Michigan Domestic Violence: 5 Steps to a Better Defense

undefinedMichigan Domestic Violence Charges Are Serious, But This 10-Step Plan Will Put You At a Serious Advantage From The Start...

As a Michigan Domestic Violence lawyer, I go to Court every day to defend my clients who are good people from all different backgrounds who just happened to be caught in a bad situation - either they're falsely accused by a vindictive partner, they were the one who got attacked, or maybe they just lost their cool under pressure and something happened, etc. Every day, I see those accused of Michigan Domestic Violence crimes and their attorneys making mistakes that are increasing the chances of a nasty outcome. By following these common pitfalls, you can help protect your freedom and future:

#1) Don't make statements to the Police. I know, by the time you're reading this, it's probably already too late. But EVERY person at risk of being accused of a Michigan Domestic Violence crime MUSt memorize these magic words: "Respectfully, officer, I'm not going to answer any questions or make any statements until I have an attorney present." Then, you must resist the officers' attempts to scare you into making statements. 99.9% of people charged with MichiganDomestic Violence ended up being charged because they said something incriminating. You do NOT need to answer any questions about what happened, and the Prosecution CANNOT use your silence against you in Court. If you did make statements, though, don't worry. As we discussed, you're in the 99.9%, and we know how to handle this.

#2) Do not violate the No Contact Order. Yes, it's true what you've heard. When you go for your Arraignment (if you haven't already), the Judge or Magistrate is going to order that you have No Contact with the person who accused you of the Michigan Domestic Violence charge. If this is your live-in spouse or partner, that means one of you is going to have to live elsewhere. "No Contact" means absolutely NO contact - not even by text or email, etc. People violate this for several reasons: a) they're worried the other person is still mad at them or worried they're cheating on them; b) they don't understand that "No Contact" really means NO contact; and c) they trust in their accuser's promise that they won't snitch on them for it (this works until they get pissed at you again). The bottom-line is this: it's not worth it. If you violate, you risk going to Jail for a Bond Violation or a Contempt of Court. Even if you don't the Prosecution can threaten to hold the Bond Violation over your head if you don't take the plea deal they want. See below for a solution...

#3) Consider a Motion to amend or remove the No Contact condition. I recommend that my Michigan Domestic Violence clients avoid any contact with their accuser while the case is present. That's really the best scenario, because anything you say to them can be used against you in Court. But because we know that this is not a reality for most, we nevertheless recommend having your Michigan Domestic Violence Lawyer move to have the No Contact condition removed or amended to "No Assaultive Contact." "But I thought you just said not to have contact anyway." Right. But that is a choice you can make without the Court Order. With the Order in-place, an angry or vindictive accuser can always falsely claim that you violated it. All they have to do is call the Police and allege this on a Friday night, and you'll be on your way to Jail for the weekend. Don't let your accuser hold this as a weapon to use against you at their will. In defending a Michigan Domestic Violence charge, it is critical that you have freedom of thought and choice so that only you decide your future in the Michigan Domestic Violence case.

#4) Hire an experienced Michigan Domestic Violence lawyer. A Michigan Domestic Violence lawyer is a criminal defense lawyer who concentrates their practice on defending those charged with Michigan Domestic Violence offenses. I would respectfully recommend that you DON'T hire your old divorce attorney or the guy who put together your Will or authored that contract for your business. Defending a Michigan Domestic Violence charge takes a certain set of skills that are much different than a "desk and paper" type of law practice. Remember, this is someone you may need to rely on to be convincing to others to save your liberty. A Michigan Domestic Violence lawyer is a Trial Lawyer who knows the Rules of Evidence, who is a performer, a sales person, who understands group psychology, and many other things. You'd be surprised by the number of lawyers out there who have never tried a case to a Jury and wouldn't have a clue how to introduce an Exhibit into evidence. You wouldn't hire a piano teacher to learn guitar, and you shouldn't hire a bookworm to protect your liberty against a Michigan Domestic Violence charge.

#5) Get actively involved in your own Michigan Domestic Violence defense and beyond. This is perhaps the most important Michigan Domestic Violence defense step. Facing a Michigan Domestic Violence charge is at least as serious and potentially life-altering as undergoing a major surgery. If you were getting ready to have heart surgery, you'd be working closely with your cardiologist to prep for the operation. You'd be eating right and avoiding certain actions, as well as spending time with the cardiologist to make sure you understand the procedure. After the surgeon's job is done, there'd be follow-up and life-adjustments to accommodate the changes to your body and to prevent the same condition from occurring again. Defending your Michigan Domestic Violence charge is no different. With all the anxiety the Michigan Domestic Violence charge is causing you, it would be nice if you could just pay a lawyer and forget about it. But that is unrealistic. If you want the best possible outcome, you need to do the following at a minimum:

  • Read and understand the law you're charged with, MCL 750.81(2), the Michigan Domestic Violence statute (we provide this and review it with every client)
  • Read and understand the standard Jury Instruction, 17.02a, for Michigan Domestic Violence, as well as the Jury Instructions for any defenses that apply, such as Self-Defense, 17.22 (again, we provide this and review it with every Michigan Domestic Violence client at the very first meeting)
  • Receive and review the Police Report, witness statements, and any on-person audio/video from the arresting officers. These are the best indicators to what the witnesses against you may testify to, and they begin to form the basis of your decision whether to take a Plea deal or have a Trial (understand that when facing a Michigan Domestic Violence charge, this is really the only choice you have)
  • Read and understand the law regarding the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral, MCL 769.4a, in the event that you end up seeking a Plea deal
  • If you decide to fight your Michigan Domestic Violence case to Trial, you'll need to spend approximately 30 hours with your Michigan Domestic Violence lawyer preparing - and that's just the part of the preparation that deals with you.

Still have questions about your Michigan Domestic Violence charge? Get your specific questions answered by a Michigan Domestic Violence defense lawyer right now. Call Prain Law, PLLCanytime at (248) 731-4543. Don't feel like talking? Fill out the Contact Form to have your questions answered

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