Author Archives: Matt Van Steenkiste

Tailgating Misdemeanor Tickets

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Tailgating Misdemeanor Tickets

Tailgating Misdemeanor Tickets

College Football Season: Tailgating Misdemeanor Tickets

The college football season has started and with that students are being ticketed while tailgating.  Whether you’re studying at Wayne State University, Michigan State University, the University of Michigan or another Michigan college, these tickets are very common but they should be taken seriously.  Even a single conviction on your record can have an impact on your future employment and educational opportunities.

Individuals may be charged with Tailgating Misdemeanor Tickets due to tailgating activities including Minor in Possession of Alcohol, open intox, assault, and Urinating in Public.  One of the most common is Minor in Possession of Alcohol.   The exact crime you are charged with depends on the location you are when you are ticketed but all have serious consequences including fines and possible jail time.

Civil infraction tickets may also be handed out for handling open containers of alcohol.  Open bottles and cans of alcohol are sometimes permitted on certain campuses during football games, however if you step off of campus or have an open container other than on game day, you may be written a ticket.  It is important to know the rules in your area because, even though civil infraction tickets are typically not associated with jail time, tickets for handling an open container of alcohol can be costly.

If you have been written a ticket while tailgating,

Charged with a Tailgating Misdemeanor Tickets: Don’t take a risk on your rights—call one of our criminal defense attorneys at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message, we can help you put this in your past quickly, so you can move on with your life.

For information about specific charges see the links below:

Troy Michigan Same Sex Divorce Attorney

Troy Michigan Same Sex Divorce Attorney

Troy Michigan Same Sex Divorce Attorney

Looking for a Troy Michigan Same Sex Divorce Attorney? We can help.

Has the State of Michigan made it difficult for you to obtain a divorce?  Previously it was difficult to obtain a same sex divorce in this state.  This was because couples would generally marry in another state and move back to Michigan.  However, since Michigan recognized gay marriages as void ad initio, they would not consider there to be jurisdiction to issue a divorce.  This left people with the option to set up residency in other states in order to qualify to file for divorce jurisdictionally, which takes 60-90 days and an intent to reside there indefinitely.

Fortunately for these couples, the recent United States Supreme Court ruling Obergefell v. Hodges mandated that all state governments recognize gay marriage.  This is not only good for unmarried gay couples in Michigan, as they now have that option, but also for gay couples trying to legally obtain a divorce without jumping through legal hoops and disrupting their lives and those of their children.

Divorce is always a last resort, but for some families it is simply the only option and often what’s best for both parents to keep a healthy relationship with the children.  The previous process was abusive to couples seeking a divorce not only because of the difficulty of attempting to claim residency elsewhere, or incredibly long period of time it took to do so, but the strain on the personal lives of everyone involved and the damage done to a relationship that could have been maintained on good terms the process were more civil.

The difficulty of the process was the product of legal technicalities and inconsistencies.  A couple getting divorced can only do so through the state government of which they claim residency.  If a gay couple were married in another state and then moved to Michigan, their residency would change to Michigan but the state would not recognize their marriage because the state constitution forbade it.  Because the state did not recognize their marriage, they could not issue a divorce because technically the marriage didn’t exist.  This is what would force couples to claim residency elsewhere, a process that can have a tremendous strain on the personal, professional, and family lives of those involved.

However, this is no longer the case.  Now that the State of Michigan recognizes gay marriages, they also will issue divorces for those couples with no other option.  Although the process has become easier, it is still important for those seeking divorce to obtain an attorney.  Divorce law can be difficult to navigate, and it is vital to a party to have an experienced attorney guiding you through the process.  If you are facing a divorce in the State of Michigan,

Looking for a Troy Michigan Same Sex Divorce Attorney? If you need assistance in these or any area of other family law, read below for more info, call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

For information on specific family law issues please see:

People v Rea: Drunk Driving Updates with Troy Michigan Expert DUI Attorneys

People v Rea: Drunk Driving Updates with Troy Michigan Expert DUI

People v Rea: Drunk Driving Updates with Troy Michigan Expert DUI

People v Rea: Drunk Driving Updates with Troy Michigan Expert DUI

Attorneys Recently the Michigan Court of Appeals heard a case involving an individual charged with operating while intoxicated after he drove drunk on his driveway.   In People v Gino Robert Rea, the court determined that the charges of operating while intoxicated pursuant to MCL 257.625 should be dismissed because the defendant was not operating his vehicle in an area generally accessible to motor vehicles.

