Author Archives: Matt Van Steenkiste

East Lansing Michigan's Open Container Law

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iStock 000000206708Medium 300x300 East Lansing Michigans Open Container LawGame Day in East Lansing

The Michigan State Spartans are gearing up for another game this Saturday against the Indiana Hoosiers. The Spartans have had a strong season and many fans will be donning green and white and gathering in East Lansing to watch the game.

Fans will enjoy the fall weather on Michigan State’s beautiful campus and tailgate at the well-known tennis courts and beyond. Though the consumption of alcoholic beverages is permitted in certain areas on campus, East Lansing law prohibits a number of acts that seem commonplace on football afternoons. As such, it is important to keep in mind that law enforcement officers will still be on the lookout for individuals committing offenses such as open intoxication, urinating in public and minor in possession.

Tickets for these offenses should be taken very seriously because they carry economic and social penalties. For example, an individual being cited for minor in possession the first time can face a $100 fine plus court costs, community service and substance abuse screening, and a Criminal Record. The punishment increases with subsequent offenses. Open intoxication and urinating in public charges can even carrying jail time.

For information about specific charges see the links below:

Students facing any of these offenses will face obvious inconveniences when handling matters such as this but it can be even more difficult for individuals that received tickets when visiting from out of town. If you have received a ticket while tailgating or spending game day in East Lansing, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC for help. We have extensive experience defending individuals facing these types of tickets. For more information about East Lansing Michigan’s Open Container Law or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

 

 

Tailgating Crimes Michigan

iStock 000019472011Small 300x300 Tailgating Crimes MichiganCharged with Tailgating Crimes Michigan?

Fall is here, football season is in full swing, and the tradition of tailgating has resumed.  With both the NFL and NCAA playing there are plenty of opportunities for fans across Michigan to get together to enjoy the sport.  On weekends, thousands of fans flock to downtown Detroit to watch the Lions or to Ann Arbor to see the Wolverines.  While most of the football traditions are all in good fun, some fans may find themselves facing law enforcement on game day.  Charges for Operating While Intoxicated, Urinating in Public, Minor In Possession, Disorderly Person and Transportation of Open Intoxicants are very common during football season in Ann Arbor and Detroit.  Even though these charges are common, they are criminal offenses and should be taken seriously as they could have a negative impact on individuals’ careers or education because potential employers and universities frequently require the disclosure of criminal convictions.

If you have received criminal charges relating to your weekend activities, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC.  We work frequently in Wayne, Oakland, and Washtenaw County and can aggressively represent you in your matter.  We are seasoned criminal defense attorneys and will strengthen your case with years of experience.​  If you would like to retain an attorney at Garmo & Kiste, PLC or receive more information, please call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.  The attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC will help you achieve the best possible outcome for your case.

Labor Day Drunk Driving Crackdown

iStock 000004185499Small 300x300 Labor Day Drunk Driving CrackdownLabor Day Drunk Driving Crackdown:

“Designated Driver Dark” and “Call a Cab Cider” may sound like quirky craft beer names but they are actually names for fictitious brews imagined by the leaders of a new anti-drunk driving campaign in Michigan. This branch of the “drive sober or get pulled over” campaign will run through Labor Day weekend.  Michigan police typically launch campaigns such as this in conjunction with crackdowns around holidays when citizens are most likely to drink including Thanksgiving, New Years and the Fourth of July.

The campaign is meant to raise awareness of a crackdown on drunk-driving offenses. Even though the campaign is humorous, it is related to unlawful activities that carry very serious ramifications. The crackdown will take place in over 40 Michigan counties including Wayne and Oakland.  Police officers will focus on the enforcement of drunk driving and seatbelt violations.  It is likely officers will keep a close eye out for the signs of offenses such as operating while intoxicated. This offense has ramifications that impact your career and social life.

If you have been charged with an offense as a result of this crackdown or while celebrating Labor Day weekend, contact the attorneys of Garmo & Kiste, PLC.  Our law firm has successfully handled many cases involving driving while intoxicated and other traffic and alcohol-related offenses.  If you would like more information or to retain an attorney at Garmo & Kiste, PLC, call (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message.

Woodward Dream Cruise Criminal Charges?

iStock 000010578375Small 300x300 Woodward Dream Cruise Criminal Charges?Woodward Dream Cruise Criminal Charges?

The rumble of engines can be heard on Woodward Avenue as car collectors are gearing up for the Annual Woodward Dream Cruise. The official event will be held on Saturday, August 16th, 2014 but hundreds are warming up their engines already.

The Dream Cruise first started in 1995 and has since become a Detroit tradition. The event attracts 1.5 million people and 40,000 classic cars from across the U.S. and beyond. The tradition is for caravans of cars to parade up and down the iconic Detroit Avenue, giving car lovers an amazing opportunity to “camp-out” on the street and spot some amazing models. Additionally, there will be other entertainment set up along the route including musical performances and a play zone for children.

