criminal defense

Hiring a Lawyer in Michigan Requires Planning & Research

A lawyer isn’t someone whose name you pick from a simple Google search result and ask, “Where do I sign?” No. Just as you would plan and research any major investment, so too should you carefully vet any Michigan lawyer for hire to serve your case. When faced with family litigation or criminal charges, consider the following steps to hiring an attorney.

Conduct a thorough interview to determine if the attorney’s skillsets match your needs.

Most reputable attorneys in Michigan host an initial consultation appointment free of charge; use this opportunity to get to know the lawyer you are considering to hire, and to assess his/her ability to serve your case. Ask of his experience in the particular legal matter; how long he has been in practice; her track record of success; the weight of her overall caseload; any special skills and certifications; fees and billing; and for references too.

When hiring a lawyer in Michigan, it is important to know how he will keep you apprised of the goings on in your case, but also just as important is how she makes you feel: Was she prompt and courteous in response to your questions? Is she someone with whom you’ll feel comfortable sharing private details of your life?

Trust your instincts, but also:

Run a background check.

Before hiring any lawyer for any reason at all, you might be wise to contact the Attorney Discipline Board to confirm he is in good standing as a member of the bar.

Ask other attorneys.

No one understands the legal system and how to navigate it like lawyers, and so the best resource available to you is another lawyer. Just as, perhaps more important to consider when hiring a lawyer in Michigan than education and fees is ethics, competence, reputation. Other attorneys will be best able to share this information with you.

Tour the law office.

They say first impressions are everything. So drop by for a visit.

We strive to make the law offices of Nessel & Kessel an accessible, welcoming place for potential and current clients. Here you’ll be met with friendly, smiling faces working efficiently for you.

When you need a lawyer in Michigan, call Nessel & Kessel.

Nessel & Kessel Law is one of Michigan’s top criminal defense firms and general litigation experts. We have a record for fighting for our clients and gaining excellent outcomes. Let us help you get the results you deserve.

Alleged Confession in a Rap Verse

Criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel found himself in a rather unique position yesterday.  The fact that he was holding a preliminary examination in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice was not unique, or even rare for that matter.  The fact that Chris Kessel’s client was charged with First Degree Murder was also unremarkable.  What made the situation so odd is that the prosecutor’s office claimed to have a confession by Chris Kessel’s client…and that the confession was made in the form of a rap verse that was alleged to have been recorded by the client. 

At the preliminary exam, it was clear that much of the case against Michigan criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel’s client is circumstantial.   Further, in a lengthy argument with the judge, Mr. Kessel argued that even if the court were to accept that the voice on the recording was his client’s, much of what is sung about in rap music is an exaggeration of facts.  Because of the low threshold of evidence required to take the case beyond the preliminary exam stage, the case was bound over.  However, defense attorney Chris Kessel is looking forward to fighting this case as it works its way through the justice system. 

Because of the unique nature of the case – or rather the confession – it garnered media attention.  Here is a link to the story done by Fox 2 and Charlie Langton.  Here is a link to a story by the Metro Times. 

Anti-Meth Law Hopes to Curb Criminal Activity in Southwest Michigan

t106228cIn this tight economy, making $50 from just buying a box of Sudafed can be an extremely attractive offer.  That is what a growing number of people in the State of Michigan are realizing, according to law enforcement officials.   These types of “quick bucks” are directly fueling an overwhelming drug epidemic in Southwest Michigan, causing families to fall apart, property values to fall, and prison cells to overflow.

Even though a state law passed in 2012 limits the amount of cold medicine products containing pseudoephedrine one can buy at a time, methamphetamine production in the Mitten state has shown little signs of stopping and has created a new type of criminal in Michigan.

State law requires those who buy cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine to show identification and have their names inserted into NPLEx, a police database, to monitor how much is being purchased at one time. Michigan limits a person to 3.6 grams per day and nine each month.

