This week in the district court for the City of Eastpointe, top Michigan defense attorney Chris Kessel convinced prosecutors to dismiss a marijuana charges against his client. The client was traveling in Eastpointe when he was stopped for “speeding.” When the officers approached the vehicle, they claimed that they smelled marijuana inside of the vehicle. Using the pretext of the alleged smell, the officers then searched the vehicle and recovered a small amount of marijuana under the passenger seat. The client was then charged with possession of marijuana.
What the police and prosecutor didn’t know was that the client was driving his mother’s car and that his mother has a medical marijuana card. At a preliminary hearing, defense attorney Chris Kessel was able to successfully argue that because the car that was being driven belonged a medical marijuana patient and because the amount was relatively small, there was no way to prove that the client had knowingly possessed the marijuana. Thankfully the prosecutor realized what the outcome of trial would likely be, so the case was dismissed. Continue reading “Marijuana 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.
Yesterday, at the Third Circuit court in Detroit, our client let out a sigh of relief as the jury foreperson read the verdict. Our client was found not guilty of felonious assault, a 4 year felony, and malicious destruction of property, a misdemeanor. The complaining witness was actually the uncle of our client, with whom the entire family has been feuding for years.
The allegations were that our client went over to the complaining witness’s home with a bat and a rock and began yelling at the complainant. It was then alleged that our client threw the rock at the witness and then swung that bat at him, damaging his vehicle. During cross examination, defense attorney Chris Kessel was able to confront the witness with his conflicting versions of events. In one instance, he claimed that he needed an ax to defend himself. By creatively using the rules of evidence, Chris was able to show the jury that the first time he told this story to police there was no mention of an ax, nor was there any statement about seeing the client throw the rock. Later, during cross examination by criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel, another witness admitted that damage that was alleged to have been done by out client had been done months ago.
Assault cases almost always rest solely on the testimony of eye-witnesses. At Nessel and Kessel Law, we have the necessary skill and experience to cross examine these witnesses and find the holes and cracks in their story, thereby allowing us to expose the lies and fabrications in their story. At Nessel and Kessel Law, not only do we know the law and how to use it to your advantage, but we know how to expose witnesses who are being less than honest.
Regardless of the issue, if you’ve been charged with an assaultive offense in the State of Michigan, you need a top criminal defense attorney. Contact Nessel and Kessel Law today if you or a friend or family member has been charged with any crime.
At a hearing in the Third Circuit Court, after argument by defense attorney Chris Kessel, Judge Bruce Morrow declared that the actions of the Taylor Police Department violated Mr. Kessel’s client’s constitutional rights and then suppressed evidence recovered by the officers. The end result of the ruling was that the charges against Mr. Kessel’s client were dismissed.
Attorney Chris Kessel filed a motion alleging that the police had violated his client’s Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights by coercing consent to search the client’s home and by questioning him without Mirandizing him. The hearing saw testimony from a member of the Taylor Police Department, a member of the DRANO task force, and Mr. Kessel’s client. The officers testified that they had a positive hit by a drug dog on the client’s vehicle. They then testified that the client, after being taken into custody, had given consent for the officers to search his home. On cross-examination, Mr. Kessel established that no narcotics were recovered from the vehicle (that it was not a positive hit) and that his client was in custody while he was being questioned, and that the consent that was granted for the search was done after the officers threatened the client.
Judge Morrow asked for supplemental briefs on the issue of custody and consent. At today’s hearing, the judge agreed with Mr. Kessel’s argument that the officers had violated the client’s Fifth Amendment right to receive his Miranda rights before being questioned. The judge also agreed that the client only gave consent to search his home because he had been coerced by the officers. With the evidence suppressed, the prosecution was left with no choice to allow the court to dismiss the case.
Drug cases tend to be the most complicated cases because of all the different issues that may come up. That means you need a drug defense attorney who knows the law and how to use it to your advantage. 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.
There are almost always 4th Amendment issues when dealing with narcotics charges because the arrest usually stems from a stop on the street or while driving, from the execution of a search warrant, or because of the use of a confidential informant to secure information used to perform a stop or obtain a warrant. Many times your case will hinge on whether or not your 4th Amendment rights have been violated.
Narcotics charges also hinge heavily on police officer testimony. Generally there will be multiple officers who take part in a “raid.” At Nessel and Kessel Law, we have the necessary skill and experience to cross examine these officers and find the holes and cracks in their story, thereby allowing us to expose the lies and fabrications in their story. At Nessel and Kessel Law, not only do we know the law and how to use it to your advantage, but we know how to expose witnesses who are being less than honest.
Regardless of the issue, if you’ve been charged with a drug offense in the State of Michigan, you need a top criminal defense attorney. Contact Nessel and Kessel Law today if you or a friend or family member has been charged with a drug offense.
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.
Continue reading “Armed Robbery Charges Dismissed” »
Defense Attorney Chris Kessel Files Motion and Gets Case Dismissed.
