Legal Blog

You Have the Right to Protect Yourself In Your Home

If you are unsuspectingly put into a horrific situation where you and your family face bodily harm that could result in death, severe injury or rape, Michigan law allows you to defend yourself and your family through the use of deadly force. In various instances where an intruder is breaking into your home, business or automobile while you are present, you are permitted to use deadly force to protect yourself and your family from death, severe injury or rape. Michigan’s Castle Doctrine is the law which allows the use of deadly force against the threat of severe injury, death or rape.

Keep in mind, the use of deadly force against an intruder is only permitted in cases where the victim has a legitimate belief that severe injury, death or rape will occur if deadly force is not taken against the intruder. Plus, in the Michigan courts, a jury will have to agree that placed in the same situation, they too would use deadly force against the intruder to prevent severe injury, death or rape. Because of the type of self-defense taken and the severity of the threat against the property owner, it is vital to contact the quality defense team at Nessel and Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan if you’ve defended your home, business or car through the use of a firearm or violence during an intrusion. Nessel and Kessel Law will prove in the Michigan courts of law that the threat of violence was imminent and demonstrate to the jury that the use of deadly force was necessary to protect you and your family against severe injury, death or rape.

Michigan’s Castle Doctrine does not permit the use of deadly force in the following situations:

  • The individual deadly force was used against was a resident or had a legal right to be in the home, business owner or car owner.
  • The individual deadly force was used against was a child or grandchild of the homeowner, business owner or car owner.
  • The individual deadly force was used against was a former spouse or girlfriend of the homeowner, business owner or car owner.
  • The individual deadly force was used against was not involved in the crime and/or was an agent of peace.
  • The individual using deadly was involved in the crime.

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 and 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 Law

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel and Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel and 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 and 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.

New Concealed Weapons Law Effects Second Amendment Rights

In a recent decision by the Michigan Court of Appeals, the possession of a taser or stun guns is now considered to be a right protected by the U.S. and Michigan constitutions.  The decision bars the prosecution of suspects arrested in Bay and Muskegon counties.

The three-judge appeals panel cited a 2008 U.S. Supreme Court decision involving handguns which “guarantee(s) the individual the right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation” to find a state law barring the use of tasers and stun guns by private citizens was unconstitutional.

The two cases involved men charged with violating the law in 2010 and 2011. One carried a stun gun on his belt while working in a Bay City party store. The other, in Muskegon, was arrested when police came to his home and found him in possession of a stun gun.

The court said no evidence had been presented that the weapons – which use an electric current to disable a target – are primarily used for criminal purposes, or that they are sufficiently dangerous or unusual to warrant a ban.

Michigan lawmakers passed, and Gov. Rick Snyder signed, legislation authorizing the possession of stun guns and tasers by concealed weapons license holders in May. The appeals court said its ruling did not address limits set by the new law.

The court did say, however, that “a total prohibition on the open carrying of a protected arm such as a taser or stun gun is unconstitutional.”

A Carrying a Concealed Weapon (CCW) charge is a serious felony charge.  If you or someone you know has been charged with CCW, or any weapons charge, you need attorneys who can aggressively and effectively defend you and your rights.

Further, the state of the law in Michigan is constantly changing and it can often times be confusing when trying to determine whether your actions fall within the confines of the law.  You need a legal team that is not only up to date on the state of the law, but who is willing to fight for you and your rights – whether it be a felony or a misdemeanor case.

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.

About Nessel and Kessel Law

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel and Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel and 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 and 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

Nessel and Kessel Law is Your Best Choice for Drunk Driving Cases in Michigan

Nessel and Kessel Law is your best defense if you’ve been arrested for drunk driving in Michigan.

Nessel and Kessel Law realize that drunken driving arrests are an extremely traumatic and humbling time for anyone accused of a DUI. But you’ll find yourself in compassionate and understanding hands with Nessel and Kessel Law’s confidential consultation that will explain Michigan’s DUI laws and then lead you through Michigan’s courts of law.

