Michigan Domestic Violence Attorneys
Domestic violence is a very common crime charged throughout the courts of Michigan. Governed by the Michigan Domestic Violence Statute, MCL 750.81, the State prohibits one from assaulting or battering another person. Consequently, the domestic violence charge is on e of the most prolific charges in Michigan, with over 54,000 cases reported in Michigan in 2004. As a criminal defense attorney who has handled many domestic violence cases, I wonder how many of those 54,000 cases were situations where the defendant was wrongfully charged with domestic violence and nobody believed in their innocence.
FIRST OFFENSE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
By far the most commonly charged of the domestic assault misdemeanors in Michigan, the first offense domestic violence charge is enforced daily from Traverse City to West Bloomfield. If you or a loved one is charged with domestic violence, a number of things need to be considered. First, there is a possibility of jail. While some courts are different than others, coupled with the unique facts of each case, probation is the normal sentence. However, be aware that certain circumstances will result in jail and no matter what; a first offense domestic violence charge carries with it the possibility of up to 93 days incarceration. Additionally, any plea will result in fines, costs, probation, classes, and abstention from alcohol and drugs.
Although a 1st offense domestic violence charge is a frightening experience for most, the Michigan legislature does include a deferral program for first time domestic violence offenders. This deferral allows one to plead guilty, do a mammoth amount of probation, and at the end the charge is dismissed.
Even though many people choose to use the 769.4a deferral, the fact remains that the deferral is used to deter innocent people wrongly accused of committing domestic violence from fighting and winning their case.
SECOND OFFENSE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
If you or somebody you care deeply about is facing a second offense domestic violence in Michigan, the stakes are significantly higher than a first offense. First and foremost, the punishment is for a second offense is one year of jail and a thousand dollar fine. Additionally, unlike the kid gloves treatment one may receive from the court in a first offense, a second offense will likely result in at least some jail time, whether it is an Oakland County District Court or a Traverse City District Court.
The bottom line with a second offense domestic violence charge is that you need to fight, fight, fight. Out of the entire gambit of different criminal charges in Michigan, most criminal defense attorneys will agree that the domestic violence charge results in more not guilty verdicts than any other type of case. Additionally, you are likely innocent, or there are mitigating circumstances involved in your case which can dramatically alter the outcome.
FELONY DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
A felony domestic violence charge is unique in that it requires you or a loved one to have two previous convictions for domestic violence. At the felony level, any conviction has a strong likelihood of jail and a possibility of up to 2 years in prison with fines and costs up to $2,500.00.
If you have been charged with a Michigan felony domestic violence charge, you need to aggressively litigate the case in order to have any chance of success. As criminal lawyers who believe in your innocence, we have a strategy of filing many complex motions all the way through the felony court process. The goal of aggressive criminal litigation in a felony domestic assault case is to either win the case on a technicality, or more importantly, to suppress as much evidence as possible for purposes of greatly increasing your chances of winning the trial.