Grand Rapids Criminal Attorney
A Domestic Assault conviction could land you in jail and seriously impact your future. Let a Miel & Carr, PLC Grand Rapids Criminal Attorney safeguard your rights and guide you through this difficult situation.
Domestic Assault Primer
Under Michigan Law, domestic violence or abuse is entitled “Domestic Assault” and is charged when someone assaults and batters a spouse, former spouse, an individual he or she has dated, an individual he or she has had a child with, or a current or former resident of his or her household. The charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony, and therefore, the penalties and punishment are dependent upon the facts and circumstances surrounding your specific situation. (MCL 750.81 and .81a). If convicted, you can face incarceration ranging from 93 days in jail to 5 years in prison, and fines ranging from $500 to $5,000.
How to avoid a Domestic Assault Charge or Conviction
Domestic Violence often involves high emotion and accusations that may or may not be true. Nonetheless, Prosecutors are extremely reluctant to drop charges—even if the victim does not want to pursue the case–because a victim may recant based upon fear alone. Whether the accuser wants to testify or not, Prosecutors vehemently pursue Domestic Violence convictions, treating the victim as a hostile witness.
Because the penalties are severe and the witnesses can be unpredictable, you need an experienced Grand Rapids Criminal Attorney to outline your options and work with you to reach the best outcome possible.
7 Tips that May Keep You Out of Jail
1. Contact a Criminal Lawyer: If you have any reason to believe charges might be brought against you, the time is NOW to contact a Grand Rapids Criminal Attorney. Once Domestic Assault charges are filed against you, the case takes on a life of its own and it is extremely difficult to get the charges dropped. We will do everything in our power to prevent charges from even being filed–saving you embarrassment, time and hassle, and money.
2. Follow the Personal Protection Order (PPO): If a PPO has been issued against you, FOLLOW THE ORDER! Carefully read it, digest it, and abide by it. Do not do anything that could be construed as a violation.
3. Follow the No-Contact Order: If a No-Contact Order has been issued, ADHERE TO IT! Do not allow “accidental” run-ins. Leave if you run into each other, and do not drive-by… All of these could be violations putting you in jail, even if the petitioner instigated the contact.
4. No Meetings: Even without a “No-Contact Order,” do not meet or converse with the accuser. As mentioned above, do not allow any accidental run-ins or happenstance meetings. Stay away.
5. Seek a Deferral: In Michigan, you can seek Domestic Violence Deferral, an extremely good option. Simply put, under certain circumstances, you can plead guilty, follow probationary guidelines, and avoid having a conviction on your record. (MCL 769.4a).
6. Do Not Communicate: Do not use any social media, third parties, text, email, etc. to communicate in any way with the accuser—even if you are merely responding to something sent to you. It is often true that what you say (or do!) may be used against you.
7. Be Prepared: Very carefully review the facts and what happened between you and the accuser. If you were not the first aggressor, then you may have a very strong chance of asserting self-defense. You have the right to use reasonable force to defend yourself.
Contact A Grand Rapids Criminal Attorney
Domestic Violence accusations can restrict your freedom and affect access to employment, your own family, and even your home! Follow the above TIPS and contact us at Miel & Carr, PLC. We expertly handle the intricacies of domestic violence cases and can lead you through this trying and emotional time. Reach our skilled Grand Rapids Criminal Attorneys at 616-773-2945 .