Legal Blog

Detroit Defense Attorney Gets Home Invasion Dismissed

Home Invasion Attorney Gets 20 Year Felony Dismissed

This week, in the Wayne County Circuit Court, Detroit defense attorney Chris Kessel of Nessel & Kessel Law achieved another significant legal victory.  Our client was charged with Home Invasion – First Degree, Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile (UDAA), and misdemeanor Domestic Violence.  The Home Invasion charge carries a maximum 20 year prison sentence, while the Unlawfully Driving Away an Automobile carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison.  Generally, when a defendant is sentenced on two or more crimes at the same time, the sentences will run “concurrent”; meaning that both sentences will be run at the same time.  However, because of the state of the law in Michigan, if a defendant is convicted of Home Invasion and another crime, the sentences will run consecutive; meaning a defendant will have to serve their sentence on the Home Invasion THEN serve their sentence on the other crime.

Continue reading “Detroit Defense Attorney Gets Home Invasion Dismissed” »

Probation Violation Attorney

Probation Violation Dismissed

Sometimes a skilled probation violation attorney is the only thing that keeps you out of jail.  Recently Nessel and Kessel had the pleasure of representing a young man who was alleged to have violated his probation in the Wayne County Circuit Court.  The client originally plead guilty to possession of less than 25 grams of heroin and was sentenced to non-reporting probation.  Unfortunately, during his probation, the client was forced to change probation officers.  As is sometimes the case, the new officer was not familiar with all of the details of the client’s case, and when he didn’t show up didn’t report during the first 2 months of the new probation officer’s term the probation officer issued a warrant for the client’s arrest.  The client, who was unaware that a warrant was issued for his arrest, was later arrested and charged with violating his probation by absconding.

Before holding the probation violation hearing, Chris Kessel was able to obtain a copy of the original court file where it clearly showed that the client was sentenced to non-reporting probation.  Chris was able to explain to the court that the client was under no obligation to report regularly to his probation officer and that it was the fault of the new probation officer, not the client, that the warrant was issued.  When the court saw the original order of probation along with the accompanying documents, the violation was immediately dismissed and the client was continued on his probation, with the court’s apologies. Continue reading “Probation Violation Attorney” »

Bench Warrant Amnesty Program

The Wayne County Friend of the Court is now offering a limited amnesty program for those with warrants out for their arrest for failure to pay child support.  During this limited time the FOC will allow you to get your warrant dismissed and court costs that are generally assessed will be waived.

Those who wish to have their warrants dismissed must go to the Wayne County Friend of the Court, 645 Griswold, 2nd Floor, Penobscot Building, Detroit, MI 48226 and bring the following:

  • $250.00 or 1% of the child support arrears (whichever is greater);
  • government issued photo ID;
  • proof of income or other sources of income.

The program will from May 1 – May 24, from 8AM to 3:45PM.

After you’ve had your warrant set aside, that does not mean that your case is over.  In fact, that is far from the truth.  You still have to arrange a payment schedule or perhaps even modify the payments that you will make in the future.  If you would like assistance in handling your case call the attorneys at Nessel and Kessel Law for a free consultation.  We have a extensive experience in handling these specific matters.

Detroit Lesbian Couple Hires Gay Rights Attorneys at Nessel and Kessel After Harassment

It is no secret that LGBT rights, including same-sex marriage and adoption, are hotly contested legal issues in the United States today. Even with all of the progress towards equality achieved in the past few years, it is unfortunate that the prejudice and harassment of LGBT individuals still continues.

Such an example is seen in the case of a Detroit-area lesbian couple who were recently victims of harassment by their local city officials. Using complaints by neighbors who disagreed with their sexual orientation as justification, the fire department and city building inspector subjected the women to continual random property and dwelling inspections. Often times, the couple received misdemeanor ordinance violations based on absurd “infractions,” such as the bulb wattage of their carriage lights or the timing meter on their flood light.

Anxious to stop the harassment and unsure of where to turn, the couple contacted the Michigan gay rights lawyers at Nessel and Kessel Law for results. As Detroit attorneys with a passion for civil rights and LGBT legal issues, Nessel and Kessel Law threatened to expose the city and its officials for the clear discrimination and harassment against the couple. Just a week after reaching out to the Nessel and Kessel legal team, the city dismissed the ordinance violations and issued an order with the court stating that the clients would not be issued tickets for anything on their property or in their house.

Just like the couple described above, the Detroit gay rights attorneys at Nessel and Kessel Law are here to assist those with questions and concerns pertaining to LGBT legal issues, such as same-sex marriage and adoption–and they can help you too! Do not hesitate to reach out to the Nessel and Kessel civil rights lawyers today!

Detroit Gay Adoption Lawyer to Speak at Marriage and Family Expo

The Detroit gay adoption attorneys at Nessel and Kessel Law are proud to announce that Dana Nessel will be at the Marriage and Family Expo at the Livonia Marriott as a featured speaker!

