Every new year brings changes to the way life in Michigan is lived. People get older, new businesses open and suffering ones close down, and laws change. Sometimes it’s existing laws that get adapted, and sometimes it’s completely new laws that get introduced to address things that were never illegal before. And 2019 is no different – a series of new pieces of legislation, most passed in 2018, are going into effect now that 2019 is here. So if you’re wondering what new laws may affect your future, here’s a basic breakdown:
Cyberbullying is a growing problem. With the speed at which stories can spread, and the lack of self control so many people exhibit when watching things made available to them, cyberbullying has been held responsible for numerous teen suicides. However being a cyber bully is no longer legal in Michigan. Anyone using the internet to shame or bully someone here in Michigan could now get charged with a misdemeanor, earning them up to 93 days in the county lock up, or a fine of up to $500, or both. Repeat cyber bullies are facing larger fines and longer jail times.
Animal abuse might sound like something out of a horror movie, but it’s actually more common that many people realize, especially here in Michigan. In the past there has been a great deal of controversy about the fact that Michigan didn’t punish animal abusers harshly enough. Now new laws were passed to address that. Michigan House Bill 4332 established first, second and third degrees of killing and torturing animals, and raised the maximum penalty from four years in prison to 10. The new law also created a new category for people who neglect 25 or more animals at one time, which allows the law to specifically address breeders and pet shop operators. Animal abuse is now a big time felony in our state.
A package of bills aimed at addressing school safety was signed into law at the end of 2018. Although several of them deal with issues like making emergency operation plans mandatory, and requiring schools to provide emergency contact information to the Michigan State Police, one specific law deals with violence on school grounds. Specifically, school districts and public school academies are required by law to report to our State Police any crimes, acts of violence, and attempted or threatened acts or threats of violence, on or off school grounds (even if they were prevented.)
Although the law making recreational marijuana legal in Michigan (officially known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marijuana Act) was passed at the end of 2018, we thought it was worth mentioning because it only went into effect in December. This law makes it legal for anyone in Michigan over the age of 21 to grow and smoke weed, but not to buy or sell it. As for quantities, the new law makes it legal to grow up to 12 plants in your home, store up to 10 ounces, and carry up to 2.5 ounces with you, as long as you’re not on school grounds or on federal property.(Keep in mind that our National Parks are federal property so ditch your weed before you go there.)
Changes in law can mean mistakes and misunderstandings
So far, 2019 is shaping up to be an interesting year. If you’re under investigation for, or have been charged with, violating any Michigan law, call our top criminal defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm to discuss your unique situation. We’re available 24/7, including holidays, at 866 766 5245 to help you sort out your legal troubles. Our trusted criminal defense team has been helping people in the lower peninsula of Michigan for over a quarter of a century. Lots of our clients call us Michigan’s best criminal defense attorneys. .