The court relied heavily on the facts of this case which were that a police officer responding to a neighbor’s complaint watched the defendant back his car out of his detached garage about 25 feet before stopping next to his house.  He then pulled his car back up into his garage and was arrested when he was walking back to his home.  His driveway is quite long and the officer admitted that defendant did not pull the car out past the front of his home at any point.

The relevant language of the drunk driving law is as follows, “A… person shall not operate a vehicle upon a highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles, including an area designated for the parking of vehicles…if the person is operating while intoxicated.”

The court found that the defendant’s actions in this case did not violate this statute as the upper portion of the Defendant’s private driveway is not an area that is “generally accessible to motor vehicles”.  Rather, this area of a driveway is a place that is only accessible to a small group of vehicles: namely the homeowner or his or her guests.

Importantly, the court noted that another set of facts could yield a different outcome.  Specifically, the court postulated that the bottom of a private driveway may be an area that qualifies as a “place open to the general public” or a place “generally accessible to motor vehicles.”  Therefore, someone driving on the bottom portion of the driveway near the road could possibly be charged with operating while intoxicated.

Overall, this case stands for the idea that the area at the top of the driveway is not an area that is open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles so homeowners driving in this area cannot be charged with operating while intoxicated.  However, the question of whether the area at the bottom of the driveway is open to the general public has not been decided.  Homeowners should take care to avoid driving at all when under the influence of alcohol, including on the area at the bottom of the driveway.

If you have been charged with operating while intoxicated or “drunk driving”, contact the Troy Michigan Expert DUI Attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.   This is an intricate area of law and it is best to consult with experienced attorneys such as ours to ensure your case is handled properly.

For information about specific charges see the links below:

Michigan National Collegiate Student Loan Trust lawsuits

Michigan National Collegiate Student Loan Trust lawsuits

Michigan National Collegiate Student Loan Trust lawsuits

Do you need an attorney to help with a Michigan National Collegiate Student Loan Trust lawsuits? We can Help.

Are you being sued by National Collegiate Trust or Shermeta law group of Rochester / Troy Michigan for past due student loans? If so, you are not alone. Michigan National Collegiate Student Loan Trust lawsuits have become increasingly common as National Collegiate Trust has been aggressively pursuing delinquent student loans from many former students in the State of Michigan.

National Collegiate Student Loan Trust is a Delaware Trust that holds private student loans guaranteed by TERI not the federal government. National Collegiate Trust purchases these private loans from the original lenders. National Collegiate Student Loan Trust Is not the originator of the loan but rather they have purchased the loan from your lender. The originators are well known banks, among others:

  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
  • Charter One Bank, N.A.
  • Bank of America, N.A.
  • RBS Citizens, N.A.
  • Union Federal Savings Bank

These loans were structured with the assistance of the First Marblehead Corporation. The First Marblehead Corporation is an education loan finance company that  owns TERI. The Education Resources Institute, Inc. (TERI), is a nonprofit organization that claims to be the largest private student loan guarantor in the US.

They expect that you will not do anything if you are sued by them. If you do not act on this lawsuit, a default judgment will likely be issued against you and you will most likely owe the full amount. National Collegiate Trust will try to collect the judgment against you through garnishing your bank accounts, wages, tax refunds, even through property liens and/or seizures.

To avoid Judgments, garnishments, seizures, and other collection activities, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message so that we may take action as soon as possible.

