Legal Blog

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.

New Rights for Immigrants

A recent Supreme Court ruling now gives immigrants who are facing criminal charges new rights. On March 31, 2010, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Padilla vs. Kentucky that defense attorneys must properly counsel their noncitizen clients of the deportation risks that result from a guilty plea. In other words, defense attorneys must advise their noncitizen clients that deportation will occur with a guilty criminal conviction, including miniscule convictions such as shoplifting, drug possession and drug trafficking.

The new Supreme Court ruling will benefit most noncitizens that face criminal charges. This is because a good portion of all criminal convictions against noncitizens are the result of a plea bargain. In fact, statistics show nearly 80 – 90% of criminal convictions are the result of a plea bargain, which in turn means that around 80 – 90% of noncitizen deportations are the result of a plea bargain.

Moreover, most noncitizens are unaware that they will be deported from a criminal conviction. Because of this, they often plead guilty to their accused crime. Although deportation is a permanent banishment from family, friends and the community, Federal Law does not view deportation as a punishment, but rather a sanction.

This new ruling is a step forward for immigration rights in general. It provides necessary counsel to noncitizens who would otherwise be unaware of the risks they face by entering a guilty plea.

Contact Nessel and Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan for quality and compassionate legal representation that will ease your anxiety and make sure you and your family’s best interests are taken care of.  Nessel & Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan will take listen to your case and give you the individual attention you deserve during these trying times.

About Nessel and Kessel

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel & Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel & Kessel Law’s experience includes all Detroit, Michigan misdemeanor and felony charges, assault, auto theft, criminal sexual conduct, domestic violence, drug possession and trafficking, expungements, homicides, manslaughter, internet crimes, larcenies, home invasions, breaking and entering, probation violations, retail fraud, drunk driving, license restoration, traffic tickets, divorce, annulment and legal separations, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support, restraining orders, personal protection orders, paternity, prenuptial and postnuptial, gay and lesbian family law issues, civil rights and constitutional violations, false imprisonment, forfeiture actions, police brutality, premises liability, wrongful arrest and wrongful death. Nessel & Kessel Law is located in Detroit, Michigan in the Penobscot building on the corner of Griswold and West Congress Street.

Contact Dana Nessel or Chris Kessel today at 313—556-2300 for an in-depth and confidential consultation regarding your rights

What are the Drug Trafficking Laws for Detroit Michigan?

Citizens accused of drug trafficking in Detroit, Michigan generally can face some of the harshest penalties of the law. This is because drug trafficking – delivery or distribution of illegal substances – usually carries stiffer penalties than: drug manufacturing or growing, and possession or use. Typically those accused of drug trafficking are carrying large quantities of illegal drugs, such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin, amphetamines and pharmaceuticals, across county, state and national borders. When this happens, federal law enforcement agencies – like the DEA and FBI – usually get involved, increasing the severity of the felony, both in terms of money and jail time.

Most drug trafficking charges in Michigan carry at least 20 years to life in prison with fines ranging between $25,000 to $1,000,000. The severity of the penalty will differ depending on:

  • The amount of drugs in your possession:
    • Less than  50 grams cocaine can equal around 20 years in prison with a $25,000 fine
    • Between 5 – 45 kilograms of marijuana can equal around 10 years in prison with a $500,000 fine
    • Any amount of methamphetamines or ecstasy can equal around 20 years in prison with a $25,000 fine
    • If you were selling the drugs around a school
    • If you were selling the drugs to a minor
    • If you were carrying a firearm
    • If this is your first drug conviction

If you’re charged with drug trafficking in Detroit, Michigan, you need the best legal defense team available. At Nessel & Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan, we’ve represented hundreds of citizens charged with drug trafficking in Detroit, Michigan. We’re willing to take the time to give you the best legal defense possible to help reduce your charges to drug possession. It takes a lot of work by the prosecutors to show that just because you had a large quantity of drugs in your possession, you intended to sell them. Nessel & Kessel Law will take the time to listen to your case and put in any amount of work necessary to prove flaws in the prosecution’s charges and help prove your innocence – such as mishandling of the drugs, illegally entering the crime scene, etc … Contact Nessel & Kessel Law for a confidential consultation to discuss your rights.

Contact Nessel & Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan for quality and compassionate legal representation that will ease your anxiety and make sure you and your family’s best interests are taken care of.  Nessel & Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan will take listen to your case and give you the individual attention you deserve during these trying times.

About Nessel and Kessel

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel & Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel & Kessel Law’s experience includes all Detroit, Michigan misdemeanor and felony charges, assault, auto theft, criminal sexual conduct, domestic violence, drug possession and trafficking, expungements, homicides, manslaughter, internet crimes, larcenies, home invasions, breaking and entering, probation violations, retail fraud, drunk driving, license restoration, traffic tickets, divorce, annulment and legal separations, child custody and visitation, child support and spousal support, restraining orders, personal protection orders, paternity, prenuptial and postnuptial, gay and lesbian family law issues, civil rights and constitutional violations, false imprisonment, forfeiture actions, police brutality, premises liability, wrongful arrest and wrongful death. Nessel Defense Law is located in Detroit, Michigan in the Penobscot building on the corner of Griswold and West Congress Street.

Contact Dana Nessel or Chris Kessel today at 313—556-2300 for an in-depth and confidential consultation regarding your rights