Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
Being accused of domestic violence is traumatic. We will help you through this challenging time and find a way to resolve your case favorably.
Consistent Success Defending Domestic Violence Allegations
The Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are dedicated to the passionate, tenacious, and compassionate representation of those charged with domestic violence and other related charges in the various courts throughout Michigan.
We have decades of experience successfully defending against domestic violence allegations in Michigan Circuit and District Courts and are adept at handling all aspects of domestic violence cases. We know that the consequences to clients and their families due to domestic violence allegations (even false allegations) can be life-changing in a tragic way. We stop at nothing to protect our clients from being over-prosecuted or falsely prosecuted. Additionally, we will protect our clients from prosecutors or judges who do not care enough to consider their situation adequately.
How False Allegations of Domestic Violence Occur
Some people say that domestic violence is a crime without witnesses. Often, the people involved are the only witnesses to an alleged domestic violence offense. Sometimes, minor children are witnesses, and police might manipulate them into taking sides between parents. Domestic violence most often takes place without witnesses. It is a charge that people easily and frequently abuse through false or exaggerated allegations. False reporting of domestic abuse is an epidemic in Michigan. Inaccurate reporting and false accusations of domestic violence regularly occur during a contentious divorce. One spouse seeks an unfair advantage over another relative to assets, the marital home, or child custody with false abuse allegations. In the case of a false report of domestic violence, prosecutors are relentless even if the complainant doesn’t follow through or admits the allegations were untrue. They refuse to acknowledge the possibility of a fabricated allegation. Family law judges often take away a parent’s right to visit with or see their children based upon a mere, unsubstantiated allegation of spousal abuse. Ignoring the possibility of false domestic violence allegations is unfair, and LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will not stand for it!
Our highest priority is to get charges dismissed if possible.
How Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys Get Charges Dismissed
At LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., our top priority is getting domestic violence charges dismissed when possible. Our attorneys fight criminal charges based on facts, law, the Constitution, and science. First, our attorneys thoroughly investigate the case and all exculpatory evidence. Simultaneously, we closely examine the prosecution’s evidence for weaknesses and to attack its credibility. Secondly, we look at the law and Constitutional principles to attack the admissibility of the government’s evidence. If the police or prosecutor violated our client’s rights, we will file a Motion to Suppress and seek dismissal of all charges. Finally, we have a team of investigators and experts who can analyze any scientific or specialized evidence so that we can use any evidence to prove our client’s innocence or lack of culpability.
For clients facing a misdemeanor Domestic Violence First Offense, a Michigan statute permits judges to take these charges under advisement so no conviction is entered on the defendant’s record. A defense attorney must be adept in the law and compelling in their arguments for an under-advisement plea because judges and prosecutors are sometimes reluctant to accept a plea under advisement.
Expungement of Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence felony and misdemeanor convictions are subject to expungement, also known as a Motion to Set Aside Conviction. There are many challenges facing those seeking to set aside domestic violence convictions. For example, the prosecution must notify the victim of the domestic violence case and give that person an opportunity to be heard. Many victims, even after many years, object to the removal of these convictions. To qualify for expungement, the defendant must have no more than three felony convictions. The number of previous misdemeanors will not prevent someone from seeking an expungement of a domestic violence conviction. Winning an expungement of any assaultive conviction requires a compelling argument, persuasive evidence of rehabilitation, and the defendant must prove it is in the community’s best interest. If a judge denies an expungement motion, the defendant must wait a minimum of three (3) years before trying again.
It is Possible to Avoid the Devastating Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions
Domestic violence charges and accusations can have devastating consequences, including but not limited to the following:
- Jail or Prison Time – A judge can sentence you to jail or prison. Serious domestic violence offenses can lead to sentences of several years in prison, and even allegations that don’t involve actual violence can lead you to jail.
- Probation and Community Service – You will be sentenced to probation and community service that can last two years for a misdemeanor or up to five years for a felony. During this time, you will have to report to a Probation Officer and prove your compliance with the conditions of your sentence.
- Costly, Time-Consuming, and Sometimes Unnecessary Psychological Treatment – A judge can order you to participate in one or more forms of psychological treatment. The judge might require you to participate in domestic violence batterers counseling, which is a minimum of 26 or 42 sessions for a year. If the judge believes you have a substance abuse problem, they might force you to participate in drug/alcohol treatment. They will order additional psychological counseling if the court believes you have an anger management problem. Each type of therapy is costly, time-consuming, and may not be appropriate for you.
- Loss of Civil Liberties – Under federal law, you will lose your right to possess a firearm for life. You could be charged with a felony if law enforcement finds you near a gun. A conviction can also prevent enlistment in the armed forces or employment as a police or security officer where your firearm use is required.
- Employment Consequences – You may lose your job or have trouble getting some jobs. A domestic violence conviction must be disclosed on all job applications and part of your background check when seeking new employment or promotion.
- Professional or Business License Consequences – You may lose your professional or business license. A domestic violence conviction can lead to a loss of license for many professions, including doctors, nurses, health care workers, daycare operators, lawyers, and others. You may also lose your business license if you work in certain fields requiring state licensing and bonding.
- Immigration Consequences – The United States can deport you or deny naturalization if you have a domestic violence conviction. Many domestic violence attorneys or criminal defense attorneys do not realize that a domestic violence plea under advisement that does not result in a criminal conviction still constitutes a conviction under immigration law.
- Exclusive Use of Home – A court may order that the complaint have exclusive use of a marital or joint home, even if it is jointly or solely owned by the defendant charged with domestic violence.
- Custody and Financial Consequences – In a divorce case, most judges consider domestic violence allegations, accusations, and convictions when determining child custody, visitation, and assets division. Sometimes, the mere allegations of domestic violence can result in the suspension of parenting time.
- Reputation and Character – Unfortunately, many people don’t believe in the concept of “innocent until proven guilty” and assume a person is guilty of domestic violence based on an accusation. These cases can be costly in terms of friends, community support, and social status.
Your Best Defense is a Successful Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
If you are looking for a domestic violence expert attorney who will really care about you and be passionate about your domestic violence defense, the Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will be there for you. We’ve represented thousands of clients facing domestic violence allegations and have an unparalleled track record of success. Call us for a free consultation and confidential case evaluation. We will patiently talk to you about your case, thoughtfully help you determine your options, and passionately find a plan to best help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.
We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!
Counties where the prosecution is most aggressive on domestic violence charges include:
- Oakland County Defense Attorney
- Wayne County Defense Attorney
- Washtenaw County Defense Attorney
- Macomb County Defense Attorney
- Livingston County Defense Attorney