Having the right criminal defense lawyer on your side can make a huge difference
Michigan has a standard process for handling domestic violence allegations.
The state defines domestic violence as an assault or an assault and battery against a spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom the person has had a dating relationship, an individual with whom the person has a child in common, or is a resident or former resident of the person’s household.
Domestic violence laws address allegations of simple and aggravated assault, violation of personal protective orders, aggravated stalking, and criminal sexual conduct, among other damage.
Michigan domestic violence cases
If you are facing DV charges in Michigan, here's what to expect:
- An alleged crime or assault against an intimate partner or family member is reported to law enforcement.
- Police are required to investigate all reports of domestic violence.
- Police will arrest those accused and suspected of domestic assault if they find "probable cause." Your lawyer will investigate whether the police met the standard for arrest.
- The victim will receive a "Victim's Rights" information sheet.
- Police will file an incident report, whether or not an arrest was made, and forward it to the prosecutor.
- The prosecutor will determine which charges to pursue. They may choose to drop or add charges. Depending on the circumstances, your lawyer can negotiate for the dismissal or reduction of charges.
- If the prosecutor decides to pursue the case, you will be charged with a crime and arraigned. A bond will be set in district court. Typically, your bond amount is determined by the severity of allegations, criminal and personal history, danger to public safety, and whether you are determined to be a flight risk. Your attorney can argue for reduced bail.
- Domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or felony. If you have a misdemeanor domestic violence assault charge(s), a pretrial hearing will be scheduled. You may plead not guilty, no contest, or guilty, or you may choose to stand mute which operates as a not guilty plea. A trial date may be set. Your lawyer will advise you on your best options.
- If you face felony charges, there may be a preliminary examination by the district court to see if the case should go to circuit court.
- If you plead not guilty, a trial may be held in a district court if it is a misdemeanor charge or in circuit court for a felony charge.
- Pleading guilty, no contest, or being found guilty means you will face fines and incarceration. A judge will sentence you, and your lawyer will argue for the lightest sentence possible. If this is a first-time offense, they may be able to get you a deferred sentence.
- If you are found not guilty or the charges are dropped, you are free.
Contact a winning criminal defense team
If you are facing domestic violence charges in Michigan, you should know that fines and incarceration are possible penalties if you're convicted.
Even if there's no physical evidence of abuse, it's still possible to be charged with domestic violence. You can also be charged with domestic violence by prosecutors even if your accuser decides not to press charges.
And, if you were falsely accused or your case is a matter of "he said-she said," you could end up paying the price for something you did not do. That's why it's in your best interests to talk to a criminal defense attorney about your legal rights and options.
At Manley & Manley, our attorneys can protect your freedom. We have more than 70 years of combined legal experience, and we know how the criminal justice system works in Michigan.
If you have been accused of domestic violence or you're facing DV charges, do not wait to act. We offer free case evaluations, and we're available 24/7.
Contact us today to see how we can help you. Our office is located in Flint.