How To Get an Assault on a Female Charge Dismissed
In Michigan, you may face simple assault or aggravated assault criminal charges if you inflict physical harm on someone else with the intention of causing an injury. Domestic violence is a type of assault; however, with this, the action is against your spouse, former spouse, someone you are dating, your child’s other parent, or someone who lives in your household.
If you are arrested and face assault or domestic violence charges, you are innocent until proven guilty. You may not realize that not everyone facing criminal charges will have to accept a plea bargain or go to trial. Your charges may be dismissed or dropped by the court system.
However, having your charges dismissed or dropped can be challenging. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney helping you with this process is important. It is also beneficial to understand more about the process of dismissing assault and domestic violence charges. Understanding the laws for domestic violence in Michigan and how they apply to your case will help you better understand if dismissal is possible for your criminal case.
How To Get an Assault on a Female Charge Dismissed
It does not matter if you are facing misdemeanor sex crimes or felony assault or domestic violence charges in Michigan; the best outcome for these cases is to have the criminal charges dropped or dismissed.
While you may hire a defense attorney with the hopes of avoiding a criminal conviction, they can help in other ways, too. If the case is dismissed or dropped, you can save time and money on court costs and other litigation-related fees.
Reasons Assault or Domestic Violence Charges May Be Dropped or Dismissed in Michigan
Some of the ways you can have assault or domestic violence charges dropped in Michigan include:
- Inadequate probable cause for your arrest
- Illegal stop and search by police officers
- Mistakes by authorities or the prosecutor’s office in the criminal complaint or charging documents
- Lack of evidence, witness testimony, etc.
Even if you get a guilty verdict at first, it is possible to appeal the decision. The appeals court has charges dismissed at this point. With any criminal situation, including assault or domestic violence charges, it is best to hire an attorney from a reputable law firm to help with your case.
Let’s go into more detail about the potential reasons that can be used to have the prosecution dismiss or drop charges:
Inadequate Probable Cause for Your Arrest
Police officers in Michigan are only permitted to arrest you if they have probable cause to believe you committed a crime. Officers can not arrest you based on their feelings or beliefs. They must have factual and objective evidence to back up the arrest.
Illegal Stop and Search by Police Officers
All Americans are protected by the Constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which prohibits illegal stops, searches, and seizures. This means an officer can only stop you if certain circumstances are present. You can only be searched or have your property searched if the officer has the proper warrant or if the right circumstances are present. This includes suspicion of a deadly weapon. If searches are conducted without special circumstances or a warrant, the evidence can not be used against you and your case may be dismissed.
Mistakes with the Criminal Complaint or Charging Documents
When officers write criminal complaints or charges documents, they must sign them under oath. There are specific ways that officers must write these documents. If mistakes are found, the officer must fix them. The charge may be dismissed if the mistake cannot be fixed.
Lack of Evidence
To successfully convict someone of any crime, including assault or domestic violence, the prosecution must have adequate evidence to show probable cause. All evidence must be objective and factual. If the evidence does not support the charge, it will be dismissed.
Understanding the Grounds for Having Charges Dropped or Dismissed
Dismissed and dropped charges will provide you with the same outcome for your criminal case. The term “dropped charges” means the prosecutor’s office has stopped pursuing the charges against you for the alleged crime. If this happens, you will not go to court. The term “dismissed charges” means that the domestic violence or domestic assault case went to court, but the judge dismissed them. Sometimes, if there is a lack of exculpatory evidence or other evidence, the judge will do this, even if it is against the wishes of the prosecutor’s office.
How is a Plea Agreement Different from Having Charges Dropped or Dismissed?
You learned what it means to have charges dismissed or dropped above. In other situations, you may receive the option of a plea agreement. A plea agreement may help you have the assault or domestic violence charges reduced. You may be offered a plea agreement if there is enough evidence to prove your case, but you have no criminal history. In this case, the prosecution may offer you a reduced charge if you agree to plead guilty. If you have prior convictions or are facing felony assault charges, you will probably not be offered a plea deal.
Can the Victim Decide Not to Press Charges in an Assault Case?
So, what if the victim doesn’t want to press charges? Some people believe that if the alleged victim chooses not to press charges, their case will be dismissed or dropped. Unfortunately, this is not the case.