Taking place this Sunday, April 7th, 2013, at 2 p.m., Dana will discuss LGBT adoption and same-sex marriage in the state of Michigan. In addition to Nessel, Chris Kessel will also be in attendance during the expo to answer any questions guests may have regarding our pending lawsuit set to overturn the ban on same-sex marriage and adoption in Michigan, as well as how the U.S. Supreme Court cases can impact the law in the Mitten state.

For more information on the DeBoer Rowse adoption case, please visit our website and donate!


Michigan DUI Defense Lawyers Assist in Dismissal of Drunk Driving Case

DUI Defense Lawyer, Dana Nessel, gets case tossed.

A client hired the Michigan criminal defense attorneys at Nessel & Kessel Law to represent him on a charge of Operating a Motor Vehicle while Intoxicated.  The case stemmed from the district court for the City of Novi.  The accused registered a .13 on the Datamaster, .05 above the legal limit. The Client was in particularly dire straits as his employment required him to have a valid CDL (Commercial Driver’s License), and any drunk driving related convictions automatically require revocation of a CDL.

Continue reading “Michigan DUI Defense Lawyers Assist in Dismissal of Drunk Driving Case” »

Criminal Defense Attorney Get Case Thrown Out

Plymouth criminal defense attorney, Dana Nessel, gets charged thrown out.

After multiple hearings Dana Nessel, of Nessel and Kessel Law, successfully persuaded the attorney representing the City of Plymouth to dismiss a case against our client.  Ms. Nessel, a well respected criminal defense attorney in the Plymouth, looks forward to filing a civil suit alleging police misconduct in the near future.  The case stems from charges of resisting and obstructing out of the 35th District Court

Our client had been charged with Resisting, Obstructing, Assaulting a Police Officer, in connection with traffic stop. Our client, who was the passenger of the stopped vehicle, was asked by an Plymouth officer to provide a driver’s license. The client refused, however he did give his full name to the officer. The officer then decided that wasn’t enough and told the client that he was going to be placed under arrest unless he provided his license, which our client still refused to do. The officer then used physical force against our client by slamming him to the ground and kneeing him in the back. During the entire incident the client – as captured on video – was yelling “I’m not resisting!” Our client was left with abrasions and contusions on his face, arms, and chest.

According the Municipal Code for the City of Plymouth it is not a crime to refuse to provide a driver’s license to a police officer, so long as you accurately identify yourself. During an evidentiary hearing Dana Nessel forced the officer to admit that he was fully aware that failing to provide identification was not an arrestable offense in the City of Plymouth. This admission supported our claim that the arrest was an illegal one. That fact, coupled with a recent development in Michigan case law which allows for the resisting of an illegal arrest, allowed Ms. Nessel to pressure the prosecutor into dismissing his case.

Our client has been cleared of ALL CHARGES.

Medical Marijuana Act in the Michigan Court of Appeals

In People v Green, a recent Michigan Court of Appeals case, the court held that it was not illegal for medical marijuana patients to transfer marijuana to each other, providing the amount transferred was under 2.5 ounces.

The facts of the case were undisputed. On September 7, 2011, defendant gave Al Thornton marijuana. The transfer of marijuana occurred in Nashville, Michigan. On the date of the transfer, defendant possessed a patient registry card, and Thornton had submitted a valid application for a registry identification card more than 20 days before the transfer, thus, under MCL 333.26429(b), his application was the equivalent of a registry identification card. The amount of marijuana transferred was less than the 2.5 ounces that a registered qualifying patient is permitted to possess under § 4(a) of the MMMA. Authorities did not arrest Thornton in connection with his receipt of marijuana from defendant; however, defendant was arrested after authorities learned that he gave Thornton marijuana.

As explained in People v Nicholson, 297 Mich App 191, 198; 822 NW2d 284 (2012), “a defendant is immune from arrest, prosecution, or penalty pursuant to § 4(a) if he or she (1) is a qualifying patient; (2) who has been issued and possesses a registry identification card; and (3) possesses less than 2.5 ounces of usable marijuana.” Additionally, medical use in accordance with the MMMA is required for § 4(a) immunity to apply. Id.; MCL 333.26424(a).

In this case, it was not disputed that defendant was a qualifying patient who was issued and possessed a registry identification card. Also not disputed is the fact that the amount of marijuana involved was less than the 2.5 ounces permitted by the MMMA, and that defendant received no compensation. Therefore, the only issue was whether the medical use requirement for § 4(a) immunity is satisfied.

“Medical use” is defined by the MMMA to mean “the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, internal possession, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the administration of marihuana to treat or alleviate a registered qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the debilitating medical condition.” MCL 333.26423(e).

The court concluded that while the “sale” of marijuana was not permitted under the MMMA, simply “transferring” or “giving” the marijuana to another patient was protected conduct.

