In Michigan, Courts and prosecutors are taking domestic assault and domestic violence cases more seriously than ever. There has been a rising awareness of the issues related to relationships with domestic violence.
In some counties, courts have established special courts to just handle domestic violence cases. Prosecuting offices have created units that will only handle these cases. Gone are the days when a prosecutor might simply dismiss an unfounded case or easily offer a disorderly conduct. Prosecutors are under an enormous amount of pressure to prosecute these cases and obtain convictions.
Criminal defense attorneys must take these cases seriously to best represent clients. Defense attorneys must be willing to challenge cases and take more cases to trial.
How Will My Domestic Assault Case be Resolved?
A criminal case may be resolved in one of two ways – either through a plea bargain or by trial.
Michigan has a program called the Spousal Abuse Act. Under this program, a person who pleads guilty will be put on a period of probation. At the time the guilty plea is made, the conviction will be made non-public. Non-public means the conviction will not turn up in a search of court records or in a criminal history search with the Michigan State Police.
Following a successful completion of probation, the conviction will be permanently dismissed. However, a conviction may still go on a person’s record where probation is not successfully completed.
Your second option for resolution is to take the case to trial You are never required to plead guilty, for any reason. This means a proactive challenge of the case. A trial can either be heard by a judge or a jury.
Whether a case should be heard by a judge or jury is up to the client, and the decision should be made after careful consideration of all the facts involved.
Many people have been wrongly charged with domestic assault. Such cases must go to trial. An innocent person cannot plead guilty.
Sometimes a person may have committed an assault or battery but only did so in self-defense. Self-defense is permissible under the law where a person did reasonably and honestly believe that self-defense was necessary.
What Should I Do Next?
An attorney will help guide you through these options. It is important to speak with attorney because the stakes are higher than ever.
Sam Bernstein of ArborYpsi Law is a domestic assault attorney in Washtenaw County, Michigan. He represents many people accused of domestic assault, helping them negotiate plea bargains and taking cases to trial where necessary.
Sam Bernstein can be reached at 734.883.9584 and at firstname.lastname@example.org. ArborYpsi Law is located at 206 N. Huron St., Ypsilanti, MI 48197.