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The following information is presented to help people understand the seriousness of domestic violence and the legal ramifications if convicted. If you have been accused of a domestic violence related crime, the best advice is to IMMEDIATELY RETAIN AN EXPERIENCED ATTORNEY. At The Law Office of Gerald F. Chefalo, we have successfully represented many clients charged with domestic violence and other criminal offenses throughout Northern Michigan. We are familiar with the court system and legal challenges that many clients face. In addition to the serious legal implications in domestic violence cases, there is a social stigma that often follows the accused for the rest of their lives. There are severe penalties if convicted of assault, harassment, stalking, malicious mischief, violation of a personal protection order, or other domestic violence crimes. You could be sentenced to jail or prison, receive large fines, court costs, community service and mandated counseling. The prosecuting attorneys are in this to make sure you go to jail. You need an experienced attorney who has a record as a proven fighter and wants to win for you! At The Law Office of Gerald F. Chefalo, we can help to ensure that you receive the fair treatment that is your right under the law.
When spouses, intimate partners or “dates” use physical violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to control the behavior of their partners, they are committing domestic violence. Domestic violence usually involves people who have an intimate relationship, are married, couples who live or have lived together, and couples with a common child. Often the police are called by one or both angry parties. Sometimes they do not know who to believe so they simply arrest someone, usually the man. If you have been wrongly accused and intend on fighting to prove your innocence you need to act immediately upon being charged. It is critical to preserve all possible evidence such as 911 tapes, police dispatch tapes, etc., before that information is destroyed. Often times the difference between being found not guilty and being convicted is a single piece of evidence that discredits an accuser. At The Law Office of Gerald F. Chefalo, we work hard to build your case and protect your rights. If you have been charged with a form of domestic violence, PLEASE CALL US IMMEDIATELY 24/7 AT (231) 929-7744.
While domestic violence is one of the most under-reported crimes, it is also one of the most FALSELY reported. Many different situation lead to accusations and arrest, however there are strategies to prevent the incident from becoming part of a person’s record, even if convicted. It takes a domestic violence attorney, with a proven track record, who understands the laws and the system to exploit the strengths and minimize the weaknesses in your case. Whether you have been falsely accused, or need legal expertise to help ensure your rights to a fair trial, we have the experience and resources to help. During our initial consultation, we will discuss the charge, the corresponding laws and the penalties you face if convicted of the crime, or a lesser included crime. Working within the system, we will document critical details and request that evidence be preserved and made available. This evidence can be used to identify inconsistencies in the accuser’s version of events or to shed light on the reality of what occurred. Unfortunately, without an attorney to take these steps, evidence favorable to your case may be lost as a simple matter of procedure.
If this is a first domestic violence offense, it may be possible to negotiate an agreement that ensures there will be no conviction on your record. If a trial becomes necessary, we will be prepared to aggressively defend your rights and make certain that the jury hears both sides. If this is not a first offense, it is imperative that you receive the attention necessary to mount the best possible defense. Domestic Violence is a political issue. Judges and prosecutors are under tremendous pressure to be tough on people charged with these crimes even though they understand that the accuser often has unclean hands. A person charged with a second or subsequent domestic violence offense needs to mount an aggressive defense in order to protect themselves and receive fair treatment. By listening to the client, obtaining their version of the story and developing the facts, we develop the best possible defense strategies. The following is a table that may assist you in researching your specific crime, the statute code and subsequent penalties associated with those crimes: