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Domestic violence is a serious offense in Michigan, and due to the media attention and all of the financial resources and effort that go into combating the "problem", these cases are very challenging when brought before a prosecutor, judge and probation team. As a former prosecutor in New York City and here in Michigan, I was on the other side of 's of these cases.
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These groups do a great job, and they are an excellent resource. I have a lot of respect for the great work that the prosecutors do in Michigan on this domestic violence cases, and pray for anyone impacted by this crime. That being said, domestic violence cases are rigged from day one, and 90 percent of the time are NOT what most people think.
Most picture a big strong man beating up a female with injuries and things getting quite dangerous for her life; there are those cases, and those people should be punished if they broke the law; those cases are actually not usually DV cases, but felony charges that carry prison time. I don't work on those cases; there are other attorneys who can help those clients. If you're reading this, you or someone you love and care about has been charged with misdemeanor domestic violence in Michigan.
The reality is that most DV cases in Michigan are more mutual than the charges would suggest. It takes two to tango, and it's usually the man who finds himself with the cuffs on and pending charges for a serious crime. I mostly work with three different clients charged with domestic violence. Client regrets it and the "victim" forgives this lapse in judgment and both parties love each other and want this to go away. The "victim" is not seriously or even injured, but rather was pushed, had an item thrown in their direction, and the police were called to the scene - usually the man gets arrested.
Neither party suffers injury, but the police are called to the scene. Both parties are at fault, but only one person, usually the man is arrested. This is 99 percent the man being arrested due to stereotypes and size difference.
All three scenarios end up with the same charge, and the same "first impression" being made with the prosecutor, judge and police. That impression is you're a violent person who assaulted someone, you're dangerous and should not be allowed to be around the "victim" or return to where this happened. There's pretty much a zero tolerance; once arrested, you'll be charged and judged by all three in the same way.
So how do you survive this heavy storm against you? Well it depends what category the case falls into, and whether or not you believe you're falsely accused, and unfairly charged or if you realize you did something wrong, you regret your actions and just want to make it go away with the least damage to your life and reputation. Let's get this out of the way now; it DOES NOT matter if the "victim" wants to drop the case, it's a crime against the city, township, village, county etc, not really against a second person - that's a civil case - person vs person, this is government vs the defendant.
The victim each every DV cases in Michigan speaks to the victim advocate who acts as a buffer with the prosecutor; it's rare that a prosecutor even talks to the "victim". While it's better to have a "victim" wanting to dismiss the case than not, it is not the smoking gun to end the case like most believe.
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The one area where this desire would help is removing a no-contact order, and getting back in your home. If the "victim" is not on the client's side, my client is unlikely to have any communication with his family for weeks and or months, and will not be back in their home. The client is left to stay with other family, friends or paying for a motel room, which is not "fair" if you're falsely accused, but it's the reality of a domestic violence charge.
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I've seen it so many times in my career; the "victim" who is either a mutual aggressor or the true aggressor, and my client is charged, can't go to their home, can't see their kids and then the "victim" files for divorce and custody of the kids when they are already buried in a serious criminal case. You're likely only seeing your kids with supervised parenting time, because of your first impression of violence. So here's the plan depending upon which of the three situations you or someone you love's case falls into. I would have my client undergo alcohol and drug testing on day one, especially if it was involved during the incident by the parties.
We would leverage these steps along with the "victim's" wishes for my client to return to the home and remove the no-contact order.
Assuming all is going well, I would speak to the prosecutor about a dismissal under a special Michigan program commonly known as Some counties are very tough about getting this deal, some are easier, but the judge must accept it. Vision of the Future As a national leader in court performance and the administration of justice, the Court is recognized for: Using innovative and best practices; Building trust and confidence in the judicial branch; and Providing exemplary public service, programs, and work environment including professional facilities and effective technology. Core Values Fair: We are just, impartial, inclusive, and honorable in all we do.
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