Progress in Detroit: One Step Forward or Two Steps Back?

Detroit Criminal Lawyer: What’s in Store For the Future of Detroit?

As someone who was born and raised in the City of Detroit, I, along with many others can say with certainty that this past week has been one of the most eventful weeks in Detroit news and politics in quite some time. From the governor of Michigan mandating a Emergency Financial Manager to oversee Detroit’s financial woes, to the ending of a decade long federal corruption investigation resulting in the criminal convictions of former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick and others, no one is quite sure if Detroit is moving forward towards progress, backwards towards further destruction, or simply in a standstill with no movement at all.

Kwame Kilpatrick Conviction and EFM

Kwame Kilpatrick undoubtedly had the intelligence, charisma, and political savvy to do great things as Mayor in the City of Detroit. Yesterday’s criminal convictions for bribery, racketeering, and a host of other criminal charges represents much more than just a stay in prison for a man who had such a bright political future. What it means for a city desperate for change, and a citizenry broken and mislead from years of a city government who pilfered and stole from the people, is a chance to finally move on.

Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Convicted On Corruption Charges – NPR (blog)

NPR (blog)Former Detroit Mayor Kilpatrick Convicted On Corruption ChargesNPR (blog)… Kilpatrick on his way into court Monday in Detroit. Regina H. Boone /MCT /Landov. Former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, once a rising star in the Democratic Party …

But move on to what? An upcoming mayoral race where the candidates will be heavily scrutinized not so much on their political aspirations and goals for the city, but whether or not they have the requisite integrity and compassion to not engage in corruption and bribes while in office? A public who voted against the Governor’s authority to mandate a Financial Emergency Manager, but has still been forced to accept one whose coronation and appointment is imminent? Citizens who remain either unemployed, underemployed, or have been forced to accept pay-cuts,furlough days, and a loss of benefits and contractual rights as a condition for continued employment? A police and fire department who have gone on record several times admitting that they do not have the money, man-power and resources necessary to provide adequate safety and protection against crime? If this represents the future of Detroit, then this sounds more like a state of confusion and despair than a beacon of progress and change.

What it would mean for Detroit: Questions, answers on emergency financial … – Detroit Free Press

Detroit residents protest emergency financial manager law – Michronicleonline

Blame Game or Forward Thinking?

While there is more than enough blame and pointing of fingers to go around for Detroit’s current economic and political crisis, the only thing that is going to push Detroit forward towards a stronger and vibrant future will be the implementation of “forward thinking”. Gone are the days where the citizens of Detroit point the finger at City Council, and City Council in turn points the finger at the Mayor, and the Mayor then points the finger at everyone else leaving no one to take true ownership and accountability for Detroit’s problems.

Forward thinking replaces blame with action;argument with discussions;crisis with game plans and executions;problems with solutions;and a state of destitution with a state of progression. Who cares if the Emergency Financial Manager was “unelected” so long as he or she has the requisite skills and fortitude to bring Detroit’s finances out of the red and back into the black? Who cares if the Mayor is White, Black, or Brown, so long as he or she is able to restore governance, accountability, and democracy in the city’s decision-making and execution of its mission? Hopefully, no one will care about these things because “we the people” will be busy self-educating and training ourselves to become a more skilled and trained workforce made up of educators, professionals, entrepreneurs, parents, students, children, etc..,

Detroit Regional Chamber CEO: Kwame Kilpatrick trial overshadowed city’s … –

‘Saving’ Detroit A Difficult Goal As City Grapples With Cuts, Fiscal Crisis … – Huffington Post

So what will the history books write about the City of Detroit 50 years from now? Will they still read of the same old clichés of “Motown”, “The Big 3”, “Foreclosures” and “Homicide Rates”. Or will we finally read of a city who pulled itself up from ruin to become a model and roadmap for other cities to design and model itself after to achieve true progress? Hopefully, with good health and faith, we will all be around to read about it!

Tips On Finding Employment Even If You Have A Criminal Record

Detroit Michigan Criminal Expungement Attorney: How To Find Employment Even If You Have A Criminal Record

In a depressed economy, the search for adequate employment and job opportunities become increasingly difficult for even the most qualified group of applicants. In fact, according to Tami Luhby @CNNMoney, only 3 of 10 persons are able to find employment within three weeks of losing their jobs. This number is even more daunting for the “long-term unemployed”.

But what about those who must face the task of seeking employment in spite of their

Michigan Criminal Record Expungement Attorney

Has your criminal past haunted you in your current job search?

criminal past that may come back to haunt them in their current job search. Do any opportunities exist to help ex-convicts or persons with criminal records land adequate employment? The unfortunate truth in today’s job market is that having a criminal record or past will indeed create a hurdle in your job search if you fail to prepare yourself for what’s to come during potential job interviews and employer criminal background checks.

By law, employers are not allowed to discriminate against job applicants on the basis of their criminal record or past alone. With this said, statistics show that a person with a criminal record is 50 percent less likely to be called in for a job interview or receive an actual job offer. Fortunately, there’s hope and here are some tips to better position yourself to land the job you desire, even if you have a criminal past.

1) Seek A Criminal Expungement

Most states will allow a person convicted of misdemeanor or felony to have their criminal record expunged after a certain period of time, assuming all legal requirements have been met by law. A Criminal Expungement, legally known as an “Application to Set Aside Conviction”, or a “Pardon”, may be a solution that clears up obstacles for those with convictions on their record, making it easier to achieve better opportunities and provide a fresh start at life. Michigan Criminal Record Expungement Attorney Kevin Bessant has experienced much success in helping those with criminal records Set Aside their criminal convictions so that their records are cleared, making it easier for them to successfully pass criminal background checks.

