Northern Michigan Domestic Violence Lawyer
Standing up for the Accused in Traverse City & Beyond
One of the most difficult charges a person can face involves domestic violence. Since these crimes get right to the heart of what is most important in life – family – these charges need to be aggressively fought by an experienced attorney.
Not only is a person facing possible jail time if convicted of domestic violence, but they lose access to their children and other parental rights. If a judge determines that a person is a threat to their children because of previous convictions of domestic violence, visitation could be limited, placed under court-ordered supervision, or even terminated altogether. By fighting these charges and keeping them off your record, you can continue to have a relationship with your children.
As a determined and knowledgeable domestic violence defense lawyer in Northern Michigan, I serve clients facing life-altering allegations day in and day out. I know how to craft an effective defense and look forward to putting my experience to work for you.
Defining Domestic Violence
Domestic violence in Michigan is defined as assault or battery by a:
- Former spouse
- Person residing in the same residence as the victim
- Person with whom the victim has a child
- Person with whom you’ve had a dating relationship
One important element for people to understand is that, in Michigan, the victim does not need to be injured. If the victim is not injured, the defendant will be charged with domestic battery and, for a first offense, face up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. Subsequent offenses become more serious, with a third offense carrying up to two years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
If the victim is injured, it is considered aggravated domestic battery and the charges become more serious. The first offense will carry a penalty of up to one year in jail with a $1,000 fine, and a second offense carries two years in prison with a $2,500 fine.
The Effects of Domestic Violence Allegations & Convictions
These crimes, apart from carrying serious penalties, can also lead to a stigma amongst family and friends. Because society treats domestic abuse so seriously, a person who is friends with the victim and the defendant will often take the side of the victim. This can lead to a person losing all contact with former loved ones as they distance themselves from the accused domestic abuser. An experienced Northern Michigan domestic violence defense lawyer can work to clear your good name, letting you maintain relationships with your friends and family.
Aggressive representation is vital in domestic battery cases, especially where there is no injury. These crimes often stem from a “he said/she said” type of situation where one party is accusing the other of violence based on nothing more than an accusation. At Ross Hickman Law Office, I fight tirelessly to collect evidence to prove my clients’ innocence and cast doubt on the word of the accuser. If it can be shown that the accuser was not truthful when speaking to the police or the victim’s story has been inconsistent, it can undermine the veracity of his or her claim. If this happens, the charges may ultimately be dropped, allowing the accused to walk away freely with their reputation firmly intact.
Unfortunately, these accusations happen quite often. Perhaps one parent wants to restrict access of their children to the other parent, or perhaps an argument got out of hand and the police were called even though there was no actual violence. As a Northern Michigan domestic violence defense attorney, I have the experience and the knowledge to figure out exactly what happened and will work to prove that you are not guilty of this serious crime.
Call (231) 399-3144 today to request a free consultation.