Domestic Violence Charge: Choosing Your Defense Attorney
In 2021, there were over 70,000 reported victims of domestic violence in the state of Michigan, according to data put out by the Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center. Undeniably, domestic abuse and violence charges need to be taken seriously and the victims of such crimes deserve to be heard and protected.
However, it’s equally as important that those accused of such crimes also have their stories heard and their rights upheld. Our criminal justice system is designed to ensure everyone gets a fair trial and is innocent until proven guilty, but this is only possible when you work with a qualified criminal defense attorney.
If you’d like help finding an attorney for domestic violence charges in Bay County, Michigan, or throughout Bay and Midland counties, call us at Revolution Law PLC.
Domestic Violence in Michigan
In Michigan, a crime is considered to be “domestic violence” if it includes charges of physical assault and assault and battery against a household member. This could include the following relationships:
A current or former spouse
Someone you currently live with or used to live with
Someone you have a child with, regardless of whether you’ve ever lived with them
A current or former romantic partner (someone you’ve had a dating relationship with)
State law further separates these charges into two levels—domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault:
Domestic assault: These can include assault charges where the victim remained uninjured and can be tried as either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on whether you have past convictions.
Aggravated domestic assault: These charges are reserved for victims who sustain serious or aggravated injuries, and anything beyond a first conviction will be tried as a felony.
Domestic violence charges can also include:
Sexual abuse such as rape, groping, or using threats to get sex
Financial abuse such as preventing a person from being able to work or controlling a person’s finances
Physical abuse such as hitting, slapping, shoving, or withholding basic needs like medical attention, food, or water
Important Qualities of a Defense Attorney
Again, it’s important that the state have strict laws on the books to prevent domestic violence crimes from happening in the first place and to protect victims. At the same time, there are several reasons why you could be facing these charges unfairly, whether you’ve been falsely accused, were acting in self-defense, or you never intended to harm the other person but injuries happened nonetheless. In any case, you deserve to work with an experienced and dedicated attorney.
When seeking out a lawyer to represent you, you should ensure they meet the following qualities:
Committed to Justice: Your attorney should be passionate about their work within the criminal justice system and the larger role they play in ensuring that all voices are heard and represented.
Client-Focused: Your attorney should take the time to thoroughly educate you about your case and lay out your options so you can take an active role in deciding the best approach forward. You should always feel like your voice is heard and that you aren’t being judged on your actions.
Relevant Experience: When contacting potential attorneys, be sure to ask them about their past experience representing cases like yours. Just because a lawyer specializes in “criminal justice” doesn’t mean they’ll have first-hand experience and knowledge regarding domestic violence charges. You want someone who’s been through similar cases and can use this knowledge to better serve you.
Sensible Strategist: No two cases are the same, even if the two clients are facing the same charges. You need an attorney who will look critically at your circumstances and only pursue options that have a reasonable potential for success. They should never promise you a specific verdict.
Trial Ready: Lastly, you need someone who’s prepared to follow through with your case wherever it goes. Though many cases are settled outside of the courtroom, you’ll want an attorney who is comfortable and confident in a trial setting.
Your Attorney’s Role
Your attorney's overarching role is to protect your rights and see to it that you have a fair trial. What this actually looks like on the ground will depend on the specifics of your case but can include:
Researching your case
Educating you on your charges and the trial process
Advocating on your behalf for a plea bargain
Participating in every level of the trial
Analyzing the prosecutor’s case
Negotiating for alternative sentencing (reduced bail, reduced charges or sentencing)
Get Your Best Defense
If you're in the Bay County, Michigan, area and have recently been arrested on domestic violence charges, you need to hire a criminal defense attorney immediately. At Revolution Law PLC, we’re committed to offering only the best legal defense and bringing our years of experience and expertise to defend your rights.