If you have questions about Michigan National Collegiate Student Loan Trust lawsuits, or you are being contacted in regards to paying a student loan by National Collegiate Student Loan Trust or Shermeta law group of Rochester / Troy Michigan please contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

If National Collegiate Trust or Shermeta law group of Rochester / Troy Michigan is taking legal action against you to collect the debt, you will need an attorney that can navigate the unique legal landscape of debt collection.  The legal process can be confusing and frustrating even when debt collectors conduct themselves legitimately.  The attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC can do just that.  We regularly handle debt collections cases concerning National Collegiate Trust, Shermeta law group of Rochester / Troy Michigan, and other student loan debt collectors and have worked for debt collectors in the past.  This gives us a unique advantage because we understand both sides of litigation.

For more information about National Collegiate Trust or Shermeta law group of Rochester / Troy Michigan and Debt Collection Defense or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

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Mary Jane Elliott

Credit card background

Mary Jane Elliott

Have you been hassled by a collections agent or sued by Mary Jane Elliott, P.C.?

Daily thousands of people in Michigan are sued in debt collections action. These occur when holders of debt hire aggressive debt collections attorneys or collections agencies. Being the target of one these organizations can be a painful experience, as collections teams generally use harassing tactics to track you down and collect. These can include aggressive phone calls, visits to your home, and hostile mail.

One of the firms known for engaging in debt collection actions is Mary Jane Elliott, P.C.. Professionals at Mary Jane Elliott P.C. represent creditors and are experts at finding you and turning your money over to creditors, be it through bank garnishments, wage garnishments, judgments, or repossession. These representatives are highly skilled and should not be taken lightly, as they utilize the latest call recording and telephonic systems, collection strategies and comprehensive negotiating methods to recover delinquent debt. They will aggressively come after you, and find any possible current or future income to satisfy their clients.

Some agencies don’t stop in pursuit of your debt, and even add interest and fees to make their collections more profitable. These firms rely on unknowing debtors who simply do not have the resources to tabulate interest. However, this is a violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Still, some firms have expert training of the FDCPA and know how to navigate around the law to continue using unfair practices. If you have been a victim of this, or any harassment from a collections agency, the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste PLC are here to fight for your rights.

Sued by Mary Jane Elliott, P.C. we can help:

While one may think that this could not happen to them, Mary Jane Elliott, and agencies like them are willing to use aggressive tactics for any type of debt. Most targets are sincerely trying to pay back any debts, but do not have the resources to do so. When a creditor uses agencies such as these they may eliminate the opportunity for the party in debt to work something out. This leaves the target of collections actions in a very vulnerable and unpredictable situation. Don’t find yourself in this position, if you are having trouble with a debt collector or have been sued by a law firm such as the Mary Jane Elliott, P.C.,call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

More subject specific information, please click on the following Article links:

Do Not Waste a Second Chance by Violating Your Probation

Violating Your Parole

When granted parole after being a victim of a crime, you have to adhere to a set of strict rules. In comparison to going to jail, these rules are not that bad. Violating any of these rules can lead to sever consequences. Squandering your second chance will inevitably lead you to the sentence you so luckily avoided. More often than not, it is the simplest of rules that are broken. Here we have a breakdown of the stipulations that are usually found in probation.

What is Probation?

Every state has specific rules about probation but generally it is a punishment for committing a crime that allows you to spend less time in jail or avoid it all together. In exchange, there are certain restrictions placed upon you. Some common rules are:

  • Regular meetings with your probation officer.
  • Counseling if the crime you committed was drug, alcohol, or anger related.
  • Random drug testing.
  • Staying in a specific area, in some cases wearing a monitoring device (aka. House Arrest).
  • Perform mandatory community service.
  • Avoid association with other known criminals.

Normally, probation is awarded to first-time offender or misdemeanor crimes.

Violation and Consequences

There are two types of violations that can occur, technical and new offenses. Both are considered a continuation of the case you were convicted of.

Examples of technical violations are:

  • Skipping a meeting with your probation officer.
  • Failing a drug test.
  • Associating with known criminals.
  • Failure to perform your community service or paying a fine.

Your probation officer will handle any of these violations. Initially, you may only receive a warning for breaking the terms of your probation. Repetition and more serious offense may lead to a hearing where the judge can set a punishment. That punishment varies on the severity of the violation can be lead to an extension of your probation, paying a fine, or jail time.

