Domestic Violence charges sometimes arise out of situations that unexpectedly spiral out of control – such as a passionate argument between a husband and wife, or a misunderstanding with a boyfriend or girlfriend.
These criminal charges are serious and never go away by themselves.
Anyone being charged with domestic violence has a lot to lose: the respect of your family, friends, child, your job or prospects for future employment, and even your freedom.
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When it comes to being arrested to a domestic violence accusation, Attorney Shawn Haff knows that sometimes the accused is innocent of the charges and didn’t do it! Unfortunately, if an individual gets upset, all they have to do is call the police and say that they were assaulted, battered or threatened by a past or current significant other. If this happens, it is very likely that police will show up and arrest supposed perpetrator.
If you or someone you love was arrested by a false claim from a former partner, who only called the police because they wanted to seek revenge or get you in trouble then you have to get an expert criminal defense attorney by your side right away!
Under Michigan law, domestic violence is abusive behavior – physical, sexual, etc, used by one person to dominate or control another. Domestic relationships are those between spouses and former spouses, people in dating relationships, couples with children in common, and residents and former residents of the same household.
We continually hear from our clients about how the victim didn’t want to press charges in their case. This is typical and expected in an abusive relationship. Many victims are pressured into trying to get these charges dropped by their spouse or relative who are usually the defendants in these cases. The victims in these cases can be victims who have been abused so much that they think it is normal to be beaten and abused.
Prosecutors will typically try to get victims to plead guilty in these kinds of cases knowing that the victim will not show up to court or that a husband or wife won’t testify in court against the defendant. Do not fall victim to this pressure by local West Michigan prosecutors! Our skilled criminal defense lawyers know what tools to use, in order to keep our clients from being bullied by zealous prosecutors and attorneys.
We understand that in many cases our clients are not guilty. We have seen so-called victims make up stories of abuse to get revenge on the defendant. Rest assured, we will not rest if you are innocent until you get your case dismissed or we get you a “not guilty” verdict at trial.
The punishment for a first offense domestic violence charges in all West Michigan courts is 93 days in jail. We have never had a client get 93 days for a first offense conviction.
These charges are aggressively prosecuted in Michigan, even when the alleged victims withdraw their complaints.
The penalties for Domestic Violence Second Offense in Michigan are seriously tougher, including up to 1 year in jail and/or a fine of up to $1000.00.
The Michigan Domestic Violence Second Offense statue reads:
“An individual who commits an assault or an assault and battery in violation of subsection (2), and who has previously been convicted of assaulting or assaulting and battering his or her spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a resident or former resident of his or her household, under any of the following, may be punished by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both…”
A person who is charged with Domestic Violence Second Offense cannot receive the deferral deal under MCL 769.4a:
“[t]here shall be only 1 discharge and dismissal under this section with respect to any individual.” In other words, a person can only get 769.4a once in their lifetime.
If you plead to or were found guilty of this charge before but never got MCL 769.4a, then you have been “convicted” of an “assaultive crime” in the past.
It should also be noted that there is no statute of limitations when it comes to using past convictions against someone being charged with a Michigan Domestic Violence Second Offense. We have seen clients charged with a 2nd domestic violence charge based on a prior conviction from 20 years ago.
An individual who is convicted is still guilty of a misdemeanor, but the maximum possible Jail time increases FOUR TIMES to 1 year in Jail. The fine is up to $1,000.00.
It is true, you can get locked-up in Jail for an entire year for this offense. You could also be ordered to participate in “Work Release,” where you are allowed to go to work or school, but must spend the nights and weekends in the County Jail. Rarely do people get the maximum jail time possible when it comes to this charge. However, jail time is a distinct possibility when someone is convicted for a Michigan Domestic Violence Second Offense.
Michigan Felony Domestic Violence charges are serious crimes that require you to get an attorney on your side ASAP! It should be noted that this charge is also commonly called a Domestic Assault charge, as well as a DV charge – they all refer to the same Michigan Assault crime contained in MCL 750.81(2).
A person may face a charge of aggravated domestic violence when the victim is seriously injured. The injury would require medical attention. If a person used a weapon while engaging in a domestic assault, the charge could be raised to a felonious assault.