The nature of the event lends itself to certain concerns and police will be out in full force implementing the law. They will be keeping an eye out not only for traffic violations such as Reckless Driving and Drag Racing but also general violations such as Open Container/Intoxicants and Urinating in Public. If you are charged with any of these offenses or others while you are enjoying the events over the next week, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC. We are experienced criminal defense attorneys and have represented hundreds of cases in Metro Detroit including the 44th District Court in Royal Oak and and 43rd District Court Ferndale. For more information, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message.

Matthew Van Steenkiste Named to the 2014 Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star List

P19 new 300x300 Matthew Van Steenkiste Named to the 2014 Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Star ListWe are pleased to announce that Matthew Van Steenkiste has been selected to the 2014 Michigan Super Lawyers Rising Stars list. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a research-driven, peer influenced rating service of outstanding lawyers who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. Attorneys are selected from more than 70 practice areas and all firm sizes, assuring a credible and relevant annual list.

The objective of Super Lawyers is to create a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys to be used as a resource for both attorneys and consumers seeking legal counsel.

The Super Lawyers lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country, as well as in the Michigan Super Lawyers Digital Magazine.

Please join us in congratulating Matthew Van Steenkiste on his nomination. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to SuperLawyers.com.

Brian Garmo Named to Super Lawyers Rising Stars List 2014

P26 new 300x300 Brian Garmo Named to Super Lawyers Rising Stars List 2014Brian Garmo, Manging Partner at Garmo & Kiste, PLC, has been named to the 2014 Michigan Rising Stars list. This is an exclusive list, recognizing no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state.

Super Lawyers, a Thomson Reuters business, is a rating service of outstanding lawyers from more than 70 practice areas who have attained a high degree of peer recognition and professional achievement. The annual selections are made using a patented multiphase process, which results in a credible, comprehensive and diverse listing of exceptional attorneys.

The Super Lawyers and Rising Stars lists are published nationwide in Super Lawyers Magazines and in leading city and regional magazines and newspapers across the country. Super Lawyers Magazines also feature editorial profiles of attorneys who embody excellence in their practice of law. For more information about Super Lawyers, go to SuperLawyers.com.

Michigan Fireworks Laws

iStock 000016947992Medium 300x300 Michigan Fireworks LawsMichigan Fireworks Laws:

The Fourth of July has come and gone but fireworks can still be heard in neighborhoods all around Detroit when the sun goes down. Michiganders have been enjoying relaxed state fireworks rules since Governor Synder signed the Michigan Fireworks Safety Act of 2011. This act allows aerial fireworks to be legally purchased within Michigan state lines, making it easier for consumers to put on their own impressive firework displays around the holidays.

The law states that local governments may create their own ordinances to regulate the use of consumer fireworks as long as the local ordinances do not restrict the use of consumer fireworks on the day before, of, or after a national holiday except to dictate that fireworks cannot be discharged within certain hours. Localities with a population of 50,000 or more may prohibit use from midnight or 1 a.m. to 8 a.m. and localities with a population of less than 50,000 may prohibit use from 1 a.m. and 8 a.m. Violating a local fireworks ordinance comes with a fine of up to $500.00 so it is best to refer to your city or town’s ordinance before you use fireworks.

The Act also prohibits the use of fireworks by someone that is under the influence of alcohol or controlled substances or from use on public property. An individual that violates these provisions could be fined up to $500.00.

Recently, Michigan state Senator Glenn Anderson stated that he is working to repeal the 2011 Act and prevent the sale of high-powered fireworks within Michigan.   His primary concern is that the expected economic benefits of allowing sales don’t outweigh the risks to Michiganders’ health of widespread use. Individuals across Michigan feel the same way and have concerns about the noise implications. Local governments are responding to these concerns by strictly enforcing the law.

Violations come with a significant penalty. If you have violated the Act or a firework ordinance, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message. We will help you assess your options and discuss how to proceed.

 

Sued by Ally Financial, Inc.?

iStock 000041951814Small 1 300x300 Sued by Ally Financial, Inc.?Sued by Ally Financial, Inc.? Do you owe money for unpaid car, credit card, or various loans? Have you fallen behind on your payments? Many individuals find themselves in a difficult situation, unable to pay off their loans, due to unforeseen circumstances such as the loss of a job. In these instances, consumers should be aware of all options available in order to protect themselves in the event that the creditor takes legal action against them.

If you have been sued by a financial institution such as Ally Financial, Inc. or have fallen behind on loan payments there are a few things you should know. Ally Financial, Inc., like many companies, is multi-faceted and includes the subsidiary of Ally Bank. This company issues a number of loans and may take action to collect them on its own behalf. In some instances the companies are willing to settle. An experienced debt defense attorney can help you achieve the best possible outcome. Further, some companies may exercise abusive debt collection behavior so it is important to be informed of what is not permitted behavior.

