is the most often used chemical analysis for somebody’s blood alcohol level in almost every DUI case,” said criminal defense attorney Barton Morris.
New Year’s Eve is Tuesday, which means plenty of parties will be taking place to celebrate. If you plan on partying, make sure you do it responsibly. Attorney Barton Morris stopped by Broadcast House to discuss some of the liabilities New Year’s Eve can bring.
Royal Oak-based Moms4starfish along with the law offices of Barton Morris in Royal Oak helped raise $30,000 to go toward a classroom buildout for Inkster-based Starfish Family Services.
A mom group based out of Royal Oak are working raise money to help infants and toddlers in need of a new classroom. Bridjet Morris, is a woman on a mission to secure $20,000 for the classroom. She joined 7 Action News’ Syma Chowdhry to discuss her initiative with the group, Moms4Starfish
ROYAL OAK – Barton Morris, founder of the Cannabis Legal Group and the Law Offices of Barton Morris, will discuss the roadside oral fluid testing pilot program that the Michigan State Police is using to detect high drivers. Listen above.
Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel’s Office executed a search warrant Friday related to its Make Your Date investigation, seeking information from the city’s information technology department. Barton Morris serves as WXYZ-Channel 7’s legal analyst for this breaking story.
Starfish Family Services is in immediate need of a new classroom for infants to toddlers. However, this new space comes at a high cost — $20,000. Bridjet Morris, her group Moms4Starfish, and her husband, Barton W. Morris Jr, founder of the Law Offices of Barton Morris in Royal Oak, are stepping up to help make this happen.
One of the leading advocates for expunging pot-related offenses, Barton Morris, says he’s happy the bill includes expungement for some felonies. “There are people who were operating dispensaries and ended up getting convicted,” Morris, an attorney for Cannabis Legal Group, tells Metro Times. “There are people currently serving probation, jail, and prison sentences for nonviolent marijuana-related convictions.”
A law firm is offering to help people expunge their records of marijuana crimes at three clinics in Detroit, Lansing and Pontiac. “Criminal convictions can prevent people from being employed, denial of fundamental rights and live their best life. It has been proven that even those who are eligible, do not take advantage of getting their convictions removed due to fear of denial, not understanding the process or believing it will cost too much money. These statements are not true,” said Cannabis Legal Group principal attorney Barton Morris.
“It’s not perfect, but it’s a step in the right direction,” Barton Morris, an attorney and leading advocate for expunging pot-related offenses, tells Metro Times. Morris also has called on lawmakers to pardon people who are in jail for offenses that are now civil infractions and to offer expungement for people with felony marijuana convictions.
A Detroit woman was pulled over last week by Sterling Heights police for running a red light. Then, her car was impounded for the possession of her own prescription medication. Now Sterling Heights police are demanding $1,000 in exchange for her car after the Sterling Heights have basically “been trying to find a way to extort money from her,” according to attorney Barton Morris.
A Detroit woman was pulled over by Sterling Heights police for running a red light. Next thing she knew, her car was impounded for the possession of her own prescription medication. Attorney Barton Morris is preparing to fight for the return of her car.
Stephanie Achenbach has joined Barton Morris law firm, as a criminal defense attorney. Achenbach previously served as assistant attorney general for the state of Michigan, where she gained litigation experience at the state and federal levels. She began her career in private practice.
Principal attorney Barton Morris “surprises” the attorney general after winning an acquittal for nurse Liza Barnett. Barnett was a nurse at MediLodge in Farmington Hills when she was fired for “intentionally falsifying medical records.”
Her attorney, Barton Morris of Barton Morris Law Firm, said Barnett was attempting to correct an error when the state claimed she intentionally falsified a record. The patient in question was under the care of several nurses, according to Morris.
“Something needs to be done immediately,” says Barton Morris, an attorney and leading advocate for expunging pot-related offenses and pardoning people who are in jail for offenses that are now civil infractions. “There are people currently serving probation, jail, and prison sentences for nonviolent marijuana-related convictions. Every day that goes by is another strike of injustice to them, especially ones serving sentences for offenses for marijuana-related conduct that is permitted today.”
“Because of these new laws and emergency regulations, companies from all over the country—legitimate companies—are coming here and investing in the city of Detroit,” attorney Barton Morris said at the press conference. “They’re investing in the state of Michigan. They’re investing in our economy in order to bring regulated commercial cannabis cultivation here in the city.”
“This was a grey market. Nothing compares to this. Right now, every day that goes by is basically a kick in the face for these folks,” said Barton Morris. “It’s not just people in jail. It’s people on probation and who are being drug tested every week for a simple possession charge. If they screw up? They could go back to jail for something this is now legal.”
Barton Morris, Jr., principal attorney of the Law Offices of Barton Morris and contributor to the report, said the commision’s recommendations “were very well supported and thought out.”
A special commission is advising Michigan lawmakers not to set limits on how much THC a person can have in their system before they’re deemed too impaired to drive. “The commission was very accurate,” Morris said. “There cannot be a THC concentration in blood that reasonably equates to impaired driving.”
A Detroit restaurant owner originally from Jamaica was accused of selling marijuana out of his restaurant when Detroit Police raided it and found 9 ounces of marijuana. But the defense in court “changed everything.”
The attorney for a Detroit woman has filed a federal lawsuit, alleging Wayne County sheriff’s deputies illegally impounded her car after she was cited for buying $10 of marijuana — costing her $1,200 in fees and fines. Barton Morris says his client was ticketed after buying a small amount of marijuana from an unlicensed dispensary in July.
The law is called civil forfeiture- meaning if cops find illegal pot in your car or home or on your boat or whatever, they can seize those items and make you pay to get it back. This is true even if you are not convicted of the initial crime. For Crystal, it cost her $1,200 for $10 in pot. “It’s policing for profit,” Barton said.
The company’s legal attorney, Barton Morris, argued that Detroit police did not do the legwork to confirm the business’s permits and records prior to conducting the May 29 raid. “[The employees] were charged with having an unlawful cultivation operation—basically, having too many plants. These guys have done everything that they could possibly have been expected to do in order to be able to operate in the manner in which did. [That] basically means: Get all the required permits and licensing from the city of Detroit and then also apply for the state license.”
“Rudi is one of the first people to be provided a medical marijuana dispensary in the city of Detroit, that was permitted by the city,” Morris says. “It’s my goal to see to it that he is released from prison, and his justice has been restored.”
Spotlight On: Barton W. Morris, Jr.
Morris wrote that state law specifically says it is the last word on motor vehicle noise in Michigan, “and no local ordinance can pre-exempt it.” He went on to state: “The city’s ordinance is blatantly in violation of state law. … Many people who are simply enjoying the summer with their cars on Woodward feel harassed.”
Barton Morris, who protested the tickets, says he was informed that not all of these tickets would be tossed. “Only to the extent that they were written for a driver that was actually traveling on the highway, because it was Dave Gillaim’s…in his response he stated that he still has the ability to enforce it to those who were parked,” said Morris.
State law specifically says it is the last word on motor vehicle noise in Michigan, “and no local ordinance can pre-exempt it,” attorney Barton Morris said. In his letter to Royal Oak City Hall, Morris minced no words: “The City’s ordinance is blatantly in violation of state law and its concerning because it is our understanding that these tickets have been issued hundreds of times. Many people who are simply enjoying the summer with their cars on Woodward feel harassed.”
The city of Royal Oak is cracking down on loud drivers by issuing tickets to drivers, and cruisers are working to fight the tickets. Attorney Barton Morris says that is unlawful and he plans to put the brakes on it, once and for all.