Legal Defenses for Domestic Violence Cases in Michigan

gavel, papers, and justice scales

Domestic violence charges are not always as they seem in a police report. There are many legal defenses against domestic violence charges. A few of the common legal defenses are false accusations, lack of willful intent, and most commonly known, self-defense.

How to fight a false accusation of domestic violence?

In a case of false accusation of domestic violence, there is often more to the story than what is being told to the police. Heated disputes and differences arise amongst couples over cheating, addictions, money, child custody, and more. Many domestic violence cases result from allegations by a disgruntled partner. Sometimes, the victim may even create accusations of injuries that were attained by another person, another accident, or even self-inflicted. One of the keys to defending a case of false accusation of domestic violence is to find inconsistencies in their allegation. Do the dates make sense? Were you even with them on those dates? Were there witnesses? Is there a motive? What is the motive? Is there another reason for the injuries? Do the injuries match what is being alleged? A skilled criminal defense attorney may be able to find the inconsistencies in the false allegation to ensure their client is protected and justice is found.

How to fight Lack of Willful Intent of domestic violence?

To sustain a charge of domestic violence, the prosecutor must show that the offender intentionally inflicted harm on a partner, family member, or someone that the individual had a “domestic” relationship with. For example, if you were to accidentally bump into someone, they fall, and sustain injuries, because of your “lack of intent” to actually cause injury or harm to that person, you are not guilty of domestic violence. The prosecutor’s office must prove that you actually had the intent to cause fear/threaten an individual or that you actually harmed the individual (committed battery against them). The easiest way to explain this defense is to think back to when you were a child, and your sibling accidentally fell down while you were playing. Did you have the intent to hurt them? No. Should you be punished for an accident? Definitely not.

Self Defense

Self-defense is the most commonly known defense against domestic violence. Under the law of the State of Michigan, individuals are allowed to protect themselves against violent crimes committed against them. This is an affirmative defense, meaning the defense must prove that they were acting in self-defense. If your spouse was hitting you or placed you in a physically harmful situation, you may assert the affirmative defense of self-defense.

These defenses have proven to be effective at fighting domestic violence charges, but it does not end there. There are many other types of legal defenses that can be used to fight a domestic violence charge. Each case is different and must be given the time and care it deserves to find the best legal defense for your particular case.

If you have been charged with domestic violence in Grand Rapids, Michigan contact our skilled and experienced criminal lawyers today.

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