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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

This information is presented to help people understand the seriousness of being accused of domestic violence and the legal ramifications if convicted. Although many cases of domestic violence in Oakland County, or throughout metro Detroit, are the result of minor altercations where one party called the police simply to calm down an argument once they are in the legal system it is treated the same as serious abuse.

One of the first things to understand is the question of what constitutes domestic violence. In it’s simplest form domestic violence is an assault or battery upon someone with whom you have had a domestic relationship. An assault is legally described as “placing someone in fear of an imminent battery.” A battery is defined as “a harmful or offensive touching.” Therefore, you can be legally guilty of an assault even if you didn’t touch someone but placed them in fear that you were about to. An example would be raising a fist in anger toward the other person and acting as if you were going to hit them. If they actually believed they were going to be hit an assault has occurred. The ease of which someone could be technically guilty of a domestic violence is scary. It makes these cases more difficult and complicated.

In addition, there are special rules of evidence that have been created to allow statements made by claimants of domestic violence to be admitted into evidence easier than traditional statements. In some cases, prosecutors will proceed to trial on domestic violence cases even where the alleged victim refuses to testify because they can use a written or recorded statement made at the time of the incident instead. If you have been accused of domestic violence or a related crime, the best advice is to immediately retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. Sometimes there are things that can be done to prevent the issuance of charges or to alter the seriousness of the charge. These options are very fact specific and require quick action before charges are officially made.

We are familiar with all of the Courts in metro Detroit whether the 48th District Court in Bloomfield Hills, or the 52nd District Courts in Troy, Rochester Hills and Novi. Wherever the domestic violence case is pending we have successfully defended clients and are familiar with the unique characteristics of that Court and the Judges who operate there. In many Courts in Oakland County or throughout metro Detroit there are multiple Judges. Each Judge often has their own feelings about domestic violence cases. It’s very helpful to be able to know what you are up against when facing domestic violence charges especially where the alleged victim remains hostile or has an agenda such as obtaining a better divorce settlement.

In addition to the serious legal penalties in domestic violence cases, there is a social stigma that often follows the accused for the rest of their lives. These convictions can appear in routine background checks for jobs. The employer won’t have any information about the seriousness of the case, only the conviction history. Often, people who have been convicted report being passed over for employment without specific reasons being given. But, it is logical that employers wouldn’t want to hire people with convictions for assaultive crimes if they have other good options. We help clients think about and manage for all the potential ramifications that arise in domestic violence cases. A simple shove or grab can end up much more complicated than imagined. Prosecutors and Judges are often very scared to be dismissive of these cases for fear that something worse could someday happen and it could blow back on them or that they could be accused of going easy on abusers when a local election comes around. Navigating these complex waters takes experience which we have.

There are many other crimes related to domestic violence that also have severe penalties. Some include interference with a communications device which often is charged where a Defendant is accused of taking the cell phone from someone who tries to call 911. This is actually a two year high misdemeanor which is treated like a felony. Further, crimes like harassment, stalking and malicious mischief are often handled by the same special prosecutors assigned to domestic violence cases and treated as very serious by courts. Many times, a PPO is sought at the same time as these type of charges. In addition, divorce and custody cases can arise as alleged victims seek to exploit their sudden power within the legal system. All of this can be dealt with but it takes experience and a calm approach to get the best outcomes. Call us today to discuss your case whether it’s in Oakland County, Wayne County or Macomb County.

While Domestic Violence Is One Of The Most Underreported Crimes, It Is Also One Of The Most FALSELY Reported.

While domestic violence is one of the most underreported crimes, it is also one of the most FALSELY reported. Often times, alcohol is involved. In many cases, both parties are drunk and arguing. One party does something that gets physical and the second party responds with something else that is physical. Then the first party calls the police and makes a complaint and the second party gets arrested because the police fail to get the whole story straight and the first person leaves out the part about them being the first one to get physical. If this sounds familiar than you need to contact us right away. We may be able to help. Although domestic violence cases can sometimes be easy to prove they are also amongst the best cases to defend because the accusers often lie and exaggerate what happened. If they have an agenda such as divorce or custody or gaining exclusive possession of the home we may be able to discredit them in front of the Court or jury to the point where the prosecutor cannot prove their case beyond a reasonable doubt.

In addition to fighting these cases there are often situations where making a deal is the best option. In those cases we often can achieve a result that prevents the conviction from becoming part of our clients permanent record while also achieving no jail time and a manageable probation period. It takes a domestic violence lawyer who understands the laws and the system to exploit the strengths and weaknesses in your case. Whether you have been falsely accused and want to fight your case or need help navigating the system and working out the best possible deal we have the experience and resources to help.

During our initial consultation, we will discuss the charge, the corresponding laws and the penalties you face if convicted of the crime. We will explain the process and discuss options available. Working within the system, we will document critical details and request that evidence (such as 911 tapes, police dispatch tapes, or witness statements) be preserved and made available. This evidence can be used to identify inconsistencies in the accuser’s version of events or to shed light on the reality of what occurred. Unfortunately, without an attorney to take these steps, evidence favorable to your case may be lost as a simple matter of procedure.

Listed below are some of the crimes in the domestic violence spectrum and their corresponding statute number under state law.

Domestic Violence-1st Offense-93 day misdemeanorMCLA 750.81(1)
Second or subsequent offenseMCLA 750-81(3)-(4)
StalkingMCLA 750.411h:
Malicious use of mail or telecommunicationsMCLA 750.540
Felonious AssaultMCLA 750.82
Assault with intent to murderMCLA 750.83
Assault-intent to do harm – less than murderMCLA 750.84
Contributing to the delinquency of a minorMCLA 750.145
Obstruction of JusticeMCLA 750.122
Malicious destruction of propertyMCLA 750.377a, 750.380
TrespassingMCLA 750.547

A qualified domestic violence lawyer has the knowledge, resources and experience to effectively preserve evidence, prepare your case and ensure that your rights are protected. If you have been accused of any of these domestic violence crimes, do not hesitate to call us or contact our domestic violence lawyers online.

Client Reviews
My son was charged with two serious felonies for home invasion. Paul worked long and hard on the case and was able to negotiate a deal so that all of the charges were dismissed after my son completed probation. He is now in college without a criminal record. Mr. T.
I was arrested for drunk driving and possession of a controlled substance (Vicodin). Paul worked hard on the case and kept the felony off my record and got the drunk driving case reduced so that I kept my driver’s license and my job. He really cared about helping me. J.T.
When I recently had an issue at the airport, I decided to call Paul on the weekend. He called me back on a Sunday! He dealt with my issue without me having to fly back to Michigan and got it dismissed. Until you go through the court system especially for the first time, you don’t have a sense for how harrowing it can be. E.W.