HGN (Horizontal Nystagmus Gaze) Testing

HGN (Horizontal Nystagmus Gaze) TestingHGN (Horizontal Nystagmus Gaze) Testing

If you have ever been pulled over and suspected of drinking and driving, you might know there are a series of tests officers administer prior to the BAC known as field sobriety testing. This can include walking heel to toe, saying the alphabet backwards, and or following an object with your eyes and not your head tests (HGN). While in the past I had thought this was only to see if you were able to directions, it turns out there is a biological reason behind the last test. If you have not been drinking (absent some major neurological disorders), your eyeball will pan across a landscape following object at a consistent pace. If you have been drinking though, it will jump from frame to frame across your field of vision. Think of it like the difference between a continuously variable transmission and stick gear shifting. As such, it is impossible to mask this biological reaction. On the other hand, the interpretation of this result is entirely up to the officer so there is very little way to independently confirm the officer’s findings. If you have gotten this far in the process though, there is probably other evidence that is sufficient to uphold your DUI absent extenuating circumstances. Very, very few DUI/OWI/OWVI/DWI offenses get overturned entirely. At this point, it is best for you to focus on minimizing the consequences through strong representation. An experienced attorney knows the ins and outs of metro Detroit courts, various judge’s proclivities, and can work to negotiate a lenient plea agreement and sentence for you.

To retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


Missed the Wayne County Child Support Amnesty Program? No problem, Contact an Experienced Attorney Today

Missed Wayne County Child Support Amnesty

Wayne County extended a program through the end of May whereby individuals who have a bench warrant out against them for nonsupport. The purpose of the program is that Wayne County had limited resources to pursue these individuals, and by paying 1% of the amount due, of $250 whichever is greater, there could be a fast influx of cash while releasing bench warrants. There is over 800 million dollars outstanding in child support in Wayne County. Approximately 15 people per day in May took advantage of the program. What should you do though if you have missed this program? Don’t despair, you will need to be arraigned on the bench warrant. An experienced attorney though can work to minimize the damages. While child support amounts may not be modified retroactively, if a material change in circumstances has resulted the arrearages, we may be able to get the amount of child support you pay adjusted.

Wanted for not paying child support? Missed the Wayne County Child Support Amnesty Program? We can help you, to retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


Student Loan Debt Stunting the Economy? Student Loan Debt Settlement

Student Loan Debt Settlement

Does this situation sound familiar? Your mid-twenties son or daughter currently lives in your basement. Or this one? You are in your mid-twenties and have had to approach your parents to move back home? This situation is becoming more and more common, and recent census data shows that there are 6 million young adults in this situation (meaning there are also 6 million parents wondering when their kids might finally leave the nest as well). It might seem like kids these days are just lazy, but in reality this is an example of national policy having a trickle-down effect. The vast amount of student loan debt seems to be impacting modern family structure. It is also preventing young people from making big ticket purchases such as a home or a new car. Americans between age 25 and 34 made up on 27% of home buyers in 2011, which is the smallest percentage in the last decade per the National Association of Realtors. Further, if you think about it, that is prime age for people to be buying a  house so it should conceivably be the highest group.

For aggressive Debt Restructuring ideas and legal representation concerning all Debt Collection matters or to retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message. Including Student Loan Debt Settlement


Michigan Redemption Period May Be Shortened

How long is Michigan's statutory Redemption Period?

If you are behind on your mortgage payments the note-holder may institute foreclosure proceedings against you. At any time prior to the sheriff’s sale, Michigan recognizes the law of equitable redemption meaning that if you can pay the full amount past due and the costs associated with the process you may “equitably redeem” your mortgage. This means that they cannot foreclose on your house (the amount may change if you have an acceleration clause, and the law is very different with respect to land contracts). However, even if the sheriff’s sale has already occurred Michigan recognizes an additional protection for residential homeowners: Statutory redemption. But How long is Michigan’s statutory Redemption Period? Under Michigan statute a homeowner usually has six months during which if they are able to pay the full amount that the house was bought for at the sheriff’s sale, they can “redeem” or get the house back. Further, this right of redemption is alienable.

Now though, the Michigan legislature is considering reducing the statutory redemption period from six months to 60 days. Despite the fact that it is reported than less than 1% of eligible former homeowner’s take advantage of the redemption period, this is still not a popular suggestion. However, its proponents suggest it will serve as a means to deter blight and get abandoned homes back on the market. Others suggest that this will hurt a fragile housing market, despite an amendment the period to four months if there is proof of a listing to appease real estate agents who argued that 60 days is insufficient time to process a short sale. The Senate may vote on the legislation as early as this week.


To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


Michigan Arson Defense Attorney / Michigan Arson Laws in Flux

Michigan arson defense attorney

In early April a series of changes to Michigan Arson law took effect. Prompted by a perceived increase in arson,and by a lack of awareness that arson is a violent crime rather than a mere property crime, the new set of laws provides for stricter penalties, and more prosecutorial discretion.

