Legal Blog

Medical Marijuana Defense

In a recent decision by the Michigan Supreme Court, medical marijuana users are ruled not to be automatically breaking the law if they drive after using the drug. 

In 2010 Rodney Koon was stopped in Grand Traverse County and ticketed for Operating While Intoxicated.  As a result of the stop Mr. Koon had his blood tested and it was found that he had THC in his blood.  Despite the fact that Mr. Koon had a valid prescription for marijuana, he was prosecuted for OWI.  According to the Court, medical marijuana users have some protection from this type of prosecution because the prosecutor must prove that the driver of a vehicle was actually under the influence of the drug at the time they were operating the vehicle.  Simply showing that THC is present in the blood stream is not enough to convict. 

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Operating While Intoxicated vs Operating While Impaired

As the weather warms up and people start having BBQ’s, graduation parties, and weddings, that means one thing…that police will be on the look out for lots of potential drunk drivers.  This time of year always sees an increase in the number of Operating While Intoxicated and Operating While Visually Impaired cases here at Nessel and Kessel Law.  For that reason, let’s brush up on the differences between the charge of OWI and OWVI.

OWI – First, is a misdemeanor offence which carries a maximum penalty of 93 days in jail and a $500 fine, as well as possible community service.  Just as important, a conviction for your first drunk driving (OWI) means an immediate 30 day suspension of your license followed by another 150 days having a restricted license.  You will also get 6 points on your driving record, meaning your insurance premium will increase significantly. 

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Detroit Defense Attorney Shines at Preliminary Exam

Felony Firearm Charges Dismissed

Thanks to arguments made by Chris Kessel after a preliminary exam, the weapons charges against a client of Nessel and Kessel Law were dismissed by a judge at the 36th District CourtOur client was charges with Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW), Felon In Possession of a Firearm (FIP) and Felony Firearm (FF).  These charges often accompany each other because they can all be charged by the commission of one simple act; possessing a gun.  The charges stemmed from an encounter our client had with 3 Detroit Police Officers.

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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.

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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.

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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.