If you plead “guilty,” “no contest,” or were found guilty at trial of a misdemeanor or felony offense,drug crimeweapons offensecriminal assault or domestic violence, you may be eligible to have your criminal conviction expunged from public record. An expungement allows one-time criminal offenders who satisfy the requirements of Michigan Law, to set aside that one criminal conviction. Check the expungement laws of your state to see if you may qualify for a criminal expungement.

2) Remain Positive: New Laws May Help

Michigan Criminal Record Expungement AttorneyHaving the right attitude during your job search can make all the difference in the world. Do not let your criminal past define you. Although there will be obstacles, many employers will allow you the opportunity to explain the nature of your criminal conviction either on the application or during the job interview. If afforded that opportunity, you always want to paint yourself in the most positive light possible. Explain to the employer how much you have grown and matured since the date of your criminal conviction and how you have succeeded and turned your life around despite your criminal past. See also Eric Mayo, from who specializes in helping persons with criminal convictions seek employment.

Ex-Convict Goes Job Hunting: The Hardest Career Turnaround – AOL Jobs

Recognizing that many employers have unfairly discriminated against job applicants by dismissing their applications once the applicant has indicated that they have been convicted in the past on their application, new legislation in Michigan has been introduced to help end this problem.

Proposal to eliminate criminal ‘check box’ on applications – WZZM

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has also introduced tougher restrictions on Employers who choose to discriminate against persons with criminal records in the hiring process.

Perform Criminal Background Checks at Your Peril – Wall Street Journal

Will new fed guidelines force companies to hire more employees with criminal … – Fox News

OFCCP Directive Warns Against Blanket Criminal Record Exclusions For … – Mondaq News Alerts (registration)

3) Utilize All Resources Available to YOU!

While finding a job in today’s economy is tough enough already, having a criminal record will require you to work even harder to land employment. This means that you will have to use all available resources to assist you in your job search. This may mean attending free job skills programs; resume workshops; interviewing workshops; and of course networking. Below are a list of resources and websites with more information:

Michigan Employers Who Hires Persons With Criminal Records

Jobs For Felons: How to find employment if you have a criminal record. Book by Michael Ford.

How to Get a Job with a less than perfect past!

Autocam: Michigan New Jobs

Jim Wojczynski from Autocam describes the benefit of hiring and training apprentices thanks to GRCC and the Michigan New Jobs Training Program.

Michigan Marijuana Law: A Right to Light or Politics as Usual?

Detroit Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney: A Legislative Battle Up In Smoke


It appears that the Michigan Legislature and Michigan Courts has decided once again not to tackle the issue of Marijuana Legalization head on. From ignoring the rights of voters who decided this issue on Michigan ballots, to outright criminalizing the distribution of medical marijuana by licensed dispensaries, it is difficult for anyone, including legislators to say for certain where the law stands when it comes to “medical marijuana” and “marijuana legalization”.

The following article explains the current push by Michigan Legislators to legalize Medical Marijuana Distributors across Michigan despite lawmakers original decision to allow for the dispensing of medical marijuana:

Bill To Legalize Medical Marijuana Distributors To Be Introduced In

This bill to legalize Medical Marijuana Distributors will ultimately place voters in charge of deciding whether or not to allow dispensaries in their communities instead of Michigan Courts.

Medical marijuana dispensaries would be legalized under proposal

Even after Detroit voters mandated the legalization and use of small amounts of medical marijuana within their private homes, Michigan Law Enforcement agencies across the board have been either slow to adopt this new law within their enforcement policies or have ignored its enactment all together:

Michigan Cops Ponder Detroit Marijuana Legalization Vote

Thus, although technically “legal”, Detroit residents must remain in fear and confusion when it comes to their legal right to use marijuana free from police retaliation and arrest!


We no longer have to go overseas to Amsterdam or the Caribbean to learn how States can effectively legislate and legalize the use of marijuana without massive confusion and legislative drawbacks. We can now look to States such as Oregon and Washington State, who in the process of legalizing the adult use of marijuana, are developing avenues to regulate the legal use of marijuana similar to that of the purchasing of tobacco and alcohol throughout the state.

Marijuana Legalization Measure Introduced in Oregon – NORML Blog

The push for the decriminalization of marijuana has reached the legislative committees in New Mexico and Hawaii, indicating a subtle but imminent push for other states, including Michigan to take a serious position on this issue once and for all.

Marijuana Legalization May Be Unstoppable | Mother Jones

This movement has even caused the federal government to rethink its position on the legalization of marijuana. As a practicing criminal defense attorney in Detroit, it is common to hear courts and judges justify its rejection of the voting public’s wish to legalize marijuana by stating “Just because the State has made it legal, it is still illegal under Federal Law…..”, as my client stands before the court “criminally charged” with what should be the “legal” possession of marijuana. This political and unreasonable rationale may no longer hold water if Congress decides to address this issue on a national level, providing guidance and instruction to States to adopt a uniformed process for legalizing marijuana.

Federal Decision On Legalized Marijuana Coming “Soon” | The


The future of medical marijuana in Michigan remains unclear and convoluted at best. A concerted effort amongst legislators, the court system, the medical profession, and of course Michigan citizens will be needed to hash and vet out an overdue uniformed process of legislating the use of marijuana in Michigan. One thing that remains clear is that our current “democratic” process for legislating marijuana is mired in a cloud of smoke and haze.

The South End :: Michigan medical marijuana’s hazy future

Hopefully, with time and effort, the confusion surrounding Michigan Medical Marijuana Laws will be a thing of the past. Thus those who benefit from its medicinal value can use without fear of legal infringement, and those authorized to dispense can do so without the seizure of its inventory from law enforcement. Until then, we must all wait to legally indulge in our right to light as dictated by Michigan law and policy!