A Third Circuit Court judge agreed with criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel that a Highland Park police officer violated his client’s 4th Amendment rights, thereby causing the case t be dismissed. The client was thrilled when she realized that the charged against her were to be dropped because the prosecutor no longer had any evidence to support the charges. The case was unique in that an officer was totally and completely honest when he described how he violated the client’s right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. What was not unique was that the officer still did not believe he did anything wrong.
In his testimony, the officer described how he watched the client (legally) park her vehicle on the side of the road and then remain in the vehicle for several minutes. The officer admitted that he had no reason to suspect that the client was engaged in any criminal activity, whatsoever. Despite that fact, the officer activated his emergency lights and performed a traffic stop on the client. According to the officer, he was conducting a “wellness check.” Oddly enough, when cross examined by attorney Chris Kessel, the officer was forced to admit that he was not able to see anyone in the vehicle acting in a manner that would indicate anyone was in distress. The officer also testified that when he approached the client he asked her for her license and registration. His reason; “I wanted to know who I was talking to.” However, the officer was unable to respond when Chris Kessel asked, “if you wanted to know who you were talking to, why didn’t you just ask her for her name?”
After argument, the judge sided with Mr. Kessel, agreeing that the officer had no authority to stop the client. As such, the evidence recovered as a result of the traffic stop was suppressed and the case was dismissed.
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.
Chris Kessel secures another NG verdict for his client
The client reacted with tears of joy when the jury read back its verdict; “not guilty of the offense of felony firearm, not guilty of the offense of felon in possession of a firearm.” It was a well-earned victory for the client and criminal defense attorney, Chris Kessel. Had the verdict gone the other way, the client was facing a minimum of 2 years in prison.
The case, heard at the Third Circuit Court, stemmed from a complaint received by the Detroit Police, that a man had been firing a shotgun in front of a house in the early morning hours. When the police arrived on the scene they met the client, who was seen exiting a home. When questioned by the police, the client said he had no knowledge of a gun being fired in the area. What happened after that differs depending on whose story you believe. Thankfully the jury did not believe the officers.
Continue reading “Not Guilty Verdict for Detroit Criminal Defense Attorney” »
Client acquitted on Felony Murder and Second Degree Murder Charges
Michigan criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel’s jury returned a not guilty verdict on felony murder and second degree charges that were brought against Mr. Kessel’s client. The verdict came down after a two week trial which featured more than 20 witnesses and over 90 pieces of evidence. The alleged homicide took place after a robbery that “went wrong” according to the prosecutor.
Mr. Kessel’s client was alleged to have been a member of a 7 person crew that committed a robbery on the East side of the Detroit in the summer of 2012. According to the prosecutor, Mr. Kessel’s client and several other young men planned to rob a home for – depending on which witness you believed – money, guns, pills, video game systems, and other various property. After the robbery took place, the men were exiting and encountered a man calling the police, who was then shot. Almost immediately after the shooting, one of the suspects was taken into custody and immediately cut a deal with the prosecution. Soon after a second suspect was also taken into custody. The case against Mr. Kessel’s client began to form around the information provided by the suspects who were first taken into custody. Despite the shooting taking place in August of 2012, Mr. Kessel’s client was not taken into custody until the Spring of 2013.
The collection of evidence continued for months and trial did not begin until the middle of June, 2014. The prosecution’s case was separated into three segments: police witnesses, civilian witnesses, and co-conspirators. The prosecution began by calling several officers who arrived at the scene and collected various pieces of evidence, including ballistic remains of bullets that were fired after the robbery. After cross examination, it was revealed that none of these witnesses were able to connect any of the evidence to Mr. Kessel’s client. The second group of witnesses, the civilians, were comprised of some actual witnesses to the actual shooting and robbery. Some of these witnesses testified that they witnessed the shooting. However, again, none of these witnesses were able to point to Mr. Kessel’s client as the shooter.
Continue reading “Attorney Chris Kessel Secures Not Guilty Verdict on Murder Charges” »
Chris Kessel Secures Not Guilty Verdict
The client was in tears as he and criminal defense attorney Chris Kessel listened to the jury foreman read the verdict. Not guilty verdicts were read as to all three of the charges against the defendant. Along with first degree premeditated murder, the client was found not guilty of felony firearm and felon in possession of a firearm. The charges stemmed from a shooting that took place in Detroit in August 2013.
Detroit defense attorney Chris Kessel’s entire theme of the case was that when you make a very specific description of clothing, the actual clothing better match that description. The prosecution’s case rested almost solely on the testimony of one witness; an eye-witness to the actual shooting. The witness testified that she saw the shooting from her home, and that she had a clear view of the shooter, who was wearing a green hoodie with white writing across the chest and no zippers. While she was unable to see the face of the shooter, after being shown surveillance video from a nearby gas station, the witnesses picked out the defendant and claimed that he was the shooter.
Continue reading “Client Acquitted of First Degree Murder” »