Written by attorney Jonathan Andrew Paul

Ann Arbor Domestic Violence Attorney Judge Elizabeth Hines 15th District Court Washtenaw County

The first impression you've made with the court, prosecutor and police is this domestic assault - they may consider you a "bad person", but you're not a bad person, especially if it was more of a mutual incident with no injuries.

I mostly work with three different clients charged with domestic violence.

#1 - Client has never been in trouble, they are a good dad/mom, spouse, have a good job and a good reputation in the community. They have never hurt anyone in his life, but an isolated evening turns into a lapse in judgment and the client puts their his hands on the one he/she loves. Client regrets it and the "victim" forgives this lapse in judgment and both parties love each other and want this to go away.

The "victim" is not seriously or even injured, but rather was pushed, had an item thrown in their direction, and the police were called to the scene - usually the man gets arrested.

#2 - Client and "victim" are arguing; it begins verbally, sometimes alcohol is involved, there's mutual pushing, shoving, maybe some punches, kicks are thrown at each other. Neither party suffers injury, but the police are called to the scene. Both parties are at fault, but only one person, usually the man is arrested.

Under both of these scenarios, we can redeem your "bad person" perception. We may be able to dismiss the case, keep the incident non-public and allow the matter to be played out among your family, and not the court. As long as your family forgives you, and doesn't thing you're a bad person going forward, well then you're not a bad person, and the judge, prosecutor and police have long forgotten about you.

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