Troy Probation Violation Lawyer

Do not despair if you are facing a hearing for violating your parole. At Garmo & Kiste, we have experienced lawyers who can aid you during the process.  We can help clear up any discrepancies and work with the court system to garner the best outcome possible. For additional information, contact us via email at [email protected] or via telephone at (248)398-7100. We offer free consultations for first time clients.

Leikin Ingber and Winters PC Lawsuit? We Can Help

Leikin Ingber and Winters PC With Debt Collection, Communication Can Cost You

Are you currently being pursued in a debt collection action? Communication between the debt collection agency and yourself can mean more than you think. Collections agency and debt collections law firms are regularly trying to navigate their way around the Federal Debt Collections Practices Act. The FDCPA is a federal law that prevents collections agencies from using nefarious methods to collect debts from their targets. While the law is a good step in consumer advocacy, organizations still find ways to use unfair practices in pursuing your current or future income. Part of the FDCPA prohibits a debt collector from using “any false, deceptive, or misleading representation or means in connection with the collection of any debt”. However, what constitutes a false, deceptive, or misleading representation is not always obvious. Further, when a communication is in connection with the collection of debt can vary as well.

If you are having trouble with a debt collector, or have been sued by a law firm such as Leikin Ingber and Winters PC, call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message

In the past Leikin Ingber and Winters PC has represented clients such as St. John’s Hospital, Flagstar Bank, Beaumont Hospitals, and other regional and national banks and hospitals,even insurance providers they are located in Southfield Michigan, and we have dealt with them them numerous times over the years.

If you have an outstanding debt, have been harassed by collections agencies, contacted by illegitimate debt collections scams, or pursued by a law firm such as Leikin Ingber and Winters PC, the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC are here to fight for you. Please contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 or send us a private message.

The Case of the Vanishing Assets: Embezzlement

Embezzlement

Embezzlement is the act of dishonestly withholding assets for the purpose of theft. More specifically, embezzlement is financial fraud, an example of this would be a financial advisor who embezzle the funds of his investors. The act of embezzlement is normally a premeditated act that is methodically performed since the embezzler needs to cover their tracks. In order to remain undetected, embezzlers might take small sums throughout the years. While embezzlement can be seen as a clear-cut case, the act of embezzlement can be broken down.

Breaking Down the Crime

In the U.S., embezzlement is a statutory offense and the definition of the crime of embezzlement varies according to the given statue. The criminal elements of embezzlement can range from fraudulent to Lawful possession. Here is the breakdown of each element:

  • Fraudulence– This requires that the embezzler willfully, and without claim of right or mistake, converted the entrusted property to his or her own use.
  • Criminal Conversion– Embezzlement is a crime against ownership, such as voiding the right of the owner to control the disposition and use of the property entrusted to them. Criminal conversion requires substantial interference with the property rights of the owner.
  • Property– Embezzlement statues are written so that they do not limit the scope of the crime to conversions of personal property. The statues also include the conversion of tangible personal property, intangible personal property and choses in action. The exception is real property not being included, such as real estate or realty of any kind.
  • Of Another– The embezzler does not have to be a second or third party individual(s). A person can also embezzle their own property. Reasons might include to hiding money from the government for tax reasons or giving money to an ex during divorce proceedings.
  • Lawful Possession– A key element in an embezzlement case is that the embezzler had been in lawful possession of the property during the time of the fraudulent conversion. This helps differentiate the case from larceny, since larceny is if the thief merely had custody of the property.

Troy Embezzlement Lawyer

Entrusting your property to someone else should not mean that it gets stolen out from under you. If you have had your assets embezzled then it is time to hire a lawyer. At Garmo & Kiste, we have lawyers experienced in embezzlement cases to make sure you get the justice you deserve. For a free consultation, contact us at (248)398-7100.

