Defending Against Domestic Violence Charges

A criminal conviction related to alleged acts of domestic violence can negatively impact an individual’s life in many ways. In addition to the criminal penalties which may include time behind bars, probation and fines; a parent may be prevented from seeing or having contact with a son or daughter. These types of serious charges can also result in an individual losing his or her job and standing among family members and friends and within the community.

When most people hear the term domestic violence, acts of physical harm between spouses likely spring to mind. While a large percentage of domestic violence cases involve acts between spouses, such charges may result from conflicts between any two individuals who reside in the same household, who are related or who are engaged in some type of relationship with one another.

Likewise most people assume domestic violence charges only pertain to acts that cause physical harm or injury. However, in addition to physical abuse, the term domestic violence encompasses many other forms of abuse or harm including sexual, psychological, economic and emotional.

Both state and federal laws protect the rights of individuals who assert they have been the victim of some form or act of domestic violence. In some cases, an accuser may choose to obtain a protective or restraining order against an individual. These types of orders bar an individual from contacting or being within the physical vicinity of his or her accuser. In Michigan, protective orders "provide a minimum of 182 days of protection."

Every individual has the right to defend his or her rights. In cases where minor-aged children are involved, a parent who is the subject of a protective order will likely not be allowed access to a child. Additionally, the record of a protective order will likely have a negative effect on any future child custody decisions. Individuals who learn they are the focus of a protective order would be wise to contact a criminal defense attorney.

Source: FindLaw.com, "Domestic violence Laws," 2015

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