Are you Falsely Accused of Domestic Violence?

undefinedOctober is "Domestic Violence Awareness Month."  My law practice, Prain Law, PLLC, is not just a "general" criminal defense firm.  We specifically concentrates on defending those accused of Assault crimes.  Michigan Domestic Violence charges (properly called Domestic Assault) under MCL 750.81(2) are by far the most common charge we defend.  As a Michigan Domestic Violence lawyer, I have a very unique perspective on Michigan Domestic Violence charges.    

I don't think there is one person among us who wouldn't agree that violence in the home is unacceptable, and when someone is legitimately victimized, the government has an absolute duty to step-in to enforce the law and protect the weak and afraid.  But all this assumes that the Domestic Violence accusation is true.  Every day at Prain Law, PLLC, we get at least one frantic call, not from the person accused of Domestic Violence and seeking to have us defend them, but from the so-called victim.  The call usually sounds something like this: 

"My husband and I had a heated argument.  I called the cops on him and told them he shoved me.  I was furious at the time, and it was a lie.  Actually, I was the one hitting him.  I thought the cops would come shake him up, maybe kick him out of the house and embarrass him, but they actually took him to Jail and charged him with Michigan Domestic Violence.  I called the Prosecutor's Office and told them I lied and don't want to press charges.  They said "Too bad, this is our case now, not yours.  We're going forward."  Because of this Domestic Violence No Contact Order, the kids and I haven't seen him in two weeks.  Please help me get these false Domestic Violence charges dropped!"  

THE BOTTOM LINE is that every day, Prosecutors are pursuing Domestic Violence convictions where there is overwhelming evidence of a false accusation.  This violates their Prosecutor's oath to seek justice, not just convictions - and it is morally wrong.  They do this so often, it's basically a policy.  Don't believe me?  Just take a look at this Michigan Domestic Violence Trial Manual by the Prosecuting Attorneys' Association of Michigan.  It has an entire chapter dedicated to teaching Prosecutors how to win a conviction even where the accuser emphatically testifies in Court that the whole thing was a lie during an emotional state.  Is this truth and justice, or is this the political agenda of an elected official concerned with increasing their conviction rates?  You decide...  When Prosecutors refuse to do their job by dismissing a false accusation, as a lawyer that specializes in Domestic Violence and Assault, I have to do mine and kick their ass in-front of a Jury.  And don't be mistaken, this isn't a men against women thing - women get charged with Michigan Domestic Violence, too (albeit less often).    

It really upsets me.  Rather than dismiss a false Michigan Domestic Violence charge (and thereby free-up time to work harder for legitimate victims), the Prosecutor's Office would prefer that you have to: hire and pay a lawyer, go to Court, suffer anxiety, and risk your freedom and future.  In the end, you might have to trust 6 or 12 strangers (a "Jury of your peers") who are likely inclined to believe that because the Prosecution says you're guilty of Michigan Domestic Violence, then you must be guilty.  Even if you are given the opportunity to take a "deal" and manage your risks by avoiding Jail and/or a public conviction record, such as with the Domestic Violence Deferral under MCL 769.4a, you'll still be required to publicly admit you committed a Domestic Violence crime, that you are a "batterer," give up your rights, and go on Probation.  If you're ever accused of Domestic Violence again, you'll be in even more jeopardy.

You and I don't know each other, so it would be wrong for me to ask you to blindly trust what I say about Domestic Violence cases.  Everyone should do their own research and draw their own conclusions.  But with October being "Domestic Violence Awareness Month," we're sure to be flooded with messages about how we need to elect this person or do this or that to "get tough" on Domestic Violence.  Maybe you or someone you know will even be called to serve on a Jury in a Michigan Domestic Violence trial.  In light of all these messages we're exposed to, I only ask that we keep our minds open just a sliver to the possibility that somewhere today, an overzealous Prosecutor is putting an innocent person on trial for allegedly violating the Domestic Violence laws, trying to take their freedom and good name from them.  Hopefully, it isn't you or your son or daughter or brother or sister.  Now THAT'S something to be aware of...      

Facing a Michigan Domestic Violence charge?  Don't make any decisions until you at least talk to Michigan Domestic Violence lawyer Brian J. Prain of Prain Law, PLLC.  Defending those accused of Michigan Domestic Violence crimes is what we do!  Call us anytime at (248) 731-4543

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