Recent Cases

Chris Kessel Secured Not Guilty Verdict

Detroit Defense Attorney Secures Not Guilty Verdict

Today, at the Wayne County Circuit Court, with a client facing a combination of weapons, assault, and domestic violence charges, Detroit defense attorney Chris Kessel was able to obtain a complete acquittal for his client.  The client, AM, was charged with Felonious Assault, Felony Firearm, Felon in Possession of a Firearm, and Domestic Violence, and was looking at up to 7 years in prison if convicted.

The prosecutor’s was based almost entirely on the testimony of the complaining witness, our client’s former girlfriend, who claims that the client physically assaulted her, put a gun to her head, and threatened to kill her.  Through rigorous cross examination, Chris was able to show that the story she testified to at trial was substantially different to the story she testified to at a prior hearing.  Chris was also able to show that the original story that the complaining witness told the police was different from the version she told while under oath. Continue reading “Chris Kessel Secured Not Guilty Verdict” »

Gay Marriage and Second Parent Adoption Interview

Dana Nessel sits down with mlive.com to discuss gay marriage and second parent adoption.

While the country waits for the United States Supreme Court to address the cases before it that deal with gay marriage, Dana Nessel spoke with Jonathan Oosting of MLive.com for an interview on the state of the law in Michigan and around the county.

The interview can be found here.  http://www.mlive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/06/michigan_gay_marriage_advocate.html#/0

Nessel and Kessel Law is dedicated for fighting for the rights of all people, no matter their race, religion, or sexual preference.  At this moment we have a case in Federal Court challenging Michigan’s ban on same sex marriage and second parent adoption.  More information can be found on the case hereWe are particularly looking forward to the Supreme Court’s decision and the ways in which it will further our fight for gay marriage and second parent adoption in Michigan.  If you or someone you know has been charged with a crime or been discriminated against, contact the Dana Nessel and Chris Kessel of Nessel and Kessel Law.

Armed Robbery Charges Dismissed

After a preliminary exam at the district court for the City of Westland, Chris Kessel was able to have armed robbery charges dismissed against his client. 

Our client was initially charged with armed robbery after a incident that happened in a local K-Mart.  The testimony from one of the store’s loss prevention officers was that the client stole some costume jewelry from the store.  In essence, the client committed a retail fraud.  The client then left the store with her boyfriend (and co-defendant).  When the two were stopped by the store’s employees, our client continued walking to her car, while the co-defendant lifted up his shirt and allegedly threatened the employees with a handgun.  Our client was charged based on the theory that she was an accessory to the boyfriend’s use of the weapon. Continue reading “Armed Robbery Charges Dismissed” »

Uttering and Pulbishing Charges Dismissed

Another successful defense was mounted in the Livonia District Court as defense attorney Dana Nessel convinced the prosecutor to dismissed two felony charges.  Our client was charged with two felony counts of Uttering and Publishing, punishable by up to 14 years in prison, which were completely unfounded.  Ms. Nessel, after extensive negotiations with the Wayne County Prosecutor, secured a plea for our client which involved the dismissal of the two felony charges.  I

Continue reading “Uttering and Pulbishing Charges Dismissed” »

Breaking and Entering Cases Dismissed

Detroit defense attorney Chris Kessel turns 8 convictions into 4 with HYTA. 

Several weeks ago a client came to Nessel and Kessel Law with EIGHT cases involving Breaking and Entering, Larceny from a Building, and Felony Firearm.  It became immediately apparant that all 8 cases stemmed from the actions of one night.  Unfortunately, because of the Felony Firearm charge the client was looking at a minimum of 2 years in prison.   

Continue reading “Breaking and Entering Cases Dismissed” »

Marijuana Defense Attorney

Dana Nessel turns a felony into a suppressed misdemeanor. 

Today, at the Hamtramck District Court, Dana Nessel helped another client of Nessel and Kessel Law keep a clean criminal record.  The client was originally charged with Possession with Intent to Deliver Marijuana, a 4 year felony.  Normally cases that start out as felonies are handled at the circuit court level, the court with jurisdiction over all felonies.  However, Dana Nessel, a top marijuana defense attorney, was able to persuade the prosecutor to allow our client not only to plead to a misdemeanor, but also to be sentenced under MCL 333.7411.

Continue reading “Marijuana Defense Attorney” »

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.

Continue reading “Detroit Defense Attorney Shines at Preliminary Exam” »

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” »

Gay Mom Turned Down By Supreme Court

Renee Harmon seeks custody of three children she raised with former partner
By Tara Cavanaugh

Originally printed (Issue 1929 – Between The Lines News)

After being turned away from the Michigan Supreme Court, Renee Harmon, a mother who has not seen her three children in two years, will now pursue her case through federal court.

Harmon is seeking custody rights for the children she raised with her former partner, Tammy Davis. Harmon appealed to the Supreme Court for the right to be able to present evidence showing she acted as a parent. The Supreme Court denied her request in a 3-4 decision on July 22.

Under Michigan law, Harmon was never a legally-recognized parent to the children she raised for ten years. Davis and Harmon planned the children together, and Davis bore the children through artificial insemination. Michigan adoption law does not explicitly say that same-sex couples cannot adopt, but many adoption judges have interpreted the law to say so.

Harmon is represented by two lawyers, Nicole Childers and Dana Nessel. Nessel is not surprised that the case was turned away by the state Supreme Court.

“Something we can’t help but notice is that this decision comes on the heels of the new laws that allow marriage in the state of New York,” Nessel said. “While thousands of New York families can now celebrate their newfound rights, Renee’s been mourning the loss of her three children. We see a stark contrast between what other states are doing in moving forward and what Michigan is doing, which is moving backwards at every step.

“We think that’s shameful and we think better of our state than that.”

The three Democratic judges on the state Supreme Court, Justice Michael F. Cavanagh, Justice Diane M. Hathaway and Justice Marilyn J. Kelly, dissented. Justice Kelly authored a scathing dissent of the decision, writing: “Plaintiff’s application raises significant constitutional questions that this Court has not yet considered. Courts across the country are grappling with similar issues… Yet the majority today declines to consider plaintiff’s arguments… This case cries out for a ruling from the state’s highest courts.”

After the ruling, Harmon said she felt “Devastated. Discouraged. But I guess in the back of my mind I knew … there was a very good possibility that (the judges) would follow party lines, and that’s exactly what they did. So I was prepared. But I held out some hope. But I’m also determined to keep going forward.”

Nessel said that LGBT foundations and community centers have been unwilling to support Harmon’s quest for rights to her children. “Any time we have tried to do anything either with Renee’s case, or with other cases that involve same-sex second parent adoption issues, it’s unfortunately our experience and it’s been Renee’s experience that the LGBT groups don’t seem interested in supporting legal causes,” she said.

“Even though it’s our opinion that it’s the best way to change the law in Michigan when you have a legislature that is clearly unsupportive of that.

Harmon plans for a fundraiser to help pay legal fees this fall. To contribute, search for “Harmie’s Army” on Facebook.