Yes, there is a statute in Michigan that is known as MCLA 769.4a, which is a statute specifically pertaining to domestic violence and to first offense domestic violence cases. Under that statute, if the court takes your case under advisement and you successfully complete probation, then the case can be dismissed and not be on your record after you’ve completed probation.
Oftentimes, we try to negotiate a deal that would get the clients’ plea taken under advisement pursuant to that statute so that they can ultimately create a record. Additionally, five years after you were sentenced, if you only have that domestic violence conviction on your record and nothing else, then you would be eligible to petition for an expungement in the State of Michigan.
What Are Some Things That Can Help Me Defend My Case?
Common sense things, such as whether there are any other witnesses who were there who could testify that you did not do what you’re accused of or statements, inconsistent statements made by the accuser, or any type of physical evidence that you can come up with to dispute or disprove what is being alleged against you.
For example, if somebody says, “He punched me with a fist on my face three times” and you’ve got a photograph of the person after the event where he or she has no markings whatsoever on their face, that’s the little piece of circumstantial evidence that you could argue helps to show that they are lying.
It’s really a matter of sitting down as soon as possible with your lawyer and trying to just dissect everything that happened and look for ways to show that that person is either lying or exaggerating or being inconsistent in what they say because it usually comes down to your word against their word and how can you try and prove that what they are saying should not be believed.
Do You Recommend Counseling or Anger Management For Your Clients?
Counseling or anger management in domestic violence cases is something we recommend on a case by case basis. If you’re convicted or you do a plea, you’re for sure going to take some kind of anger management and/or do some kind of counseling, so it’s going to depend on the particular circumstances of that case and of that particular client. Their history and background and maybe the court wherein the judge the case is assigned to are some of the factors that go into deciding whether or not that’s going to help your case in any way.
Do People Often Admit to Domestic Violence Charges, or Do They Deny the Allegations?
Both are very common. It just depends on what happens. Many times people are willing to make statements to the police and they think that they are helping themselves but they are really hurting themselves. Even if they may not have been the aggressor or may not have done anything that’s very serious, they still provided the police and the prosecutor with evidence that can be used against them to prove the elements of the crime. So, they make the situation more difficult.
We have a lot of clients who have denied any wrongdoing right from the beginning and they are consistent in their position. Those cases are a little bit easier to defend because of the fact that there is no evidence against you other than the word of one person who may have different motives for why they would lie or make this up. I can’t say which one is more common; they are both common.
Do Victims Ever Admit to Exaggerating Claims of Abuse in Domestic Violence Cases?
We’ve had numerous cases where the victim had lied or exaggerated the situation to the police and they want the case dismissed but the police won’t do it. In those situations, they are often afraid to go to the prosecutor and admit that they lied or exaggerated things because they basically would be then admitting that they filed a false police report which in and of itself is a crime. They become afraid to step up and do the right thing.
In some of those situations, we’ve been able to get cases dismissed where that witness then refuses to testify because by doing so and telling the truth, they would be incriminating themselves. Sometimes, those facts can be worked out to the favor of the defendant but it’s a very delicate situation to deal with and it does require some expertise.
How Often Do People Win In Domestic Violence Cases?
Whether or not somebody wins the case depends upon a lot of factors and we do see victory in these types of cases quite often. We can’t control what the client did or said on the night of the incident, meaning if they completely admitted to committing this crime, then it’s much more difficult to “win” the case. However, in those situations where it’s a disputed incident or the client has denied any wrongdoing or the witness doesn’t want to cooperate with the prosecutor, in those situations, there’s a much greater chance of success in winning the case.
Even in situations where the case can’t be won, if you handle it properly, you can definitely influence the outcome to get the best possible result and significantly lessen all of the consequences for the client.
For more information on Expungement of Domestic Violence Charges, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you’re seeking by calling (248) 451-2200 today.