“Where do I find a domestic violence attorney near me?”
Any criminal charge is stressful and frightening; however, few charges can cause as much stress and consequence in a person’s life as a domestic violence charge. Domestic assault charges carry significant collateral consequences, in addition to the possibility of jail and probation.
Finding a Domestic Violence Attorney
Locating a domestic violence attorney who can successfully represent and protect you can be challenging. In addition to lawyers specializing in criminal defense and domestic violence charges, there are countless general and multi-practice lawyers who occasionally handle criminal cases. Just as you would seek a cardiologist for a heart concern or a neurologist to treat a brain disorder, as opposed to a general practice doctor, you would likewise want a lawyer who exclusively handles criminal cases to defend you on a domestic violence charge.
Criminal defense lawyers who consistently achieve extraordinary results are well known to prosecutors and judges. As opposed to the geographic location of a lawyer’s office, your primary concerns in hiring a lawyer should be the lawyer’s experience, reputation, skill, and track record of success. A popular and dangerous misconception is that prosecutors and judges do “special favors” for lawyers with offices near their courts. A representation by a lawyer that they get special favors due to relationships with prosecutors and judges are lying and attempting to manipulate you. Representations made by lawyers about “special favors” or “special relationships” are unethical, likely illegal, and certainly made to manipulate a potential client into hiring the attorney. The truth is that attorneys with exceptional skill and tenacity consistently get results in court unachievable by average lawyers, regardless of their office location.
“How can a defendant win a domestic violence case?”
There are various ways to win a domestic violence case. An experienced domestic violence attorney will be prepared to use every available strategy for success. “Winning” means different things to defendants who are in different positions. For example, a man who is falsely accused by their spouse who hopes to gain an advantage in divorce or custody proceedings will want all charges dismissed or an acquittal at trial. Alternatively, a defendant who is clearly and admittedly guilty of domestic violence will want the judge to focus on rehabilitation instead of punishment. Even with a guilty plea, knowledgeable domestic violence attorneys can frequently negotiate a plea bargain or a sentence that avoids a public conviction. The key is a lawyer who takes the time to know you and becomes familiar with your situation. The best chance of “winning” is developing a strategy and determining your best options with an attorney who takes the time to understand your goals and concerns.
Direct Penalties and Collateral Consequences
A domestic violence conviction results in potential direct and collateral consequences. Direct consequences include the following:
- First Offense Domestic Violence – up to 93 days in jail and up to 2 years of probation.
- Aggravated Domestic Violence – up to 1 year in jail and up to 2 years of probation.
- Felony Domestic Violence – up to 5 years in prison and up to 5 years of probation.
The potential collateral consequences can be worse than jail or probation for some individuals. For example, a conviction can result in the loss of custody or visitation rights with children, a reduced award of assets in a divorce, or loss of a job or professional license. Here is a partial list of potential collateral consequences of a domestic violence conviction:
- Loss of Custody or Reduced Visitation Rights
- Reduced Award of Assets in a Divorce
- Loss of Employment
- Loss or Restriction of a Professional License (doctors, nurses, pharmacists, attorneys, etc.)
- Permanent Ban on Possession or Use of Firearms
- Prohibition on Contact with the Alleged Victim
- Damaged Reputation
“How long does an assault case take?”
Depending on what strategy is employed by the defense, a domestic violence case can take approximately 45 days to 9 months to resolve. If the defense strategy is to seek a plea bargain and avoid jail and conviction, the case will typically take much less time than a defendant who takes their case to a jury trial. A savvy, veteran domestic violence attorney will help you determine the best strategy in your case and give you an informed estimate of how long your case will take to resolve. Remember, your focus must be on getting the best result instead of seeking the quickest resolution.
“What is most important, a skilled, experienced lawyer or domestic violence attorney near me?”
Your best hope of winning when charged with a felony or misdemeanor domestic violence in Michigan is with an attorney who has decades of experience and a track record of achieving extraordinary results. The proximity of a lawyer’s office to the court is far less important than the attorney’s skill and capability. If you want a domestic violence attorney who will fight like hell to defend you in court and achieve the best possible result, call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. for a free consultation. We will take the time to speak with you, answer all of your questions, and address each of your concerns. Together, we will work to develop a winning strategy for your case.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.