Sued by Stillman Law Office in Michigan? We can help

Stillman Law Sued by Stillman Law Office in Michigan? We can help

If you owe a creditor money, they have various ways they can go about collecting a debt, some more friendly to the debtor than others. But the most direct avenue a creditor can use to collect debt is to hire a aggressive law firm or debt collection agency. The Stillman Law Office is just that, and once hired, they will use all of their resources to collect what they can from you. Law offices and debt collections agencies regularly add interest or fees on to your debt to make their collections more profitable. These fees often go unnoticed by their targets, who typically just have a sincere interest in settling their debts, and don’t have the resources to accurately tabulate interest. If the Stillman Law Office, or any debt collector has used these practices against you, then they could be in violation of the Federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, and we can help. If you are having trouble with a debt collector or have been sued by a law firm such as the Stillman Law Office, call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

The Stillman Law Office, and many debt collection agencies use of state of the art ‘collection partner’ software system, which is tailored specifically to their needs of tracking accounts and handling all phases of the collection. This is a particularly scary aspect of being a target of a collection agency, as they are usually working with a business that has a wealth of personal information about you that the agency can use to find and collect from you. This information generally includes birthdays, social security numbers, addresses, and phone numbers. Further, the Stillman Law Office promises fast recovery to their clients in the form of law suits, judgments, attachments, repossessions, and both wage and bank garnishments.

The personal information that agencies have is important to keep in mind because not all debt collection communications are necessarily legitimate. Different from the legitimate debt collection actions taken by action creditors, debt collection scams are increasingly common. Consumers have reported frightening phone calls demanding payment of outstanding payday or even check cashing loans. Sometimes these callers claim to be a representative of a law firm, or even the government, and probably won’t abide by the rules of the FDCPA.

Dealing with debt collectors, legitimate or otherwise, can be a draining and painful experience. If you are in this position the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC are here to fight for you.

If you have outstanding debt, have been harassed by a debt collection agency or contacted by a law firm such the Stillman Law Office, please contact us at (248) 398-7100 or send us a private message.

More subject specific information, please click on the following Article links:

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MIP Michigan

  Keep a Minor in Possession charge off your record.MIP Michigan: There Is Nothing Minor About a Minor in Possession.

One of the most common criminal offenses committed by university students is a minor in possession of alcohol (MIP). While many students believe this is “no big deal” and that many of their friends have been in their same position, handling a minor in possession charge in the wrong way can have lifelong effects on your criminal record, and even your career.

Under Michigan Liquor Control Code 436.1703, a minor shall not purchase or attempt to purchase alcoholic liquor, consume or attempt to consume alcoholic liquor, possess or attempt to possess alcoholic liquor, or have any bodily alcohol content.

A violation of this results in a misdemeanor, along with which there are fines, and a permanent mark on your record.

The penalty for a Minor in Possession may not seem harsh to you as a college student, but a permanent blotch on your criminal record can likely have serious consequences once one leaves university and enters the job market. In today’s economy, hiring employers are looking for any little attribute to separate job candidates from one another. Most commonly, they will accomplish this by doing a criminal background check. A small blotch on your record can be the difference between landing that job you’ve worked so hard through college for.

The potential long lasting consequences on students convicted of Minor in Possession are so burdensome that they have even caught the attention of those in Lansing. State Senator Rick Jones is sponsoring Senate Bill 332, which would change the penalty for Minor in Possession by keeping the fines but removing the threat of jail time or a permanent criminal record. The bill has received some support in Lansing as many believe current penalties are just too damaging to those convicted. This is certainly Jones’ motivation for sponsoring the bill, as he stated “Young people have found that having a misdemeanor on their record prevents them from getting college scholarships, sometimes getting into college, and certainly it affects future job prospects.”

While legislators are trying to lessen the harsh penalties assessed to those convicted of a Minor in Possession, they have yet been unsuccessful, and current rules are still in effect. It is vital to those who have been charged with a Minor in Possession to seek an experience criminal defense attorney to reduce the risk of life-long consequences.

Call our Minor in Possession Attorneys

If you have been charged with Minor in Possession of Alcohol and are a student, contact the Minor In Possession of Alcohol Metro Detroit Lawyers at Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.. As alumni of Wayne State University Law School, we know the value of a good education and know how important it is to start your career off right. We have all of the tools needed to minimize the negative impact of the charges you received and we bring years of experience and individualized attention to every case we handle.