If this is your first domestic violence offense, it may be possible to negotiate an agreement that ensures no conviction will appear on your record. If trial is necessary, our attorneys will be prepared to aggressively defend your rights and make certain that the jury hears both sides of the story. If this is not a first offense, it is imperative that you receive the attention necessary to mount the best possible defense. Domestic violence is a political issue. Judges and prosecutors are under tremendous pressure to be tough on people charged with these crimes even when they understand that the accuser often has unclean hands. A person charged with a second or subsequent domestic violence offense needs to mount an aggressive defense in order to protect themselves and receive fair treatment. By listening to the client, obtaining their version of the story and developing the facts, we develop the best possible defense strategies.
In situations where domestic violence is alleged, the accuser will often seek the issuance of a personal protection order, commonly referred to as a PPO. These are restraining orders designed to keep the alleged attacker away from the accuser, but they are in no way meant to serve as absolute protection. The accuser will first have to seek the order ex-parte, which means that he or she will present their allegations in writing to a judge seeking issuance of the order without notifying the other party or holding a hearing. If issued ex-parte, the order is enforceable, and once the person restrained is notified of its existence, he or she can request a hearing to have the order terminated. On the other hand, if the order is not issued ex-parte, the accuser can request a hearing before a judge. If you are notified that a PPO has been issued against you, or that there is a hearing before a judge seeking the same, retain an attorney immediately to discuss your rights and formulate a plan of attack. Most importantly, regardless of whether you are the victim or the aggressor, NEVER represent yourself in a situation involving allegations of domestic violence.
We have represented individuals on both sides of this argument and are familiar with the laws regarding domestic violence in Michigan. In a domestic violence situation, it is important that you retain an attorney who is familiar with situations involving domestic violence and understands the dynamic.