The sentence was raised to a term of years or life for the following offenses:

  • First degree arson.  This newly created category includes any arson that results in physical injury and any arson of a multi-unit dwelling even when no injury results.
  • Arson of an insured dwelling with fraudulent intent.
  • Maliciously setting fire to mines, any material in an underground mine or a structure over a mine shaft.

Fines are now available penalties, where previously only prison terms applied. A person may be fined up to $20,000.00 for first degree fraud arson.

Arson crimes at common law included only the malicious burning of the dwelling of another. Many states have made dramatic modernizing changes eliminating the dwelling of another requirement, or changing the intent requirement. The changes are meant to bring Michigan in line with stricter federal arson punishments which carry a minimum penalty of 25 years in prison. Law enforcement hopes that higher penalties will serve as a deterrent.


To retain a Michigan arson defense attorney, call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


Mom Who Left Children in the Car While Filling out Job Application May Face Charges in Rochester Hills

Child Endangerment Defense

A 35 year old Troy woman left her two children ages 1 and 5 in her vehicle in a parking lot as she went inside to fill out a job application.  From a shopping center located at Hamlin and Rochester Roads, observers called the police around 3:30 pm. When the police arrived the woman had just returned to her car, which had one window slightly open. She reported that the children had been asleep when she left them, although they were reportedly crying by the time she returned. Witnesses allege she was inside for more than twenty minutes. The children were taken to a local hospital where it was determined they were safe. They were released to their father’s custody. The potential case is under review by Oakland County Prosecutor’s Office who may issue charges, or may decline to prosecute. It is unclear if she would be charged with child endangerment, neglect, abuse, or another charge.


To retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


Disassociated Persons List MCL 432.225

Disassociated Persons List MCL 432.225Michigan has a strong gambling economy, especially in Metro Detroit. With so many casinos, come gambling problems including addiction. In order to combat this problem, the Michigan Gambling Control Board maintains a list of Disassociated Persons pursuant to MCL 432.225, which reads:

Sec. 25.

(1) The board shall create a list of disassociated persons. The board shall, with the assistance of casino licensees, inform each patron of the list of disassociated persons and explain how the patron may add his or her name to the list.

(2) The board may add an individual’s name to the list of disassociated persons if the individual has notified the board in writing of his or her pledge not to visit a casino in this state by filing an application for placement on the list of disassociated persons with the board.

(3) The board shall create and make available an application for placement on the list of disassociated persons. The application shall include all of the following information about the individual who is applying:

(a) Full name and all aliases

(b) Physical description including height, weight, hair and eye color, skin color, and any other noticeable physical characteristics.

(c) Occupation.

(d) Current home and work addresses and phone numbers.

(e) Social security number.

(f) Date of birth.

(g) Statement that the individual believes he or she is a problem gambler and is seeking treatment.

(h) A photograph suitable for the board and casino licensees to use to identify the individual.

(i) Other information that the board considers necessary.

(4) An individual s name shall be placed on the list of disassociated persons after all of the following have occurred:

(a) The individual has submitted an application to be placed on the list of disassociated persons to the Michigan gaming control board.

(b) The application has been verified by a representative of the board.

(c) The individual has signed an affidavit in which he or she affirms that he or she wishes to be placed on the list of disassociated persons and authorizing the board to release the contents of his or her application to all casino licensees in this state

(d) The individual signs a form releasing the state of Michigan, the board, and the casino licensees from any injury the individual suffers as a consequence of placing his or her name on the list of disassociated persons.

(e) The individual signs a form stating that he or she understands and authorizes all of the following:

(i) That a criminal complaint for trespassing will be filed against him or her if he or she is found on the premises of a casino in this state and he or she will be immediately removed from the casino premises.

(ii) That if he or she enters a casino and wins any money, the board will confiscate the winnings.

(5) An individual who has his or her name placed on the list of disassociated persons shall remain on the list for the remainder of his or her life.

(6) After an application has been submitted to the board, the chairperson of the board shall file a notice of placement on the list of disassociated persons with the board at the next closed session. Information contained in an application under subsection (4) is exempt from disclosure under section 4c of this act and is not open for public inspection. The information shall be disclosed to the board, each casino licensee in this state, the department of attorney general, and the department of state police.

(7) The list of disassociated persons shall be provided to each casino licensee, the department of attorney general, and the department of state police.

(8) Each casino licensee in this state shall submit to the board a plan for disseminating the information contained in the applications for placement on the list of disassociated persons. The board shall approve the plan. The plan shall be designed to safeguard the confidentiality of the information but shall include dissemination to all of the following:

(a) The general casino manager or the managerial employee who has responsibility over the entire casino operations.

(b) All security and surveillance personnel.

(c) The department of state police.

(9) A casino licensee shall not extend credit, offer check cashing privileges, offer coupons, market its services, or send advertisements to, or otherwise solicit the patronage of, those persons whose names are on the list of disassociated persons.

