Most couples argue, but sometimes, one partner or spouse might call the police and accuse the other of violence, threats, or other forms of domestic abuse. So, what happens when someone calls 911 and states that you committed domestic abuse against them?
When Michigan police are called to report to a home or the scene of an argument, Michigan law requires them to investigate the matter. Their protocol is generally to arrest the person accused of abuse if they have probable cause. Often, probable cause is based on the caller’s statements and accusations. The person arrested often faces criminal charges of domestic violence, as well as a possible protective order in civil court.
If you find yourself facing allegations of domestic violence, you should never wait to seek help from a Michigan criminal defense lawyer.
If you are arrested, officers should inform you of your Miranda rights before they ask you any material questions. You should always invoke your right to remain silent and call a defense lawyer right away. A lawyer can represent you in all communications with the police as they try to gather evidence against you.
Police officers will forward an incident report to the prosecutor. If the prosecutor finds enough evidence, the State will issue domestic violence charges against you. The specific charges will depend on the alleged circumstances, and they can be misdemeanor or felony charges. If you get a lawyer defending you before charges get issued, they might be able to negotiate which charges the prosecutor files or convince them to drop the matter entirely.
It is important to realize that your partner who called the police cannot stop a case from moving forward. Once the 911 call is made and domestic violence reported, there is little they can do to stop the arrest or criminal matter – even if they claim they do not want to press charges. The prosecutor can still decide to proceed with the case.
The law takes domestic violence very seriously, and the penalties for a conviction can include incarceration, probation, fines, and more. You want a defense lawyer who knows how to challenge domestic violence charges.
Often, there is little evidence besides what your partner reported to 911. However, challenging a he-said, she-said scenario can be more challenging than most people think. A defense attorney can work to prevent the prosecutor from proving your charges beyond a reasonable doubt. This can lead to a dismissal of your charges by the judge or an acquittal at a jury trial.
If you decide to plead guilty to your charges, your defense lawyer can negotiate the most favorable plea deal possible with the prosecutor.
The Law Offices of Bradley J. Friedman represent clients facing all degrees of domestic violence charges in Michigan. If you’ve been arrested, it is critical that you contact us right away so we can begin defending your rights.