Alternatively, if you have not been sued by your creditor, you should know that you do not necessarily have to wait until the company makes the first move. In fact, it may be more advantageous to consult a debt defense attorney before that point in order to discuss your options.

The collections process can be challenging to undergo. If a creditor such as Ally Financial, Inc. has sued you or if you’ve fallen behind on your payments and would like a free consultation, please contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 or contact us with a private message.

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

Michigan Implied Consent Law

iStock 000012031771Small 300x300 Michigan Implied Consent LawMichigan Implied Consent Law: The Risk of Refusing Tests

If you are a Michigan resident, you should be aware that the act of operating a vehicle enters you into an implicit agreement to submit to alcohol testing. MCL 257.625c dictates that any individual who operates a motor vehicle on a public highway or other place open to the general public or generally accessible to motor vehicles within the state is considered to have given consent to chemical tests of his or her blood, breath, or urine to determine if he or she has been using alcohol or another controlled substance in certain circumstances. These circumstances include if you are being arrested for operating while intoxicated or while visibly impaired.

Violations occur when an individual is arrested under one of the provisions cited in MCL 257.625c including operating while intoxicated and the driver has refused to submit to a breath test. Though it is not mandatory that you submit to a breath test, you should know that refusal is de facto an implied consent violation. Some individuals refuse under the assumption that it may help them avoid the primary charge including operating while intoxicated. However, the officer will almost always proceed to obtain a warrant to do the testing and the implied consent violation has already occurred.

An individual seeking to challenge the refusal violation must request a hearing within 14 days of the date of notice. Time is of the essence in these cases. The ramification of violating the implied consent provision is a one-year suspension of your operator’s license. Note that this applies only to the first refusal. If you refuse a second time within seven years of the first refusal, your operator’s license may be suspended for a period of two years. There may also be special ramifications if you have a commercial operator’s license.

There is an exception to the implied consent rule under MCL 257.625(c)(2) for individuals that suffer from hemophilia, diabetes or other conditions requiring the use of an anticoagulant which may justify the refusal to submit to a blood test. This defense should be raised by your attorney because an officer may neglect to include this information in his report thus subjecting you to punishment.

Losing your operator’s license has a severe impact on your life economically and socially. If you were arrested for operating while intoxicated or any of the other offenses cited in MCL 257.625c and refused to submit to alcohol testing, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC. We have extensive experience handling cases in the Metro Detroit area, giving is the expertise necessary to handle these intricate cases. Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 now for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Cell Phone Searches and the 4th Amendment

iStock 000005022838Medium 300x300 Cell Phone Searches and the 4th Amendment Cell Phone Searches and the 4th Amendment: You’re Going to Need a Warrant for That

A recent Supreme Court ruling took a strong stance in support of privacy, preventing law enforcement officers from searching individuals’ cell phones without a warrant. The Supreme Court made a combined, unanimous decision over Riley v. California and United States v. Wurie that police officers generally must obtain a warrant before searching a suspect’s cell phone regardless of what type of cell phone it is.

In the first case the Court discussed, the defendant was stopped for a traffic violation. After law enforcement accessed information on his cell phone, he was charged with a weapons offense and associated with gang activity. In the second case the Court discussed, the defendant was arrested after police officers believed they observed him engaging in a drug deal. Law enforcement officials then used information on his cell phone to determine the location of his residence, obtained a search warrant and found drugs and other contraband at the premises. The defendant was charged with drug and firearm offenses. In both of these cases, the defendants sought to have the evidence that had been discovered as a result of the cell phone searches excluded. In support of the searches, the government argued that a search of the data stored on a cell phone is “materially indistinguishable” from searching the types of physical items that are typically found on suspects such as address books and purses. Therefore, the government argued that law enforcement officials should be able to search cell phones without a warrant. The Court rejected this argument, humorously noting that, under the government’s logic, a ride on horseback would be materially indistinguishable from a flight to the moon.

Despite this, the Court did state that the exigent circumstances exception could apply, allowing an officer to search a cell phone without a warrant. Under this exception, an officer can search the information contained in a cell phone if it is necessary to prevent an imminent danger. Additionally, the Court stated that law enforcement officers may physically search a cell phone in order to ensure their personal safety. For example, an officer may examine the physical aspects of the cell phone in order to determine that a weapon is not hidden on or in it. Further, this ruling does not denote that cell phones cannot be searched at all; it merely states that officers must obtain a warrant before they perform a search of the cell phone.

Ultimately the Court’s ruling protects individuals’ privacy by requiring law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant before searching the information contained in cell phones. This case reinforces privacy interests in a technologically saturated world and serves as an example of how technological evolution may cause us to reconsider the scope of our constitutional rights.

For more information about criminal defense, Contact Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or send us a private message.