DUI accusations in Michigan are a very serious offense and Nessel and Kessel Law will use their vast experience and knowledge to see that you get the best outcome for you and your family. In many instances – and even for first time drunk driving offense – the state of Michigan Anti-Drunk Driving Laws seek swift action and rigid penalties that may include:

  • Courts must decide drunken driving cases within 77 days after arrest.
  • Up to 93 days of jailtime.
  • Up to $500 in fines.
  • Up to 360 community service hours.
  • Up to 6 points on a driver’s license.
  • A driver’s license suspension of up to 180 days and a possible restricted license afterward for 30 days.

Contact Nessel and Kessel Law today and schedule a confidential appointment to learn how Nessel Defense can help you avoid jail time, stiff fines and even prevent you from losing your license. Nessel and Kessel Law’s expert advice can answer all of your questions and help you find the best outcome in situations such as:

  • What to do if you refuse a preliminary breathalyzer test when pulled over.
  • Determining the accuracy of the breathalyzer.
  • Police procedure during your sobriety tests.
  • What to do if you were never read your rights.
  • What to expect from Michigan’s recent changes in its drunken driving law.
  • What to expect from your sentencing and how to find the best outcome possible.

Nessel and Kessel Law is here for you during the stressful situation of your DUI case. Come to us today for caring and compassionate experience you can count during your most difficult times.

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.

About Nessel and Kessel Law

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel and Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel and 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 and 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

New Ruling Protects The Rights Of Medical Marijuana Patients

The Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that a Michigan medical marijuana patient cannot be prosecuted for illegal drug possession, despite not having proof of his or her registration at the time of arrest.

However, the court did say police were within their rights to arrest the patient, identified in court records as James RG Nicholson of Ottawa County, because he couldn’t establish proof of registration on the spot.

Prosecutors had argued that Nicholson was not protected by the medical marijuana law because he did not “possess” a registry identification card at the time of arrest in May 2011. He told police his registration card was in a car at his residence.

There are many uncertainties with the relatively new Medical Marijuana Act in Michigan. As if these matters aren’t complicated enough, often times these cases can by full of potential 4th Amendment issues as well.

It’s important that you have legal representation provided by an attorney who is both well versed in the most up to date Michigan law, as well being well versed in 4th Amendment law. You need an attorney who can ensure you get the best result possible.

About Nessel and Kessel Law

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel & Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel and 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 and 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.

Nessel and Kessel Law Assists Gays and Lesbians Seeking to Adopt

Starting a family can be one of the most difficult and time consuming processes you will ever undertake. Despite all the hard work and effort, the journey should also give way to a feeling of great joy and satisfaction. Unfortunately, as a gay or lesbian individual or a same-sex couple, the process is often times more difficult because of the judgments and prejudices that exist in today’s society. There are those, both inside and outside the government, who believe that gay or lesbian individuals and same-sex couples are not qualified to be parents. The regrettable truth is that these prejudices can have an effect on the adoption process.

At Nessel & Kessel Law we believe that LGBT individuals and couples should have the same constitutionally protected right to form a family that heterosexuals enjoy. We will fight to make sure that the only criteria examined by the courts and adoption officials is whether or not a child is being brought into a loving home. If you are considering bringing a child into your family, you need a legal team who has the most experience fighting on behalf of gay and lesbian families.

In 2010, in the case of Harmon v Davis, Dana Nessel fought for the child custody rights of a lesbian woman who had separated from her long-term partner. Renee Harmon and Tammy Davis were a lesbian couple who had been in a relationship for 19 years, during which time Tammy Davis bore three children to the couple. For nearly a decade, both parents raised the children, each contributing their time, money and love as any parent would. Unfortunately, Renee and Tammy eventually separated. Following the separation, Tammy denied Renee any access to their children. Dana Nessel represented Ms. Harmon as she sued for custody of the children, arguing that while she was not a biological parent, she was just as much a parent to the children as Ms. Davis. For the first time in Michigan history, the circuit court ruled that a non-biological parent in a same-sex couple had rights as an equitable parent to the children she planned and raised. Sadly, the case was later overturned by the Michigan appellate courts after a long and heart wrenching battle.

In response to the narrow-minded and shameful application of the law in the state courts, in 2012, Nessel & Kessel Law filed suit in federal court in the matter of DeBoer v Snyder, taking on Governor Rick Snyder and Attorney General Bill Schuette for their enforcement of the Michigan Adoption Code which prohibits same-sex couples from jointly adopting a child. The case involves April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse, a lesbian couple who work as nurses at local Detroit hospitals. The couple has been in a committed relationship for ten years, during which time they welcomed three special needs newborns into their home, each who had been abandoned or surrendered at birth. While April, Jayne and their children live together as a family, because of Michigan law, April and Jayne cannot jointly adopt the children. This is not only a denial of their equal rights to parent, but also creates a host of legal and practical problems for their children. We are challenging the law on behalf of April and Jayne, as well as their children, as a violation of the family’s constitutionally protected rights to equal protection under the law.

At Nessel & Kessel Law, we are committed to fighting for the rights of our clients, regardless of sexual orientation. Whether you are a same-sex couple or a gay or lesbian individual who is looking to adopt, you need representation by attorneys who have the courage and the experience to guide you through this process. We believe in the opportunity for all people, gay or straight, single or in a committed relationship, to have the chance to bring a child into their home and to form a loving and caring family.

Probation Violations Can be a Tricky Thing. Don’t Let It Take Away Your Freedom

Probation in Detroit, Michigan is a privilege that can be taken away, or revoked, at any time. It’s an opportunity for convicted criminals to avoid jail time, and it’s a privilege that allows convicted criminals to re-enter society after they have served jail time. Individuals sentenced to probation in Detroit, Michigan must always be under the supervision of a probation officer who is an employee of the Michigan Department of Corrections. This probation officer is required to seek revocation of probation before a judge if the convicted criminal on probation appears likely to regress toward criminal behavior.

Probation Violations

Generally the probation officer will ask for probation to be revoked for the following reasons:

  • Failure of a drug or alcohol test
  • Arrest for another crime
  • Missing an appointment with the probation officer
  • Failure to appear at a court scheduled appointment
  • Failure to complete a court-ordered program
  • Failure to pay fines and/or restitution
  • Failure to maintain employment or school
  • Association with other known criminals
  • A change of address with the authorization of the probation officer
  • Leaving the state without the authorization of the probation officer

If your probation officer suspects you of violating probation, contact Nessel and Kessel Law in Detroit, Michigan immediately because you will need a quality defense lawyer. If you are sentenced to a probation violation court hearing, the prosecutor must only demonstrate that you violated your probation terms. This makes it much easier for the judge to revoke your probation, plus a jury will not hear your case in probation violation case, only the judge will listen to your case.

Penalties for Probation Violation

If suspected of a probation violation, you may be sentenced to any of the following:

  • No further punishment: this allows the convicted criminal to continue probation without any penalties. This is the best outcome and is a result of minor infractions or technicalities.
  • Extension of the Probation: a probation officer can seek an extension of the probation for more severe violations. A judge must listen to this appeal and approve it.
  • Revocation of Probation: your probation can revoked for serious infractions, such as failing a drug test. The probation officer can request an arrest warrant and you may have to appear before a judge. Probation may be taken away or your original sentence can be reactivated.

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 and 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 Law

With more than two decades of experience, Nessel & Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel and 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 and 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.

