felonious assault

Another Not Guilty Verdict

On Count 1, Home Invasion – First Degree, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.
On Count 2, Felony Firearm, we the jury find the defendant not guilty. 
On Count 3, Felonious Assault, we the jury find the defendant not guilty.

These were the words read by the foreperson at Michigan defense attorney Chris Kessel’s trial.  Our client immediately burst into tears when the verdict had been completed.  Had he been convicted, our client would have been looking at a minimum of 2 years in prison on the felony firearm count and an additional 2 or 3 years on the other counts…so you can understand the tears.

The case centered around allegations made by an old friend of our client; that our client and his nephew broke into the complaining witness’s home, assaulted him with a pistol and threatened his life.  Our client’s entire defense rested on Chris’s ability to turn the “victim’s” words against him.  Thankfully Chris is a top defense attorney and was up to the task.  Among the points Chris was able to make were that: 1) even though he claimed to have been struck many times by a pistol in the head and face, the complaining witness had no injuries, 2) initially the complaining witness never mentioned having been struck with a pistol, but later changed his story repeatedly to increase the number of times he’d been struck, 3) during the 911 call, there was never any mention of being struck with a weapon or having any sort of death threats made, 4) the complaining witness explicitly said that our client said nothing after hitting him with the pistol…only to later change his story to say the client told him he would kill him if he called the police.  While these are only some of the inconsistencies Chris Kessel was able to show the jury, there was still tension in the air as the jury came out with their verdict.     

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. 

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.

Armed Robbery Charges Dismissed

Last week, in the 36th District Court, criminal defense attorneys Dana Nessel and Chris Kessel secured a major victory for their client.  Charges of armed robbery, felonious assault, and felony firearm, were all dismissed against our client.  The charges were brought as a result of an altercation where 5 people were present; the complaining witness and the 4 defendants.  The complaining witness claimed that he went to the home of one of the defendants, where all 4 men (including our client) were present.  According to the testimony, the 4 men asked the complaining witness about some money the men believed the man owed them.  Then, the conversation turned violent as three of he men engaged in a fight with the complaining witness.  The key was that there was never any testimony that our client was involved in the physical fight.  Eventually the men separated, at which point our client had a conversation with the complaining witness about the money he believed he was owed.  However, at that point, one of the other three men pulled a gun and began shooting into the air.

All four men were charged with armed robbery, felonious assault, and felony firearm.  At the preliminary exam, the attorney for the other defendants focused their attention primarily on the actions of the complaining witness.  However, Dana Nessel and Chris Kessel had a different strategy; focusing on the actions of their client.  Through extensive cross-examination of the complaining witness, Dana Nessel was able to establish that our client took no part in the actual fight, nor did he attempt to take any money from the complaining witness.

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