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4 Quarters with Coach Mandell: Domestic Violence and the Holidays

Criminal Defense Attorney Mark Mandell and Senior Partner Paul Bohn sit down to discuss a difficult yet equally relevant topic: Domestic Violence and the Holidays.

Traditionally, the holidays are meant for spreading joy and spending time with loved ones, but the holidays also bring increased rates of domestic violence. Combined with an already unholy year of 2020, we are expecting to witness dramatic increases in those rates.

You can expect to learn:

· What happens after calling the police

· The difference between Assault & Battery

· What happens after I'm charged and found guilty of Domestic Violence

· What occurs after I'm sentenced for Domestic Violence?

1. What Happens After Calling the Police?

If you roll the clock back, say before I started practicing law, about 30 years ago. Often when a call was made to the police regarding a domestic violence incident, an officer would respond to the call, maybe they would know the family personally and try to act as a mediator to calm things down.

Today, legislator's, local politicians, judges, everyone takes Domestic Violence - and rightfully so - a lot more serious than they used to. Because statistically, when a police officer is sent to a home for domestic violence, it won't be the last time they're called.

If a call is made to the police for a domestic violence incident, I can tell you from professional experience - especially across Southeast Michigan - you can expect someone is going to be arrested.

2. The Difference Between Assault & Battery

I receive a lot of questions and comments from individuals asking this exact question. It's also quite easy to mix-up the two. Basically, domestic violence is an assault and/or battery on a spouse or partner. Assault can be nothing more than a threat, so if you make threats against a spouse or partner, you can expect to be charged with Assault & Battery.

While a Battery, on the other hand, is an unconsented touching of a loved one, partner, or spouse. Many times, I receive phone calls from individuals charged with domestic violence, and the first thing they tell me is they did not hit their spouse, or push them, or shove them. But what you do hear is, "I grabbed their hand while they were making a phone call to the police." Simply grabbing your spouse's hand while they are making a phone call amounts to battery, that is an unconsented touching.

As you can see, there is a wide range of charges that can be brought against you when it comes to Assault & Battery. Therefore, it is imperative for you to get in contact and hire an experienced criminal defense attorney.

3. What Occurs After Charged and Found Guilty of Domestic Violence

There are a couple of things you can expect if you are charged with domestic violence. Let us say you are a married couple going through the process of divorce, and a domestic violence occurs.

First, when you go through the courts and plead not guilty, you will not be allowed back into the house for the entire process. Your spouse can allow you to move back into the home later, but this is usually not until the case is resolved or you are on probation. Second, you are most likely going to jail.

Like I mentioned previously, lawmakers take domestic violence's seriously. So, if the judge or prosecutor believe you are a habitual offender, they are not going to let you return to the home and, once you are in the system, you're in the system until you can reach an experienced attorney to see what we can do for you.

4. What Happens After Sentencing for Domestic Violence

The courts are very thorough with their sentencing's on domestic violence cases. You can expect fines, costs, and penalties of more than a couple thousand dollars. If your spouse or loved one does not want you back in the home, you're not getting back in that house, probably for no more than a year. Generally, probation on domestic violence's last up to 1-year.

You can also expect to be tested for alcohol and drugs during your probation. Even if there was no drugs or alcohol present in your system at the time of the original altercation. Judges issuing punishments on domestic violence's, they view you drinking alcohol as pouring kerosene on a fire, so there will be no drugs or alcohol during probation.

The final punishment you can expect to face is some extensive counseling on issues involving domestic violence. Often, most courts in Southeast Michigan - including Northville, Plymouth, Wayne, Novi, Canton, and Westland - you're looking at a 26-week course on issues with domestic violence.

Domestic Violence is a serious issue that many spouses and partners experience daily across the nation. With many states, counties, and cities experiencing lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, we are expecting to see a dramatic increase in the number of domestic violence calls this holiday season.

If you or someone you know may be experiencing a form of domestic violence, we encourage you to seek help. Below is information of domestic violence and sexual assault resources nationally and locally in the Wayne County area:

National Domestic Violence Hotline: (800) 799-7233

First Step: (888) 453-5900

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