Allegations of domestic violence can bring feelings of frustration, anger, and betrayal. They are also often accompanied by fear—of the unknown, and of what might happen next. But what is domestic violence in Michigan?
Even if you believe the charges are without merit, you need to take allegations of domestic violence seriously. Penalties for a domestic violence conviction can include hefty fines and jail time. Because so much is on the line, if you are facing domestic violence charges in Michigan, you should contact an experienced Michigan domestic violence attorney as soon as possible.
Domestic violence allegations usually start one of two ways. Either the alleged victim filed a request for a Personal Protection Order (PPO), or the police were called to your home because of a domestic dispute.
If the alleged victim has requested a PPO, you will be prohibited from contacting the victim. And because allegations of domestic violence involve people who share a residence, you may be prohibited from returning to your home until a judge conducts a full hearing on a no-contact order.
If the police were called to your house because of a domestic dispute, you were probably arrested and are now subject to a no-contact order.
Because a PPO is only temporary, the court will move quickly to schedule a full hearing on the no-contact order. To protect your rights and avoid compromising your defense against the criminal charges, you should hire an experienced criminal defense attorney to represent you at the hearing as quickly as possible.
The answer to what is domestic violence typically varies by state.
In Michigan, domestic violence covers any violent crime that is committed against a spouse, former spouse, someone you are or were dating, someone with whom you have a child, or someone with whom you are or were living.
Penalties for a domestic violence conviction can be severe and may include between 93 days and 2 years in jail, fines of $500 to $1,000, probation, and payment of restitution.
If you have a prior conviction for domestic violence, you face up to 5 years in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, up to 5 years of probation, and restitution payments.
Because the government considers domestic violence to be such a serious crime, people accused of domestic violence actually have fewer rights than people accused of committing other crimes. For example, in a domestic violence case, police are authorized to make an arrest based solely on the allegations of the accuser. The police do not need to have witnessed the criminal act.
Similarly, at trial, prosecutors are allowed to present evidence of prior criminal activity and even violent outbursts to prove that the defendant committed a crime. Understanding what is domestic violence can help you better understand your case.
For these reasons, many innocent people are wrongfully accused and convicted of domestic violence. But an experienced domestic violence defense attorney can help protect your rights and minimize the chances of a domestic violence conviction.
There are two defenses that are specific to allegations of domestic violence. The first is that the conduct you are accused of does not constitute domestic violence. The second is that you were acting in self-defense or to protect a child.
In addition to these defenses, you also have all of the other criminal defenses available to you, such as challenging the court’s jurisdiction, that you did not commit the crime, that the victim is lying, and any Constitutional defenses regarding the criminal process.
As your domestic violence defense lawyer, I will independently investigate the charges against you, seek to have any illegally obtained evidence excluded, and ask the judge to dismiss the case. I will help you answer what is domestic violence and determine how your case fits into the charge.
I will look for a lack of physical evidence and will interview neighbors, family, friends, roommates, and others who may have witnessed the alleged misconduct. I will also search for video recordings. If there is no corroborating evidence, the case becomes a “he-said-she-said” which is much more difficult for the prosecutor to prove.
I will also focus on your good character, your lack of a criminal record, and the circumstances surrounding your arrest.
We will work together to present your case in a way that is most favorable to you and to have the charges against you reduced or even dismissed.
I understand that allegations of domestic violence are emotionally charged and that emotions run deep. I will vigorously defend you, but I will also do my best to ensure that allegations of domestic violence do as little damage as possible to relationships with your family.
If you have been charged with domestic violence in Michigan, Elmen Legal is here to help. From my office in Ann Arbor, I proudly represent people in Ann Arbor, Saline, Pittsfield Township, Chelsea, or Ypsilanti, in Washtenaw, Wayne, Monroe, Lenawee, Hillsdale, Jackson, Ingham, Livingston, and Oakland Counties.
© 2021 Elmen Legal, PLLC — Ann Arbor, Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney