Michigan’s Domestic Violence deferral has been weakened

A person charged with Domestic Violence who has never before been convicted of an assaultive crime is eligible for special treatment in Michigan. This special treatment pursuant to MCL 769.4a allows the person to avoid a conviction, if probation is completed successfully.

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Until April 1, 2013, a person who completed probation under MCL 769.4a didn’t have a conviction. However, the legislature amended MCL 769.4a with Public Act 550 of 2012. The significant part of this amendment is that a successful completion of probation under MCL 769.4a counts as a prior conviction, if you are ever accused of Domestic Violence again in the future.

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If you’re accused of Domestic Violence and complete probation successfully, a subsequent prosecution could net you up to one year in jail, because it would be treated as a second offense.

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Many times, clients who are accused of domestic violence will want to accept the prosecutor’s promise of the deferral because it ensures that there is no conviction and no future consequences. The amendment to the statute reduces the benefit and may make trying the case more appealing to some.

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If you have been accused of domestic violence based on weak allegations or a poor investigation, you may want to consider aggressively defending the case. You probably didn’t expect to be accused of domestic violence this time and if it ever happens again, the penalties are going to be substantially greater.

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The lawyers at Miel & Carr, PLC have successfully defended many cases of domestic violence. We have beat both the Attorney General and county prosecutors in domestic violence jury trials all over the state of Michigan.

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Before you decide whether to accept a prosecutor’s plea offer, you ought to discuss your case with attorneys who know how to effectively defend against allegations of Domestic Violence. If you want to talk, please call us at 616-773-2945.