Can Expressing Your Political Views Get You Arrested in Michigan?

The answer to that question is: it depends. On what, you wonder? A lot of things, but let’s start with the basics – namely, how you plan to express those political views. If you’re hopping on Facebook and trash-talking the Republicans or the Democrats, it might make you unpopular, but it’s not going to get you arrested. If you put up signs in your yard publicizing your support of Donald Trump, or wear a t-shirt proclaiming your love of Bernie Sanders, you might make a few of your neighbors angry, but you aren’t going to end up in the slammer. 

You’re also free to discuss your political views in restaurants over dinner, or swap stories at the grocery store about your feelings on the current administration or our last President. You can plaster your car with bumper stickers proclaiming your voting plans for the upcoming primary, and ride your bicycle around while flying a flag in support of your favorite candidate. All of that is fine, and you’re completely within your rights. But what you can’t do is destroy private property or harm someone because their political views are different from your own. As soon as you express your political views in a way that breaks Michigan law, you could end up behind bars!

A couple is facing charges for this exact crime right now!

Cailyn Smith, 18, and Kyren Jones, 23, a young couple currently in jail awaiting their next hearing, are accused of running a couple of teens off the road for having Trump stickers on their bicycles. Apparently, the couple was driving along in their blue Chevy Malibu when they noticed the young brothers on their bicycles, flying flags in support of Trump. According to the statement given to the police by the victims, the couple in the car began following them down the road. Smith is said to have rolled down her window and yelled obscenities at the boys about their Trump flag. 

Then the vehicle swerved sharply as if to hit the boys. Frightened, both boys rode their bikes onto the grass beside the road to get away. The boys recorded part of the incident on Snapchat using their phones, which later allowed officers to identify the car and the occupants. They also said that Smith and Jones wouldn’t leave them alone until they threatened to call the police, which they ended up doing anyway. As you can imagine, Smith and Jones, fortunately, are now both facing criminal charges.

The moral of the story is this: use your words, not your hands!

In the end, the rules that applied in kindergarten still apply now when it comes to expressing your political perspectives here in Michigan. You are free to talk about what you believe and share your opinions with others, because the Constitutional Amendments protect your right to free speech. But you are not free to threaten or harass people, damage people’s private property, or assault and harm people just because they believe something different from you. And if you do, you’re likely to end up charged with some serious crimes.

Having said that, we understand that politics can be a topic of heated debate, and people get very emotional about their beliefs. So if you get caught up in the moment and make a poor choice defending your beliefs, or trying to point out the faults in someone else’s, call The Kronzek Firm at 866 766 5245 (866 7NO JAIL). Our experienced criminal defense attorneys have spent many decades working hard to defend Michigan residents from all walks of life against criminal charges, and we have a long track record of success. Don’t let a politically heated mistake damage your future. Call us at 866 7NoJail for help. We’re available 24/7 to put a fighter on your side. 

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