Domestic Violence

Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

Recently, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Michigan domestic violence case involving a claim of self-defense by the defendant. Ultimately, the court struck down the claim, even though the defendant reasonably believed that he was acting in defense of another during the altercation. The central component of a claim of self-defense or defense-of-others is necessity. This requires a finding that the defendant acted intentionally, but that the circumstances of the incident justified his actions. The Facts of the Case According to the opinion, the defendant’s son was engaged in an argument with the defendant’s wife when they...
Earlier this year, a state appellate court issued a written opinion in a Michigan assault case involving the defendant’s claim that the prosecution violated his constitutional rights by withholding favorable evidence. The defendant also argued that the prosecution’s failure to present the evidence, the dashcam video of the arresting officers, should have resulted in an adverse inference instruction. Ultimately, the court concluded that the prosecution was not under a duty to preserve and pass the dashcam footage, and because of that, no adverse inference instruction was necessary. The Facts of the Case According to the court’s opinion, the defendant was...
Earlier this month, a state appellate court issued an opinion in a Michigan domestic violence case involving the defendant’s challenge to the admission of the victim’s statement to police. The case required the court to discuss the general prohibition of hearsay in criminal trials, as well as the “excited utterance” exception. Hearsay is defined as an out-of-court statement that is being offered to establish the truth of the statement’s contents. For example, a witness’ statement that “the man was wearing a red hat” would be inadmissible to prove that the color of the man’s hat was red. However, if the...
There can be no doubt that domestic violence is a serious matter under Michigan’s Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Act. However, you are in a very difficult position if the allegations against you are untrue, exaggerated, or based upon ulterior motives. Unfortunately, false accusations of domestic abuse are more common than you think. They are particularly prevalent in divorce or custody cases when one party is trying to gain an advantage in court. Even when you know you are innocent, anger, frustration, and despair may take the place of logic. Do not allow your emotions get the best of you...
Child abuse is defined as any action that causes a child to suffer physical or psychological harm. In addition to physical and verbal abuse, it can include neglect, a parent or caregiver’s failure to provide a child with adequate medical care, and actions that put a child at an unnecessary, unreasonable risk of harm. When you are facing a child abuse charge, you have the right to defend your case. A child abuse conviction can come with steep fines and a long prison sentence. Even without a conviction, an accusation of abuse can permanently damage your relationship with your child...
Interviewer: If someone says, ‘Hey look, I’m guilty, it happened, I lost control.’ What are some things that could help him, could they voluntarily go into anger management? Paul Tafelski: We do a lot of counseling with our clients as far as trying to come up with a strategy that will best suit them and get the best result depending upon which judge that they have in their case. So sometimes gathering up statements from other people, attesting to the fact that this is not normally a violent person or getting counseling, getting an assessment done, if alcohol was involved,...
Interviewer: When the police are called, will there always be an arrest made? Paul Tafelski: If somebody claims that the other person touched them in any kind of a way –which could be grabbing them, preventing them from leaving, poking them, pulling their hair, scratching their face, some kind of physical altercation, however brief – there is usually going to be somebody arrested. Again, that’s the case in most places in metropolitan Detroit, and I mean Wayne, Oakland and Macomb County. However, in some of the more upscale and conservative areas such as Rochester, Troy, Birmingham, Bloomfield, Novi, Plymouth, Canton,...
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...
Domestic violence means different things to different people. A lot of people think of it as a situation where one person in the relationship beats up the other person, like the Ray Rice incident. However, the majority of cases prosecuted are much less violent and involve either a slap or a push or grabbing somebody against their will. I have seen an increase in the number of prosecutions, although I don’t think there is really an increase in the number of actual domestic violence cases. It used to be that if someone called the police for domestic violence, the cops...
Even if someone was sober or under the legal alcohol limit and refused a breathalyzer test request from a police officer, the implied consent can cost them their license for one year and adds 6 points to a driver’s license. There is a distinction between the official breath test and one sometimes done on the side of the road, the Preliminary Breath Test. If someone refuses to take that test, it results in a minor civil infraction with 0 points. It is very important for people who are facing an implied consent violation to know they must request an appeal...