My fiance is on medication which I think made him violent. One of the side effects is anger and aggression in severely depressed patients. I believe this is why he has been aggressive lately. He hit me, and I called the cops this time, but now do not want to press charges. I want us to get counseling, I want him to get anger management, and a new doctor. My biggest fear is a no contact order or jail. How can I get the prosecutor to listen?
Divorce / Separation Lawyer
Your best bet is to retain your own separate and independent Attorney to represent your interests. Prosecutors vary widely in how they handle the all-too-common situation of the Complaining Witness in a Domestic Violence case wishing to "drop" the case. Having your own lawyer serve as the "buffer" between yourself and the Prosecutor will likely prove a great value. You can certainly request a lift of the "no contact" bond condition, but you should be prepared to personally appear before the Judge to make this request, as the Judge will want to confirm you are not putting yourself "back in danger." I am certainly no doctor, but I would humbly recommend your Fiance ASAP schedules a meeting with his Doctor to review his medication regimen, and the negative side effects of same. I wish you all the best of luck -- please be SAFE! Warmest regards, Matt Catchick.
2 lawyers agree
Criminal Defense Attorney
We get calls at Lewis & Dickstein, PLLC on a regular basis from individuals wishing to "drop charges" in domestic violence cases. Prosecutor's would tell you that in at least one-half of these cases, there are requests to drop charges or complainant's claim that they lied to the police or will refuse to show up in court. I have found that the best approach in these cases is to hire a separate lawyer to act as a "victim's advocate" and contact the prosecutor on your behalf. There are ways to influence the prosecutor and if you believe you are safe and your fiance is getting the help he needs, then there may be a way to stop the prosecution. Every case is different and an attorney with experience would need to sit down with you and properly assess your situation.
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Mr. Loren Dickstein, Esq.
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Criminal Defense Attorney
Your situation is not uncommon. In at least 70% of our cases which involve domestic violence, the alleged victim (usually wife or girlfriend) wants it dismissed. Unfortunately, the prosecutor has a problem with just "dismissing" the case because the alleged victim no longer wants to pursue it or says that it is a misunderstanding. Don't get me wrong, I am a criminal defense lawyer and defend clients charged with domestic violence all the time. So, I want to give you a good answer and one that can be used by defendant's charged with domestic violence.
First you need to know this: Your case is being pursued by the State of Michigan now, not you. However, the prosecutor would prefer your cooperation in this matter. You will be subpoenaed to appear as a witness for the State for trial purposes. A subpoena is a court order which compels your attendance or you face contempt charges for failure to obey. Now, there are still some angles from a victim's point of view:
1. If you fail to appear, you face possible contempt. But maybe not.
2. You could show up and take the 5th Amendment, right to remain silent at trial.
3. You could recant your earlier statement but will face possible charges for filing false police report.
All of the above make it mandatory that you get independent legal advice, NOT JUST THE ADVICE OF THE DEFENDANT'S LAWYER.
As I said, the prosecutor usually has strict policy not to dismiss a domestic violence case. If the person charged just wants to take the path of least resistance, his attorney can negotiate for a plea bargain under MCL 769.4a which results in probation and a dismissal upon compliance (usually attendance of anger management program or classes).
The attorney for the defendant may be able to get a non-criminal plea bargain. This will depend on the jurisdiction and whether there is a local ordinance to make a deal. We have been able to do this in a few Macomb County court when we can't get an outright dismissal.
There is always trial from the defendant's point of view. A jury or bench (trial by judge) can be scheduled. In cases like yours which I consider marginal, I prefer a bench trial when I feel we have a reasonable judge. The reason that I prefer a bench trial is because the judge is not intimidated by law enforcement officers and can dismiss the case based on the "reasonable doubt" standard if it does not hold water. However, the prosecutor can trump a defendant and request a jury trial even though the defendant wants to waive his or right to a jury trial in favor of a bench trial.
See attached link regarding No-Contact Orders and Domestic Violence cases.