Avoiding a Conviction for Domestic Violence or Abuse
A person facing domestic violence charges is rightfully concerned about their freedom, future, and livelihood. But, although things may look dire, there is hope, and it is possible to avoid jail and a conviction.
First Offender Domestic Violence Statute
It is common to think of a domestic violence charge as just an assault situation between a husband and wife. It is a surprise to many people that there does not have to be an injury, or any physical evidence, to convict a defendant of domestic violence or assault. The domestic violence statute (MCL 750.81) includes a spouse, former spouse, a person with whom there was a dating relationship, the parties have a child in common, or a resident or former resident of the household. The statute applies to marriage, dating, people with a child together, and family relationships (mother/son, etc.). An experienced, skilled domestic violence lawyer will be able to review with you all ways to keep a domestic violence charge off your record.
There are different degrees of domestic violence charges depending on whether or not there were prior offenses. Domestic Violence can be a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on if the defendant has a prior record and the severity of the facts alleged in the complaint.
Keep a Domestic Violence Charge Off Your Record
If a top defense lawyer handles a case, they can often find a way to keep a first offense domestic violence conviction off their client’s criminal record. MCL 769.4a operates as a deferred sentence. Although judges can be reluctant to grant a deferred status, it is often possible to make a persuasive argument in favor of this type of resolution. If the person does everything the court orders, the conviction becomes a non-public record at the end of probation. The use of MCL 769.4a is not as simple as it sounds, and to determine if you are eligible for it and exactly what would be required by the statute, you should contact a domestic violence lawyer. An attorney specializing in domestic violence offenses can answer all your questions, ensure that you have the best possible defense, and benefit from MCL 769.4a if you qualify to get your domestic violence charge off your record.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you get a domestic violence misdemeanor expunged in Michigan?
Misdemeanor domestic violence convictions are eligible for expungement in Michigan. You start the expungement process by filing a Motion to Set Aside Conviction. Since discharge from probation, more than five (5) years must have passed. The person seeking expungement must prove they’ve been rehabilitated and that setting aside the conviction is in the public welfare.
How long does a domestic violence misdemeanor stay on your record in Michigan?
A domestic violence conviction is permanent and never falls off your record. The only way to set aside a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction is through expungement.
How do I get a domestic violence case dismissed in Michigan?
There are limited ways to get a domestic violence case dismissed. A savvy defense lawyer might persuade the government not to prosecute or that they’ve prosecuted the wrong person, i.e., that the “victim” was the aggressor. The case might get dismissed if the government lacks sufficient evidence or a necessary witness. Suppose a victim fails to appear for trial. In that case, the prosecutor can ask for an adjournment or attempt to prove their case with alternate proofs, such as an eyewitness, video and audio evidence, admissible hearsay, a confession, etc. If the prosecutor does not have sufficient evidence to proceed to trial without the complainant, they can ask for a material witness warrant, seek an adjournment, or request a dismissal without prejudice.
What happens in domestic violence cases?
Domestic violence cases start with the issuance of an arrest warrant or ticket. The defendant must be arraigned, and the judge sets a bond. In most cases, the prosecutor provides the defense lawyer with a copy of the evidence during the pretrial phase of the case. After receipt of the evidence, the defense lawyer can negotiate a plea bargain or sentence agreement, or they can set the case for bench or jury trial. If the defendant is convicted, they get sentenced by the judge.
Domestic violence lawyers with extensive experience
Judges and prosecutors take domestic violence charges seriously and often assume a defendant is a vicious person simply because of a domestic violence allegation. Rarely does law enforcement look at both sides of the story unless they are forced to by an attorney fighting for his client’s rights. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is essential that you have the help of an experienced domestic violence lawyer. An experienced attorney can help guide you through the process, explain things, and take the time to listen so that there is no confusion or misunderstandings about what you might expect. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is a law firm specializing in criminal law practice.
Our domestic violence defense team has decades of experience representing people facing criminal charges across Michigan. We are here to help guide and protect you. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. is the law firm you should call if you are looking for a domestic violence lawyer. You should retain domestic violence lawyers with the experience, reputation, and respect to make a difference.
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.