As one of the key components in manufacturing methamphetamine is found in cold medicines containing pseudoephedrine, addicts pay others large sums of money to purchase these meds for them. Referred to as “smurfing,” this new type of drug deal is particularly profitable for the purchaser—a box of Sudafed has a street value of nearly $50, meaning significant gains for the buyer.

Despite the tougher monitoring laws, the creation of the “smurf” dealer is just one example of how law enforcement officials in Michigan have seriously struggled to damper meth production and use in the state.  In fact, many argue that the result of the new law has been the creation of a black market for pseudoephedrine products, ultimately creating an entirely new type criminal. Many argue that in that sense, the law has made the increasingly desperate situation much worse.

Although there is no specific law in Michigan that makes smurfing illegal, if the purchaser knows that the product they’re buying is going to be used in the manufacture of methamphetamine, they can still be charged with aiding and abetting. Because of this, accusations of “smurfing” are incredibly serious, and could have potentially life-changing consequences. If you or someone you know has been accused of “smurfing” to manufacture meth, contacting an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney should be the very first step. Only with a skilled legal defense team can one overcome these very harsh charges, which could result in enormous fines and/or incarceration. The knowledgeable Detroit criminal defense lawyers at Nessel and Kessel Law can provide the legal advice and legal representation needed to prevent smurfing accusations from becoming permanent blemishes on one’s record.

 

Michigan Prison Sentencing Reforms Being Considered

rosannabehindbarsmarch2013One doesn’t need to be an experienced Detroit criminal attorney to know that the state’s Department of Corrections needs some correcting of its own. Mandatory sentences statewide are notoriously tough, placing Michigan as the state with the largest average time served for all crimes in 2009 alone.

These shocking statistics have prompted leading Michigan legislators and Governor Rick Snyder to consider the first set of prison sentencing reforms since the laws became noticeably stricter almost 15 years ago.

Of course, the state’s place at the top of the national time served list isn’t lawmakers only reason for discussing change—there is also a strong desire to reduce the Corrections Department’s budget, which currently surpasses $2 billion. The tougher stance on prison sentencing taken by Michigan legislators in 1998 caused a significant increase in cost as well. According to a study performed by the Pew Center on the States, the increased prison time added $472 million to the state’s yearly bill.

There is also evidence that public attitudes towards crime and punishment may be changing as well. Republican Resentative Joe Haverman explained, “Society has changed its views on a number of criminal justice issues. Being ‘tough on crime’ above all other concerns simply haven’t created a safer society.” Despite being a typically conservative legislator, Haverman’s commentary signals that the state’s government may be ready to reform some of Michigan’s toughest incarceration policies—especially as the state Legislature is Republican controlled and tends to govern conservatively as well.

Still, Michigan is in better control of prison costs than in previous years. The total number of offenders coming to prison has decreased, as well as the recidivism rate. This is largely because Michigan has consequently increased the use of probation, paroles, and electronic tethers to keep an eye on lower-level offenders without putting them in prison. Legislators have also cut costs by contracting privately for incarceration services, like food preparation. But as Michigan prison costs continue to exceed $2 billion, state lawmakers have made it clear that it isn’t enough.

As skilled and compassionate Detroit criminal defense attorneys, the legal team at Nessel and Kessel Law applauds the consideration of prison reformation. All too often, the punishments don’t fit the crime. Our knowledgeable criminal defense law firm in Detroit is dedicated to providing the best legal advice and legal representation to all those accused of crimes in Michigan. Regardless of whether it is a misdemeanor offense or felonious crime, do not hesitate to retain legal assistance immediately. Contact the legal team at Nessel and Kessel Law today.

 

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” »

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

Suspect Wants His Plea Deal Tossed Out

Written by  Lisa Roose-Church
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS

Detroit attorney Christopher Kessel is asking a Livingston County Circuit Court judge to hold a hearing to determine if public defender Carolyn Henry failed to effectively represent Michael Andrew Johanson in 2010 when Johanson entered a plea to assaulting a woman with intent to commit sexual penetration. He also is asking that Johanson’s plea be withdrawn.

READ MORE

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

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.