Articles Posted in Domestic Violence

Like all Americans, even those accused of domestic assault are presumed innocent until proven guilty. Michigan and United States Constitutional laws both require that the government prosecutor prove all of the elements of the alleged criminal charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

If accused of domestic violence in Michigan (or a related domestic battery or assault charge), immediately hire only a highly qualified Michigan criminal defense lawyer. Failing to do so courld lead to jail time and long-term consequences.

Almost every client that retains ou DV lawyers desires to have a healthy relationship at home, but the pressures of living in today’s turbulent times sometimes leads to an assault of some type. The type of benefit an “anger management” or similar program of re-education may bring to the defense table should not be dismissed as “throwing in the towel.” Some family violence cases can be reduced and other DV case can be dismissed entirely, with the right legal help, even on a second offense DV case.

Those accused of family violence (FV) by being issued a TRO (temporary restraining order) will need the help of experienced domestic violence attorneys to defend these serious criminal domestic violence charges. This need to retain a domestic violence attorney is equally applicable to both misdemeanor and felony cases, since both can bring painful and disruptive jail consequences.

Many far-reaching implications (in this criminal practice area) can come from a client being accused by an alleged victim of domestic violence of some sort of domestic abuse. As required by federal guidelines, the rights of the accused will be placed behind the community’s efforts to provide a victim in domestic violence cases with protection of the complaining party and children who are affected.

Michigan domestric violence lawyer Patrick Barone explains the possibility of jail time.
By retaining one of the State’s best domestic violence lawyers, you can possibly obtain a modification of the protective order that is related to the criminal charges. However, this option is usually only viable if your criminal defense attorney talks with the law enforcement personnel who investigated the domestic violence (DV) allegations and then made an initial arrest decision.

Love is Blind. Justice is Blind. But here is what we SEE in Divorce and the Criminal Justice System.

The Criminal Defense Attorneys near me at the Barone Defense Firm focus their practice on specific and complex criminal defense cases, like those involving allegations of criminal sexual activity and abuse. These criminal sexual conduct (CSC) and child abuse cases are handled in the District and Circuit Criminal Courts when charged by the State or County Prosecutor, and in the Family or Juvenile Court when authorized by Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) often referred to as Child Protective Services (CPS). The may also often have a federal component, especially when allegations involve allegations of possession, receipt or production of child pornography.  We have found that such allegations arise out of or are raised in the backdrop of divorce. The allegations of criminal sexual conduct and child abuse often come immediately preceding, during, or soon after divorce papers are filed, and therefore, the divorce is the common denominator.

According to the statistics in the 2018 State of Michigan’s Department of Community Health Report there were 56,374 marriages, and possibly not surprisingly, 28,186 divorces. This number may be surprising to the romantic, and validating to the cynic, but all can reasonably agree that there are significant emotions involved when a marriage is ending.  These emotions, when coupled with children being involved, can lead to allegations for legal leverage and quite frankly to hurt the other party. Motivated by money, or custody, or fear, or anger, allegations of criminal sexual conduct or child abuse put the accused in a very difficult position emotionally and legally.

Many lawyers who are not Michigan Gun Crimes Lawyers, fail to fully understand or appreciate the interplay between State and Federal firearms laws. This can lead to the catastrophic loss of rights, including the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.

An example of this would be the Federal Firearms Law found at 18 United States Code § 922(g)(9), which provides that even a single conviction for misdemeanor domestic violence will result in the loss of many of your Second Amendment rights, including the shipping, transporting, possession, or receipt of a firearm or ammunition that has been shipped in or affects interstate commerce.  In plain language, any domestic violence conviction will eliminate your ability to legally purchase or possess or ammunition for any purpose. This includes keeping a firearm of any kind in your home for self-defense.

Oftentimes this impact is overlooked because local attorneys are members of a State Bar and focused on State penalties.  The average State attorney doesn’t often consider Federal Penalties.  They are also often focused on the more pressing penalties of jail, probation, or fines.

 

There are many benefits of hiring a domestic violence lawyer immediately upon hearing of being charged or potentially being charged with domestic violence. First, and foremost, a good attorney will give you your best chance at minimizing the consequences of a domestic violence charge. The consequences of a first offense domestic violence charge include a misdemeanor on your permanent record, up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, probation including drug and alcohol testing, and being banned from purchasing and possessing firearms. A good attorney will request all evidence, look for defenses and procedural issues, explore diversion programs, and try to get the best result, whether through pre-trial negotiations or trial.

Second, there are things that happen when someone is arrested for domestic violence that create very urgent concerns. Many times, the accused lives with the accuser. The court will place immediate conditions on the accused when released. The court will order the accused not to contact the accuser and, if they live together, not to reside in the home with the accuser. Even if the accuser tries not to press charges, this order may stick. An attorney can try to convince the court to lift the no-contact order. The attorney can also ask the court to allow the accused and accuser to live together again, especially if they share children together. If that’s not possible, the attorney can help their client get belongings from the home needed to live a normal life while the no-contact order is in place.

