Category Archives:Criminal Defense

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.

The Case of the Vanishing Assets: 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.

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.

Caught in a Compromising Position: Prostitution Laws in Michigan

What Constitutes Prostitution?

The practice of engaging in sexual relations in exchange for payment or some other means which benefits you, is illegal in the state of Michigan. The law prohibits both the practice and participation of the act. Which is why many who do practice it tend to do so in secret, but there are times when police catch wind of such activity and go undercover to catch individuals. Here is what you need to know were you caught in such a compromising position. 

Prostitution Laws

There are specific laws when it comes to prostitution. In Michigan, they include several that include those aiding and abetting prostitutes. Here are a few of them:

  • 750.448- A person of 16 years of age or older who accosts, solicits, or invites another individual in a public place, building, or vehicle to commit prostitution or a lewd act is a punishable crime.
  • 750.449- A person 16 years of age or older who receives or offers to admit a person into a place, structure, or vehicle for the purpose of prostitution can also be convicted of a crime.
  • 750.449a-A male person who engages or offers to engage a female person, that is not his partner or wife, for prostitution or a lewd act in exchange for payment, be it money or other compensation, can be convicted of a crime.
  • 750.450- A person 16 years of age or older who aids, assists, or abets another person to commit and act prohibited by the above mentioned laws is also subjected to punishment.

Repercussions of Engaging in Prostitution

A person convicted of violating these laws and are guilty of a misdemeanor are punishable by imprisonment a maximum of 93 days and/or a fine of $500.
A person 16 years of age or older, who also has 1 prior conviction, and is found guilty of a misdemeanor can be punished with imprisonment of 1 year and/or a fine of $1,000.
If you have 2 or more prior convictions, violating the above laws can be punished with up to 2 years in prison and/or a fine of $2,000. 

Detroit Prostitution Lawyer

If you are caught in violation of any of these laws, it would be in your best interest to hire legal representation. At Garmo & Kiste PLC, we are experienced in cases that involve violations of Michigan’s prostitution laws. Do not let your freedom go to chance, contact us at (248)398-7100 for a free consultation.

Why You Need a Criminal Defense

Criminal Conviction

Being sentenced with criminal charges can lead you on a roller coaster of emotions. It is a stressful time filled with anxiety and can be scary. Hiring a criminal defense attorney can ease your panic by guiding you through the ordeal. When facing serious issues such as jail time, an experienced attorney can work their magic to minimize sentencing or garner a plea deal.

Reduce Sentencing

To reduce a sentence, your defense lawyer must negotiate a deal or plea bargain with the prosecutor.  In most cases, not only will these deals reduce the sentence but may eliminate some of the charges brought against you. If the court were to find you guilty, a defense attorney is equipped to negotiate lesser time or offer a rehabilitation center as an alternative. Throughout your case, your attorney will advise you the best routes to take when negotiating your deal.

Navigating Your Case

While a defense attorney is not a therapist, they can reduce the anxiety that comes with facing a criminal trial. They do so by going over the realities and legalities of your case.  They will also go over court rules and regulations. You can feel secure knowing that their experience enables them to navigate the system with ease. They are also well-verses in unspoken rules that can help reduce your sentence.
Your defense attorney is able to expertly handle the evidence and eyewitness statements for your case. They can procure everything necessary to build your case. Witnesses even respond much more positively to a lawyer than by speaking openly.

Macomb County Criminal Attorney

You always have the right to properly defend yourself and doing so during a criminal case is of the upmost importance. Prosecutors and city attorneys are often willing to negotiate a deal. Residents of Macomb County have the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste at their disposal. Our attorneys are well-versed in cases pertaining to your criminal defense. Do not risk your rights and contact one of our attorneys at (248)398-7100.

Michigan Expungement Law Changes

michigan expungement law changesWondering about the new Michigan expungement law changes. Michigan law may now allow you to get a conviction removed from the public record? If so, you should be aware of changes to Michigan’s expungement statute.

Expungement allows a person who has been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor to set aside that conviction and take the matter off the public record. When a conviction is on the public record it allows employers to see it when doing criminal history background checks. Therefore, expungement is crucial to those with a criminal conviction who are trying to get a second chance.

Michigan’s previous law would allow a person who has one felony conviction to apply to have that conviction expunged. Further, it would allow a person with two misdemeanor convictions to apply to have both of those convictions expunged. To apply, one must have completed probation, discharged from parole or finished imprisonment. Also, the applicant would have to wait a mandatory period of time starting on the date of sentencing.

However, the new law has made this process more difficult for the applicant. The mandatory period of time an applicant must wait after sentencing remains five years. Also, convictions for several common traffic offenses are still unable to be set aside, such as Operating While Intoxicated.

The most serious change is the new laws treatment of Deferrals and Dismissals. Generally, some misdemeanor violations allow a first time offender to defer his sentencing. Upon completion of probation, the charges to the offender would be dismissed. The new treatment of this rule provides that dismissals from deferrals would still be counted as a misdemeanor conviction when eligibility for expungement is being determined. Therefore, a first time offender who receives a deferred sentence, and whose case is ultimately dismissed, will still be effected by that dismissal if ever apply for expungement of another misdemeanor or felony.

