Jalal “Jay” Dallo has combined his passion for martial arts with his passion for law, by defending the rights of individuals in criminal and immigration matters. When he’s not in the Courtroom, Jay can usually be found at Martial Arts Unlimited in Clawson. He is a highly sought after instructor who teaches, practices, and has competed in the following martial arts: Muay Thai (Thai Kickboxing), Boxe Francaise Savate (French Kickboxing), Kali (Filipino Weaponry), Pencak Silat (Indonesian Arts), Wing Chun Gung Fu (art from China), and Lee Jun Fan Gung Fu (modified Gung Fu system developed by the late Bruce Lee in the U.S.)
Jay’s criminal law cases involve everything from drunk driving charges (DUI’s), to medical marijuana violations, traffic violations, and violent crime charges ranging from assault to murder. His immigration cases often involve “undocumented residents” who are in danger of being deported when they are charged with a crime.
“I have a heart for immigrant families, as my own family came to Oak Park, Michigan from Iraq when I was only 12 months old,” says Dallo. “Even though I was 1 of 7 children in my family, I was given the chance to live the American Dream and was educated at the University of Michigan where I received a BA in Political Science, and earned my law degree from Thomas M. Cooley Law School. I believe other immigrants deserve the same chance to pursue their dreams, and I believe people charged with a crime deserve a second chance. I fight passionately for my client’s rights throughout the entire legal process.”
Dallo notes that some criminal defense attorneys aren't aware of or don’t always consider the potential consequences that a criminal conviction can have on an immigrant. “While pleading to a lesser included offense might be the right strategy for some clients in a criminal case, it could torpedo the immigration status of “undocumented residents”, and send them back to the Country they came from.” An undocumented resident is someone living in the United States without a green card or visa or who has not taken the legal steps to become a US Citizen.
Having a strong advocate throughout the criminal process is also critical because a conviction in a criminal case could negatively impact or even destroy a marriage, cause the loss of a job, and have dire financial consequences for an entire family.
“Some clients have the misconception that the case is over after the trial or if they plead out their case. However, sentencing is an important part of the process which also requires strong advocacy,” says Dallo.
Defendants in criminal cases should be aware of these guidelines during sentencing:
- The interview with the probation department during the pre-sentence investigation should be taken seriously. The probation officer’s recommendation is often followed by the Judge who issues the sentence.
- The way the Defendant appears to the probation officer, Judge, and court ordered counselors in substance abuse or domestic violence matters will impact the sentence. The Defendant needs to understand the nature and gravity of the crime he or she pled guilty to, and should have a plan to improve. If they appear like they don’t care, or aren’t committed to treatment or other requirements of probation, the Judge may not accept the plea or may issue a greater sentence than if the Defendant was more cooperative.
- The Judge has plenty of discretion and doesn’t have to follow the sentencing guidelines. Judges can be persuaded to issue a lighter sentence by an aggressive and creative attorney and a remorseful Defendant. Criminal history, pre-sentencing investigation, family support, letters from friends or co-workers/boss or counselors/clergy can all factor into a sentencing decision by the Judge.
Jay Dallo is the founding member of the Dallo Law Firm in Birmingham, Michigan where he practices criminal defense and immigration law. A graduate of the University of Michigan and Thomas E. Cooley Law School, Dallo is an accomplished litigator, martial arts champion and enthusiast, and an outspoken advocate and supporter of battered women and their children through Haven. For more information about Jay or his practice, visit the Dallo Law Firm website.