(10) The casino licensee shall keep a computer record of each individual whose name is on the list of disassociated persons. If a casino licensee identifies a person on the premises of a casino, the licensee shall immediately notify the board, a representative of the board, or a representative of the department of state police who is on the premises of the casino. After the licensee confirms that the individual has filed an affidavit under this section, the licensee shall do all of the following:

(a) Immediately remove the individual from the casino premises.

(b) Report the incident to the prosecutor for the county in which the casino is located.

(11) A casino licensee who violates this act is subject to disciplinary action by the board.

(12) The board shall promulgate rules to implement and administer this act.

(13) An individual who has placed his or her name on the list of disassociated persons who enters a casino in this state is guilty of criminal trespassing punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year, a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.

(14) This act does not create any right or cause of action on behalf of the individual whose name is placed on the list of disassociated persons against the state of Michigan, the board, or a casino licensee.

(15) Any winnings collected by the board under this act shall be deposited into the compulsive gaming prevention fund.

As you can see, individuals who have a compulsive gambling problem can opt onto the list and will be prohibited from entering a Detroit Casino.

If the individual subsequently enters the casino they are guilty of misdemeanor trespassing and any winnings will be forfeited to the board to fight compulsive gambling. Once you are on the list, it is permanent. If you or someone you know has been charged with disassociated persons, it is critical to retain an experienced attorney ASAP.

Charged w/ Disassociated Persons List MCL 432.225? We can work to protect your rights so this misdemeanor doesn’t become a bigger deal than it has to be. To retain Garmo &Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Attorney

Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure AttorneyHave you been thinking about “walking away” from your home? Many people, especially those who bought between 2004 and 2006 at the top of the market, now find that even with the dust settling on the housing market, they still owe more on their home then it is worth. This is called being “underwater” on your home. In some circumstances it can make good financial sense to walk away from the home. This means to just take the negative credit reporting of a foreclosure on your record, and let the house go into foreclosure. Especially where only one of two spouses has their name on the mortgage, and no one is too emotionally invested in the house this type of “strategic exit” can make a lot of financial sense for everyone involved. Everyone that is, except for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These government corporations lose out big every time a family walks away from a house secured by a note they hold. As more and more people recognize the value of walking away, they face a trend of loss. As such, the two have come together to offer a program to decentivize walking away from a property.

This program allows a homeowner to offer a deed in lieu of foreclosure. This program applies to homeowners who are current, and unlike many previous systems that required a homeowner to be in default. The homeowner gets to leave the property with limited liability, and Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac avoid the cost of foreclosing. The homeowner will release all rights to the property. One big advantage to the homeowner is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac waive any rights to pursue you on a deficiency. Generally if you are foreclosed on and the bank makes less then you owed them re-selling the house, the mortgage holder can pursue you for the remaining amount you owed them, which is called a deficiency. The deficiency is often thousands of dollars and the lender can pursue you for up to six years in Michigan. By taking advantage of the new program, effective March 1, 2013 you can avoid all of the hassle.

Need a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure Attorney? To retain Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100 for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


What should I do if I have a warrant in Michigan?

What should I do if I have a warrant in Michigan? What should I do if I have a warrant in Michigan? Arguably finding out there is a warrant out for your arrest can be one of the scariest parts of a criminal matter. A Bench warrant is issued by a judge, often to command someone to appear before the judge, with a setting of an amount of bail to be posted. Often a bench warrant is used in lesser matters to encourage the party to appear in court. Often people have never been in trouble before, don’t know what they’re being charged with, and don’t know what to do. While we can only give general advice without knowing the details of any particular case, in general it is best to contact and attorney and make a plan to turn yourself in. Then someone who is experienced in these matters can either get your arraignment waived or accompany you to the arraignment to ensure your rights are protected and have the bench warrant removed. This initial conversation is a good time to find out what the possible long term results of the crime you have been charged with are, and how we can work to mitigate them.

What should I do if I have a warrant in Michigan? You should call Garmo & Kiste, PLC call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.


Understanding Alcohol Related Crime: The Role of Addiction in a Criminal Trial of Licensing Action

Understanding Alcohol Related CrimeUnderstanding Alcohol Related Crime:

If there is one thing that makes Judges scared, it is the idea of having to explain to voter’s why they are perceived as being soft on drunk driving. The result is basically a competition to see who can be the toughest on drinking offenses. A secondary effect, is that in the legal world the social drinker seems to be becoming extinct. If you find yourself charged with an alcohol related crime, or dealing with an alcohol related driver’s license restriction the court is basically going to presume you have at least an alcohol problem, and more likely that you are a full-blown alcoholic. One problem that we see when people represent themselves is their initial and natural response is to try to disprove this presumption. When we represent someone we see this as an opportunity. The court is anxious to see you rehabilitated, and if we can work with this presumption, we can show the court through counseling, AA, and periods of sobriety that you are committed to staying sober and following the court’s instructions.

Navigating the legal world can be challenging if you are inexperienced, but an able lawyer can put their experience to work for you. Need help Understanding Alcohol Related Crime? call us at (248) 398-7100  for a free consultation or contact us with a private message.

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