Lastly, in cases in which the evidence is stacked against the accused, the attorney can explore a Michigan domestic violence diversion program. This program requires people to admit guilt and complete counseling and probation. The advantage of going through the program is that the admission of guilt is kept under seal and never put on public record. Therefore, it will never show up on a criminal record and the person would never have to admit on a job application that they’ve been found guilty of domestic violence. Call right away to get in touch with our dedicated legal team.

On April 24, 2020 Governor Whitmer extended Michigan’s shut down order through May 15, 2020.  The Governor’s new Executive Order 2020-59 does contain a modest loosening of the restrictions many business and government offices remain closed. If you were recently charged with a crime in Michigan, but have not yet been to court, it is nevertheless recommended that that you hire an experienced criminal defense trial lawyer as soon as possible. In part this is because unlike some government agencies and even some kinds of courts, Michigan’s criminal courts are still operating during the shutdown, albeit on only a very limited basis.

Because of the danger posed by the virus, particularly at this time when many new infections are occurring, some misdemeanor and felony criminal cases are being rescheduled to later dates when the corona virus dangers have lessened.  But not all criminal cases and more importantly not all kinds of criminal hearing dates are being postponed.  So depending on many different circumstances and factors, criminal cases are still be heard by judges all around Michigan.

While it’s true that some new misdemeanor charges will not move forward in court until district courts re-open, it’s still in your best interest to hire an attorney immediately. If you’re facing a misdemeanor charge, it’s likely that you won’t be arraigned until courts re-open. However, if you’re facing felony charge, you will probably be arraigned before being released and your case will move forward normally.

 The three most important steps a person charged with domestic violence can take to help their case are to hire the best attorney, follow court orders, and be proactive.

Let’s talk about hiring the best attorney. You want to look at a few questions to figure out which domestic violence attorney is best for you. Do you feel comfortable talking to the attorney in your consultation? Does the attorney lay out a game plan as to how they’re going to help you? And, does the attorney give you the time you deserve to talk about your case? Remember, the consultation is a sneak peek into what it will be like working with the attorney. Therefore, if the attorney is short with you or isn’t very nice, that’s probably how it will continue through the case. If you aren’t given a specific game plan as to how the attorney is going to solve YOUR specific problems, they will probably take a cookie-cutter approach that doesn’t take your life into consideration, and may not be a good step a person can take to help their domestic violence case. The best attorneys will show a time-intensive, personal approach to your case that will give you comfort that all options for success will be explored.

Now, what are some examples of court orders, otherwise known as bond conditions, that someone charged with domestic violence has to follow throughout a case? They typically include no contact with the accuser (including that the accused cannot stay in the same residence as the accuser), no travel outside the state, and random alcohol or drug testing. Why is it important to follow the court’s orders throughout the case? Well, if you don’t, you could be thrown in jail. Also, if you disobey a court order, the judge and the prosecutor will take note and it could affect the outcome of your case.

How Can I Keep a Domestic Violence Charge Off My Record

Being charged with domestic violence can be frustrating and embarrassing. Convincing a court that a domestic violence charge should be kept off your public criminal record requires the help of an experienced Michigan domestic violence attorney.  One strategy to keep the charge off your criminal record of the accused, but certainly not the only one, could be to use Michigan’s statutory diversion program.

First, it’s important to understand that a domestic violence charge in Michigan is very serious. A first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, court fees, probation, a permanent criminal record. In addition, anyone convicted of domestic violence is banned by federal law from possessing and purchasing firearms.

After exhausting other legal defenses and plea negotiations, an experienced Michigan domestic violence attorney will often talk to you about the diversion program provided in MCL 769.4a. The main reason most people enter the diversion program is because it becomes the only way to keep the domestic violence charge of their public criminal record.

Domestic Violence is on the rise in Michigan, and many believe this is due in part to Governor Whitmer’s stay-at-home covid-19 lockdown. If you struggle with managing your anger in frustrating situations, especially with others in your home, then Governor Whitmer’s executive order requiring everyone to stay in their homes through April can be an especially difficult and frustrating time.

Michigan isn’t alone in this.  As NPR reported domestic violence has surged across the world during the Covid19 coronavirus pandemic and corresponding quarantines. From the report:

Domestic violence rates have surged in France and South Africa, according to Voice of America. In South Africa, authorities said there were nearly 90,000 reports of violence against women in the first week of a lockdown.

What’s the Difference Between Michigan Domestic Assault and Domestic Violence?

Both domestic violence and domestic assault in Michigan are crimes based on the same law.  In other words, they are two different names for the same crime.  The more common name is domestic violence.  Both crimes are based on section 81 of the Michigan criminal code, found at MCLA § 750.81.

A person, either a man or a woman, can be charged with domestic assault as part of a police investigation resulting from a domestic dispute.  During a heated argument, a neighbor or one of the domestic partners, might call 911 to report the disturbance.  Then, when the police arrive, they are charged with the task of interviewing the various parties and determining what level of intervention is necessary and appropriate.  Sometimes, the police will simply separate the individuals involved for a period of time to allow a cooling down of flared tempers.  Other times, the police will take the person they think is more responsible or more aggressive, into custody.  This person may end up later being charged with domestic assault or domestic violence.

Simply being involved in an argument with another person is not enough to be charged with the crime of domestic violence.  This crime first requires that you be in a domestic relationship with the other person involved, meaning the person assaulted is one of the following:

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