An aggravated domestic assault first offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. A second aggravated domestic assault offense is a felony, punishable by 2 years in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
The justice system in Michigan is aggressive in arresting and prosecuting people accused of domestic assault.
Here are some examples from Michigan law that show how aggressive Michigan is in prosecuting people on these charges:
If you or a loved have a domestic altercation, you should seek out expert criminal defense representation right away! While the state of Michigan does not have a mandatory arrest law, the police can still arrest you later on.
In fact, We have had numerous clients get arrested at their house, right after the police arrive to investigate an incident.
We’ve also have had numerous clients deal with false accusations. We have noticed that many of these claims rise up after a person has experienced a divorce, a breakup or been accused of infidelity. In many of these cases, an accusation of domestic violence is simply a tool to be used to help someone get custody of the kids or better results in a divorce. Once you retain me to fight for your freedom and your rights, I will immediately begin doing the following:
The next step is building the best defense possible. There are several defenses a domestic violence defense attorney can use for you.
You just didn’t commit the crime. The harm caused on the victim was done by someone else. We will look to see if you can use an alibi defense to prove you weren’t there and couldn’t have been done by you.
The other party is not telling the truth. There are a lot of individuals who are in an unhealthy relationship. In these type of relationships, lying maybe very common. Shawn will examine injuries to see if they back your side of the story. Shawn will also examine the statement of the witness to see if there are inconsistencies that can be used to prove your innocence.
The harm was done on accident. In a lot of cases the defendant can not deny they were there. They also are not able to say they didn’t cause the harm. If you didn’t intend to cause the harm, you may have a valid defense. For example, say you are mad about the outcome of a football game and storm out of the family room. While doing so, you knock someone done on accident causing them harm. Another example might be where you are doing work on the house. A tool you are using gets dropped and does harm to your partner on accident. They may take it as malicious but proving it was an accident will help you beat your domestic violence charge.
You were defending yourself. We have represented numerous people who had to use force against their partner to keep them from getting injured. We have had clients who had to use force to keep their partner from punching or slapping them. If your partner has a history of violence or prior convictions for violence we will be sure to skillfully use that information to get you the best results possible.
The claims cannot be proven beyond reasonable doubt. If the prosecution does not have evidence that can prove you committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, you can beat a domestic violence charge against you in court!
Yes, if we can work out a deal where the prosecutor agrees to sentence someone under a deferral, this charge will be kept off the defendant’s record assuming he completes probation successfully. Once the defendant completes probation, their record will not show any conviction for this violent charge. There are multiple diversion programs out there we can get our clients. After you retain Shawn or one of his talented lawyers, we will go over the details with you and let you know what diversion program works the best for you and your situation.
The Criminal Defense Law Center of West Michigan is a powerhouse firm that won’t rest until you get the best results possible on your charges.
The impact of a conviction related to domestic violence can be detrimental. A conviction can ruin your reputation, your personal health can be affected. You will be facing large fines, management classes dealing with anger, terms of incarceration and you maybe ordered to pay restitution. You could also have the following problems to deal with:
An investigation by Child Protective Services is one of the most stressful things in life. The goal and purposes of CPS are valid and noble, but the process can be a problem and it doesn’t mean that the parents who have been targeted have done anything wrong.
If you call Shawn about your CPS investigation, he can help you understand your rights and figure out the best way to handle your case. Consulting with Shawn does not mean you have done anything wrong or are guilty of anything. Let a legal professional allow you to make an informed decision.
There are numerous reasons why CPS starts an investigation. Many investigations by CPS result in no wrongdoing by parents being found. CPS many times gets anonymous tips that claim a child may be in danger of being physically abused. Teaches are required to report potential child abuse. If a child has a hematological disorder, this teacher is required by mandatory reporting statues to alert the proper authority.
After CPS has completed an investigation into the child’s medical condition and family home life, it can then close the case and not be required to take further action. Most CPS investigations resolve without removing a child from its family home.
A CPS investigation will require them to conduct interviews with family members that share your household. The investigation may include a physical and/or psychological examination of your child. If the CPS investigation reveals concerns, a service plan will be created. This plan will give parents things such as access to counseling and various other forms of parental support. Dire situations may result in the child being temporarily removed from the house and that parents care.
Attorney Shawn Haff
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