Frank Beckman Interview

Don’t Let a Probation Violation Take Away Your Freedom

Probation in Detroit, Michigan is a privilege that can be taken away, or revoked, at any time. It’s an opportunity for convicted criminals to avoid jail time, and it’s a privilege that allows convicted criminals to re-enter society after they have served jail time. Individuals sentenced to probation in Detroit, Michigan must always be under the supervision of a probation officer who is an employee of the Michigan Department of Corrections. This probation officer is required to seek revocation of probation before a judge if the convicted criminal on probation appears likely to regress toward criminal behavior.

Probation Violations

Generally the probation officer will ask for probation to be revoked for the following reasons:

  • Failure of a drug or alcohol test
  • Arrest for another crime
  • Missing an appointment with the probation officer
  • Failure to appear at a court scheduled appointment
  • Failure to complete a court-ordered program
  • Failure to pay fines and/or restitution
  • Failure to maintain employment or school
  • Association with other known criminals
  • A change of address with the authorization of the probation officer
  • Leaving the state without the authorization of the probation officer

If your probation officer suspects you of violating probation, contact Nessel and Kessel in Detroit, Michigan immediately because you will need a quality defense lawyer. If you are sentenced to a probation violation court hearing, the prosecutor must only demonstrate that you violated your probation terms. This makes it much easier for the judge to revoke your probation, plus a jury will not hear your case in probation violation case, only the judge will listen to your case.

Penalties for Probation Violation

If suspected of a probation violation, you may be sentenced to any of the following:

  • No further punishment: this allows the convicted criminal to continue probation without any penalties. This is the best outcome and is a result of minor infractions or technicalities.
  • Extension of the Probation: a probation officer can seek an extension of the probation for more severe violations. A judge must listen to this appeal and approve it.
  • Revocation of Probation: your probation can revoked for serious infractions, such as failing a drug test. The probation officer can request an arrest warrant and you may have to appear before a judge. Probation may be taken away or your original sentence can be reactivated.

Contact Nessel and Kessel 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 and Kessel 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 is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel & Kessel’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

How Nessel Defense Law can Remove your name from the SORA

Don’t let a sex offense ruin your life. New amendments to the Michigan Sex Offender Registry Act (SORA) now make it possible to remove your name from the list. As of July 1, 2011, sex offenders who meet the “Romeo and Juliet” – or statutory rape – exception, and juvenile offenders who were convicted before July 1, 2011 and were below the age of 14 when convicted are eligible to be removed from the SORA.

How Nessel Defense Law can Remove your name from the SORA

If you’re a minor in Michigan convicted of having sex with another individual under the age of 16, it is now possible to remove your name from the SORA. You can petition to have your name removed and you may be granted a hearing to remove your name from the SORA. To do so, you’ll have to demonstrate:

  • The “victim” consented to the sex act, and
  • The “victim” was no younger than 13 years old, and
  • The “offender” was no more than 4 years older than the “victim”.

Keep in mind that just because a hearing is scheduled, this does not grant automatic removal from the SORA. You only get ONE CHANCE to clear your name. If your hearing does not go well and your name is not removed from the SORA, you’ll have to keep appealing for the 10 – 15 years of your life. Don’t go through this process alone. You’ll need the quality legal team at Nessel Defense Law. Nessel Defense Law will file your extensive paperwork and give you the best representation and advice possible during your petition and hearing.

The Consequences of Sex Crimes

The consequences of a sex crime conviction are severe; they will affect both your entire life and your family’s life. You need take every action possible to restore your name and avoid harsh penalties. The consequences in Michigan include:

  • An obligation to register your name with the SORA up to four times a year.
    • Your name and picture may be posted on postcards and distributed throughout your neighborhood
    • Your  name and picture may be posted on the internet and phone apps distinguishing you as a sex offender and showing where you live
    • You may be banned from entering schools and even being within a 1,000 foot radius of any school zone
    • You will face jail time and a fine

Contact Nessel and Kessel 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 and Kessel 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 is one of Michigan’s premiere litigation firms.  Nessel & Kessel’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