Interviewer: I’ve heard that there are other kinds of assault, not to get disgusting or lewd, but I’ve heard stories where people spit on other people and that could be a more severe charge?
Paul Tafelski: Typically that would fall right smack dab in there of domestic violence and that would be considered a battery because it’s a harmful or offensive touching and so by spitting on somebody that’s pretty much a battery and often times that would get you prosecuted. Not that uncommon.
Throwing Dirty Toilet Paper at a Person Can Get You Arrested in Michigan
Interviewer: I’m trying to think of that example, someone told me they had someone arrested on particular charges because that person had thrown toilet paper at them. Called it a bio something attack?
Paul Tafelski: That would get you arrested in many places around here, I can tell you that much. There’s no limit to the type of things you could do that could possibly get you arrested for domestic violence or just assault and battery. It’s pretty easy to meet the requirements of the legal definition. It’s just a question of, it used to be that the police had a lot more discretion in deciding whether or not it was worth arresting somebody or that’s what the situation called for, but now it’s more and more they’ll arrest you and let other people sort it out.
An Arrest Depends on the Evidence Gathered by the Police at the Scene of the Alleged Crime
Interviewer: What about that situation where if someone had called and it was a neighbor. Someone lives in an apartment complex. Can there still be an arrest if a neighbor calls?
Paul Tafelski: It all depends on the statements that are gathered by the police. What did the witnesses see, what did they hear, what are the people willing to say to the police, once the cops come and start interviewing people, so it really depends upon what happens once the police get there. But yeah, we’ve had many cases where the incident was initiated by a neighbor calling the police because of the loud noise or disturbance.
The Penalties For Repeat Domestic Violence Offenders in Michigan
Interviewer: What about someone who’s had a record of doing this before? What are some of the penalties they may face? Like if it’s a repeat offender?
Paul Tafelski: It becomes much more likely that you’ll face jail time, and much more likely you’ll face the more intensive versions of anger management, much more likely you’ll be with significant alcohol or drug testing. What happens is everything just gets exponentially worse for each time that you get charged or convicted. It doesn’t matter whether your first one really was no big deal or your second one, as the charges mount, the system just starts treating you more and more harshly because they look at you as the kind of person who will not learn their lesson and so therefore probably cannot control themselves and could end up killing somebody . The judges don’t want to be the ones to have to answer to the local TV stations asking them why weren’t you tougher on Joe Blow when you had him for his third offence of domestic violence and you went easy on him. They don’t want to answer those questions in the event that you become the guy who goes out and kills his wife later. There’s a lot of politics involved in these crimes.