Drug and narcotic crimes are some of the most common charges brought in the State of Michigan. In order to protect yourself, you need one of Michigan’s top criminal defense attorneys. These cases often revolve around the testimony of police officers or their “confidential informants.” This means that your freedom rests on your lawyer’s ability to skillfully cross-examine those witnesses. Be sure to put your freedom in the hands of criminal defense lawyers who have the experience and ability to break down a prosecutor’s case and clear your name.

Call Nessel & Kessel Law today for a free consultation.

Michigan Courts Side with Gun Owners

In People v DeRoche, a recent case in the Michigan Court of Appeals, the court held that it was a violation of the Second Amendment to charge a person with possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol when the possession occurred in the person’s home and was not coupled with any other illegal activity.

The statute in question, MCL 750.237, restricts the possession of a firearm as follows:

(1) An individual shall not carry, have in possession or under control, or use in any manner or discharge a firearm under any of the following circumstances:

(a) The individual is under the influence of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance.

(b) The individual has an alcohol content of 0.08 or more grams per 100 milliliters of blood, per 210 liters of breath, or per 67 milliliters of urine.

(c) Because of the consumption of alcoholic liquor, a controlled substance, or a combination of alcoholic liquor and a controlled substance, the individual’s ability to use a firearm is visibly impaired.

The case came about when two Novi police officers were called to a home because of a “verbal altercation”, where they eventually came into contact with Mr. DeRoche. It had been alleged that Mr. DeRoche had possessed a gun earlier that night, but upon arrival the officers had been shown where the gun had been hidden by Mr. DeRoche’s mother in law. After speaking with Mr. DeRoche, and discovering that he ws drunk, he was arrested for the possession of a firearm while intoxicated charge.

After several hearings the case made its way up to the court of appeals. The court held that charging Mr. DeRoche in such a manner was unconstitutional because it violates his federal and state right to bear arms in his home for purposes of self-defense. The court, referencing a recent United State Supreme Court opinion, stated that the Second Amendment, while not absolute, did protect the rights of citizens to keep fire arms in their homes for the purpose of self-defense.

“While Second Amendment rights are not unlimited, this conduct is protected. Aside from the statute at issue, defendant was not engaging in an unlawful behavior nor were there any facts to suggest that defendant possessed the handgun for any unlawful purposes. Further, it was not established that this is the case where someone was unlawfully allowed to own or possess a handgun in the first instance. Additionally, the prosecution has failed to establish that the conduct at issue had been historically outside of the scope of Second Amendment protection. Greeno, 679 F3d at 518. Given the above discussion, defendant’s conduct fell within the protections of the Second Amendment. While the perceived danger associated with intoxicated individuals and handguns is real and important, these issues are addressed by analyzing the conduct under the second prong of the Greeno test as discussed below.”

The court concluded its opinion by stating:

“In conclusion, the government cannot justify infringing on defendant’s Second Amendment right to possess a handgun in his home simply because defendant was intoxicated in the general vicinity of the firearm. Accordingly, the district court did not err in finding that MCL 750.237, as applied to defendant, was unconstitutional.”

Gun crimes are some of the most common charges brought in the State of Michigan. In order to protect yourself, you need one of Michigan’s top criminal defense attorneys. These cases often revolve around the testimony of police officers of civilian witnesses, which means your freedom rests on your lawyer’s ability to skillfully cross-examine those witnesses. Be sure to put your freedom in the hands of criminal defense lawyers who have the experience and ability to break down a prosecutor’s case and clear your name.

Call Nessel & Kessel Law today for a free consultation.

Nessel And Kessel Law Announces Arguments To Be Held In Michigan Gay Marriage Case

A case that originally started as a challenge to Michigan’s prohibition to same-sex second parent adoption, but that has now turned into a fight for the rights of gay and lesbian couple to marry, has reached another milestone. On March 7, 2013, Judge Bernard A. Friedman will hold a motion hearing so that he may hear arguments as to why gay and lesbian couples should or should not have the right to marry in the State of Michigan. The hearing is scheduled at 9AM at the Wayne State University Law School in the main auditorium.

The case, DeBoer et al v. Snyder et al, centers around April DeBoer and Jayne Rouse, two women in a committed relationship that have encountered many struggles on their journey to parenthood. April and Jayne have been in a committed domestic partnership for over a decade. Both women work in Detroit area hospitals; April is a neo-natal intensive care nurse, and Jayne is an emergency room nurse. For many years the two have been licensed foster parents.

Since deciding to become parents, April and Jayne have taken in three special needs newborns that were abandoned at birth by their mothers. The babies were born premature, drug-addicted, and with a host of long-term physical and mental impairments. Within a year and a half, these wonderful women took in all three babies (a girl and two boys) and have dedicated their lives to nurturing and caring for these abandoned children, who they love and cherish every bit as if they had given birth to them.

At Nessel and Kessel Law, we are proud to stand up for clients who simply want to have the same rights as other citizens of Michigan. Whether your case involves fighting for your civil rights, fighting against a criminal charge, or fighting for custody of your children, you need one of the top attorneys in Michigan, who have the experience and knowledge to win the tough cases. You need Nessel and Kessel Law.