The following is an excerpt from my book the Ann Arbor Criminal Defense Playbook - A Comprehensive Guide to Washtenaw County
Winning “A Proactive Approach to Assault/Domestic Violence”
Judge’s Take: The judges of Washtenaw County handle domestic violence and assault cases with great care, because there is an alleged victim on the other side of the case. Because of this, a judge is going to be very careful to protect the victim and monitor the person charged with these offenses.
One difference with an assault case vs another type of charge is a judge in Washtenaw County is likely to put a no contact order in place, which is a court order for the person charged to not contact the alleged victim either directly or by a third party. If this condition is violated, the offender will likely spend time in jail, or have a very high bond set to remain out of jail along with a tether on their ankle.
A judge views a domestic violence case as if there are three sides versus two, like most other cases. It’s common for the alleged victim to appear in court with the judge interacting with the victim and the Defendant together.
It’s common in a domestic violence case for either the Defendant or both the Defendant and the alleged victim to both want the no-contact order lifted, because the Defendant wants to return to the home. When it comes to finances and kids, it is difficult for one parent to be barred from the home, and even from having contact with the alleged victim.
In Washtenaw County, some judges will consider lifting this order more so than others, but if possible, I encourage my client that they are safer and in a better legal position to keep the no contact order in place. I am usually dealing with a client who has had his spouse, girlfriend, boyfriend, friend or family member call the police on them; a lot of times true or not, my client tells me they did nothing wrong, or this person lied about the incident.
My response is, if this is true, why would you want to put yourself back in that same position where not only will they call the police and have you arrested, but now you’re also violating court orders, and likely putting yourself in a position to go to jail and have a criminal record.
When possible, I tell my clients to stay out of the house; sometimes this is unavoidable and we make a compelling request to the judge to lift the order. No matter our direction. my client is already being proactive from day one to impress upon the judge that they are already making changes in their life, and have the tools in place to avoid this incident.