criminal defense lawyer

Armed Robbery Charges Dismissed

Multiple counts of Armed Robbery and one count of Felony Firearm were dismissed against M.D., a client of criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel.  It was alleged that our client, while armed with a pistol,  approached two men and demanded their money and their vehicle.  As the alleged robbery took place at night, the identification of the assailant would prove to be the main issue in the case.  

At the preliminary exam, held in the 36th District Court, the prosecutor succeeded in having the complaining witness point to our client and identify him as the man who pointed the gun at him and demanded his belongings.  While the man admitted that the assailant was wearing a hood and the area was “somewhat dark”, he still claimed that he could positively identify the man who robbed him.  When asked to do so, he pointed at our client and claimed he was the man who robbed him.  However, this positive identification would not last for long.

Upon cross-examination by defense attorney Chris Kessel, the complaining witness began to shy away from his identification of our client.  He was forced to admit that because the robbery took place at night and because the only light source was across the street he was not actually able to get a good look at the assailant.  The witness then admitted that he was more focused on the gun being pointed in his face than he was on the face of the person pointing the gun.  Chris Kessel also got the witness to admit that the hood the robber was wearing covered a substantial portion of the upper half of the robber’s face.  Finally, after going over line after line of his written description of the assailant, the witness agreed that our client did not match all portions of the description given only hours after the robbery.  After approximately 30 minutes of cross-examination, the witness readily admitted that he was not sure if our client was actually the man who robbed him. 

The prosecution argued vigorously that the complaining witness had already identified the defendant, thus the case should be bound over.  However, Mr. Kessel pointed out that if the only thing that mattered was what a witness stated on direct examination, there would be no need for a Sixth Amendment right to confront one’s accuser.  The judge agreed and the case was dismissed entirely. 

The Nessel and Kessel Approach

At Nessel and Kessel Law, we have decades of experience dealing with assault charges.  Because we are top criminal defense attorneys, when a client retains Nessel and Kessel Law we immediately begin to develop a comprehensive strategy for success.   Sometimes success means convincing the prosecutor to dismiss the charges completely, or have them greatly reduced.  Other times it means a motion to suppress evidence to have the case dismissed by a judge, or fully preparing for trial and securing a not guilty verdict.  Robbery and Assault charges are often fueled by emotional and hostile witnesses.  More often than not, a verdict will hang solely on the testimony of a complaining witness.  The means that you need an attorney who is skilled in the art of cross examination, who can force a witness to admit things that may contradict earlier statements, police reports, hospital records, and other witnesses.  Other times a case will turn on what the defendant’s intent was during the alleged assault.  It can often times be difficult if not impossible to prove what someone’s intent was.  At Nessel and Kessel Law, we have the experience needed to persuade a prosecutor, judge, or jury that you did not have the necessary intent to convict.   If you or a family member has been changed with an assaultive, contact the defense lawyers at Nessel and Kessel Law today.

Client Found Not Guilty Of All Charges

Client acquitted on all charges.

Criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel patted his client on the back as she in tears while the jury foreperson read the verdict.  After what must have seemed like an eternity (approximately 4 months), the nightmare was finally over.  Our client had been found not guilty on charges of Felonious Assault, Domestic Violence, and two counts of Malicious Destruction of Property.  It took the jury an entire 15 minutes to reach their verdict…though to be fair, they were not given a verdict form until approximately 10 minutes into the deliberation. 

The charges stemmed from allegations made by the “victim” that Mr. Kessel’s client had punched and scratched and thrown a heavy dinner plate and a large stick at him, all of which caused several cuts and bruises.  After that, the “victim” said that our client broke several windows and caused extensive damage to “victim’s”.  Our client claimed that the only injuries that her (now) ex-boyfriend sustained we as a result of her defending herself against his attack.  During cross examination, defense attorney Chris Kessel pummeled the complaining witness with all of the changes in his story.  The ex could not keep straight from where he had been before he came home, what damage had been done to his car, how our client had sustained injuries to herself, and even how many children he had in common with our client…the answer of which is actually zero.  At one point, while Mr. Kessel questioned the complaining witness, the judge, jury and audience burst out into laughter at some of the explanations given for the inconsistencies. 

The mood turned serious as Mr. Kessel’s client took the stand.  She testified how the “victim” had been abusing her for years while the two had been in a relationship.  She described, through tears, how the “victim” had come home intoxicated and began yelling at her.  When she told him she wanted to leave him, the verbal assault became a physical one, as he cut her wrist and knocked a tooth out.  Our client even brought the short she had been wearing, covered in blood, to show where she had bled after she had been attacked.

Thankfully the jury was able to see the sincerity in the client’s face.  When contrasted against the ridiculous story of the “victim”, as shown by attorney Kessel, there was no doubt in the jury’s mind. 

Assault charges are often fueled by emotional and hostile witnesses.  More often than not, a verdict will hang solely on the testimony of a complaining witness.  The means that you need an attorney who is skilled in the art of cross examination, who can force a witness to admit things that may contradict earlier statements, police reports, hospital records, and other witnesses.  Other times a case will turn on what the defendant’s intent was during the alleged assault.  It can often times be difficult if not impossible to prove what someone’s intent was.  At Nessel and Kessel Law, we have the experience needed to persuade a prosecutor, judge, or jury that you did not have the necessary intent to convict.