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Michigan woman arrested on misdemeanor charge for squatting

A Michigan woman has been arrested after reportedly illegally moving into a home she believed to have been abandoned. The woman, age 27, was arrested because of a trespassing complaint that was entered in February. She said she decided to move into the Bolles Harbor home after noticing that no one was living inside the building. She argues that she is protected by a squatter's rights law.

The defendant in this case is facing a 90-day misdemeanor charge in connection with the arrest. In many cases, officers say, misdemeanor defendants are provided with a letter and a time period for surrender. However, this woman was arrested immediately because of the nature of the offense; officers said that they wanted to make an example to show others that they cannot simply move into someone else's home.

The house in this case is owned by a physician who is facing charges for his involvement in an alleged drug crime. The man is accused of illegal pill distribution. However, that man reportedly forced his way back into his house in late February, as the alleged squatter was living on the premises. She said he rummaged through some of her belongings.

The woman said she had intended to leave, but she was arrested before she had the chance to vacate the premises. Interestingly, news reports show that the woman spent tens of thousands of dollars making repairs to the lake house, as she thought she was protected under the obscure squatter's rights provision. That provision was nullified when the property owner made contact with the defendant.

Criminal defendants who are facing misdemeanor charges may benefit from the advice of a Michigan attorney. These legal professionals may be able to help, even in the case of fairly obscure legal provisions such as those related to squatters. Attorneys may also be able to serve as valuable courtroom advocates and allies for defendants who are facing misdemeanor charges.

Source: Monroe News, "Woman Living In Lakeside House Arrested" Ray Kisonas, Mar. 09, 2014

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