Domestic violence charges carry serious penalties in Michigan. Courts have become more receptive in recent years to allegations of abusive conduct by spouses and others who are in an intimate relationship with their alleged attackers. While such concern is welcome, it also means that sometimes individuals who are not guilty of any real legal infraction can find themselves ensnared by these laws.
Michigan law includes specific penalties for abusive conduct that occurs within a relationship, even if the two individuals are not legally married. Domestic assault charges can often lead to harsher penalties than similar conduct in other situations, and testimony by alleged victims can be very persuasive, whether entirely truthful or not. If the person bringing the complaint received serious or aggravated injuries requiring medical attention, the penalties can escalate quickly.
That is why it is imperative to contact a Michigan domestic violence lawyer if domestic violence charges have been brought against you. Your attorney can consult with you and begin building the most robust defense possible.
All Americans are presumed innocent until proven guilty of any criminal charge against them, and the government must make its case beyond a reasonable doubt. An experienced domestic violence attorney in Michigan can see where the weaknesses in your case may be. It is important to remember that ordinary marital strife is not the same thing as abuse, and should not carry legal consequences.
For example, is there any physical evidence of violence, or testimony from neighbors or friends who witnessed the alleged misconduct? Or is it more of a “he said, she said” situation, which would make the case much tougher to prove?
There are other issues related to domestic violence that can have a large impact on a person’s life, even if they do not lead to criminal charges. Sometimes a spouse will claim abuse to have the other spouse ejected from the family home, by obtaining a restraining order against him or her.
The legal standard in such matters is typically “clear and convincing evidence” – which means it is harder to defend against than the higher standard of “beyond a reasonable doubt.”
A parent may be asked to accept a consent order that, while avoiding immediate criminal charges, can lead to problems if the parent subsequently tries to seek custody or visitation rights with respect to the children. Sometimes this could still be the best option, but people need advice from an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Michigan before making these kinds of decisions.
All criminal defendants have certain rights in the United States legal system, including the right to vigorous and professional legal representation. That applies to those who have been accused of domestic violence as much as it applies to any other kind of case.
Our Michigan domestic violence attorneys know that no relationship is perfect and that human beings make mistakes, but they also know how to defend your rights and make the strongest possible case on your behalf.