In terms of expungement, it is important to distinguish the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor. A misdemeanor is any offense punishable by not more than one year imprisonment, or a fine. A felony in this state is an offense punishable by more than one year of imprisonment. Therefore, a misdemeanor carrying a punishment of more than one year is defined as a felony.

Expungment is an extremely helpful tool in giving those with past criminal convictions a second chance. Those living with a conviction on their public record know so well how difficult it can be to find employment and give back to society. However, expungment can be a risky process for the applicant, as in the event the petition is denied, now one cannot re-file for another three years.

If you have questions about expungment, or your eligibility, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

The Overcriminalization of Michigan

The Overcriminalization of MichiganMichigan Severely Over-Legislated

Commit any crimes today? After you read this, you may be less sure of your answer. A report was recently published, “Overcriminalization in the Wolverine State,” outlining how out of control our legislatures have become. To clarify, there is not a higher crime rate in Michigan, there are just more crimes a person can be accused and/or convicted of. For example, recently our office represented an individual for the egregious misdemeanor of failing to have a lid on their trashcan. Some other examples from the article include:

■One man who disposed of scrap tires at a facility he thought was legal was sentenced to 270 days in prison and a $10,000 fine for unlawfully disposing of the tires since the facility did not have a license.

■A few years ago, a woman faced charges for operating an illegal day care simply because she helped her neighbor’s children get on the morning school bus.

■Other pitfalls include driving motor vehicles in a state wilderness area, purchasing a new or used motor vehicle on the weekend and transporting Christmas trees without a bill of sale.

■And here’s a sampling of new laws passed in 2012: It’s a crime to display any material containing the name of an elected Michigan official at a polling site; and also illegal to display an owner’s contact information on a barge.

While it is admirable for legislators to legislate against serious crimes, this proliferation of laws can have several unintended consequences. First, it can entrap law abiding citizens. We don’t want courts to waste their time pursuing non dangerous offenders. Secondly, this can divert law enforcement efforts away from dangerous criminals. Finally, a confusing legal code can lead to inconsistent applications of the laws, whether through mistake, or by design. Many of these esoteric laws are rarely used, and can be used as tools of oppression against communities that are more heavily surveyed by the police.

There is one consequence of these crimes that seems was fairly likely intentional: it brings in revenue for the state and municipalities. If you have been a victim of overzealous lawmakers, or to retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

Minor In Possession of Alcohol Metro Detroit Lawyers

Yellow beer cansMinor In Possession of Alcohol Metro Detroit Lawyers

Are you a student at Wayne State University that has been charged with a criminal offense?  You should know this situation should not be taken lightly as criminal convictions can impact your entire life.  Don’t let your youthful indiscretion impact your career.

Minor In Possession of Alcohol (MIP) is a common offense among college students but the fact that it is well-known does not lessen the consequences it may have. Under the Michigan Liquor Control Code Section 436.1703, the first offense can carry a fine, substance abuse treatment, and costly probation.

If you are 21 or older, you should know that there are also offenses that those of legal drinking age may be charged with. Your actions while under the influence of alcohol may still have negative consequences. For example, an officer may give you a Disorderly Person ticket under the Michigan Penal Code Section 750.167 for being intoxicated in public if they believe you are causing a disturbance. This carries a punishment of up to 90 days of imprisonment or a fine of up to $500.00. Also, many individuals over the age of 21 are charged with Operating While Intoxicated for getting behind the wheel after having one or two too many drinks. Under the Michigan Vehicle Code Section 257.625, this offense has serious consequences that may include imprisonment for up to 93 days and a fine of $500.00, depending on the situation.

If you have been charged with Minor In Possession of Alcohol, Disorderly Person, Operating While Intoxicated, or any other offense 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. Contact us today.


Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) misdemeanor criminal charges

Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) misdemeanor criminal charges

Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) is one of the busiest airports in the United States. As such, safety and security are high priorities. In order to promote these goals, the Wayne County Airport Authority Board adopted a new Airport Ordinance in March of 2013. This document details the rules that apply to travelers.

Travelers may be familiar with an announcement made in the airport that luggage should not be left unattended. This is a warning that coincides with an Airport Ordinance. Section 6.7 states that, “[a] Person shall not abandon personal property upon Airport premises… Violation of Subsection 6.7 is a misdemeanor.” In fact, it appears that law enforcement officers have been taking this rule very seriously in recent months.

Travelers may be surprised that a number of other seemingly innocuous activities are considered misdemeanors under the Airport Ordinance if conducted at the airport. These include:

• Using roller skates or other similar devices
• Altering, defacing, or damaging any airport property including walls, floors, or even plants
• Gambling in any way without a permit
• Posting or distributing any informational or advertising materials without a permit
• Taking still, motion or sound pictures of or at the Airport for commercial purposes without a permit

If you have been charged with a misdemeanor for violating these or any other sections of the Ordinance, contact the attorneys at Garmo & Kiste, PLC. These charges should not be taken lightly as conviction will create a criminal record or add to an existing one.

Detroit Metro Airport (DTW) misdemeanor criminal charges? Dealing with Homeland Security, Transportation and Safety Administration (TSA) or customs/immigration violations? To receive more information, call Garmo & Kiste, PLC at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message

34th District Court
11131 Wayne Rd
Romulus, MI

East Lansing Michigan's Open Container Law

iStock_000000206708MediumGame 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.