In situations of domestic violence and other assault charges, the prosecutor represents the state’s interests rather than the victim’s. This means that if the prosecuting attorney believes it is in the state’s best interest to secure a conviction, they can move forward with the case.
While this is true, if the alleged victim chooses not to testify, the charges may be reduced to simple assault. When this happens, the case may be dropped because without the victim’s testimony, it is hard to prove the crime. If there is reasonable doubt, the attorney will not be able to get a guilty verdict, which results in a waste of time and money.
Can a Domestic Violence Victim Recant Their Statement and Have Charges Dropped?
If the victim recants their statement, there is no guarantee the charges will be dropped.
Other evidence can be used to move forward with assault or domestic violence charges, even if the victim recants their statement. This evidence includes:
- Police report
- Photos of physical injury
- Recordings of any calls to emergency dispatchers
- Threats or statements made on social media or through email
- Eyewitness testimony
- Medical records
It is also important to understand that prosecutors are aggressive in criminal cases involving assault and domestic violence and will work to ensure cooperation from victims. Additionally, someone who recanted their statement may face criminal charges because they falsified information to the police. If the victim does not attend court, they may be held in contempt of court, and these charges may come with jail time.
Wondering “when should I call an attorney?” If you are facing assault or domestic violence charges, you must speak with an attorney immediately. You can tell your attorney the facts of your situation and any pertinent information. They need this to build a defense for your case and to find options to help have the charges dismissed.
Domestic Assault Charges and Potential Penalties
While your attorney will work to help have your domestic violence charges dismissed or dropped, it is important to know the potential penalties you will face if you are convicted. Remember, all criminal cases are unique, which means penalties can vary.
The consequences of these charges include:
- First offense: Charged as a misdemeanor, resulting in 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
- Second offense: Charged as a misdemeanor, resulting in one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
- Third offense: Charged as a felony, resulting in five years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
If you are charged with domestic assault, the victim does not have to be injured. In some cases, if you are convicted, you may also be ordered to go to counseling, complete community service, and be on probation. There are some situations where your attorney can help you get into a diversion program if you are a first-time offender.
Aggravated Domestic Assault
You will be charged with aggravated domestic assault if you have caused serious or aggravated injuries. This means the victim requires medical treatment for the injuries you caused by the crime committed. The potential consequences for an aggravated domestic assault conviction include:
- Up to one year in jail
- A fine of up to $1,000
- Probation for up to two years
Other Types of Assault-Related Charges
If there are other circumstances in your domestic violence case, the prosecutor may charge you with a felony. The most common types of felony assault charges in Michigan include:
- Assault by strangulation or suffocation carries a 10-year prison sentence
- Assault with intent to cause great bodily harm, which carries a 10-year prison sentence
- Assault with a dangerous weapon carries a four-year prison sentence
How Can You Keep an Assault or Domestic Violence Conviction Off Your Criminal Record?
When you hire an attorney, you will form an attorney-client relationship and you can count on your legal representation to work with the prosecution to get them to dismiss or drop charges against you. If this does not happen and you are convicted, it may be possible to have the conviction taken off or kept off your criminal record.
If you are a first-time domestic violence offender, the DV Deferral program allows you to be placed on probation. You can only use this program once. Usually, specific conditions go along with probation, including no contact with the victim, time in jail, treatment programs, and more. If you complete the deferral program, the case against you is dismissed. This means it is as if you were never arrested or convicted.
If you do not follow all the conditions of your probation, your deferred sentencing can be revoked. If it is revoked, it means you will be sentenced with a first offense charge for domestic assault or aggravated domestic assault. You will also have this conviction made public on your criminal record.
Get Help with Your Criminal Charges by Hiring Blank Law, PC
If you are arrested for assault – of any degree or type – your best option is to comply with the officer’s requests and remain silent (see what happens if you don’t talk to a detective here). If you want a chance of having the prosecution dismiss or drop charges against you, you must take steps to protect your rights immediately. While the situation can be overwhelming, do not wait to act. Doing so can make it more difficult to build a strong defense.
To help with your case, contact Attorney Nicole Blank Becker of Blank Law, PC by calling (248) 515-6583 and scheduling a free initial consultation. You can discuss your case and potential defenses that can be used to get the charges dropped or dismissed. While there are no guarantees in these situations, having an attorney increases the likelihood of a more agreeable outcome.