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How “Safe at Home” Can Lead to Domestic Violence Charges

June 16, 2020 Criminal Law and Procedure

As the lockdown in Michigan drags on, people are being forced into close contact with spouses and family members for longer periods of time than usual. Once you add in the stress and uncertainty caused by the pandemic, you suddenly have a situation that many are saying has led to an increase in domestic abuse cases. 

Facing a domestic abuse charge during this time may seem overwhelming. Fortunately, you do not have to face these charges alone – an experienced Ann Arbor domestic violence lawyer can help.

COVID-19: A Toxic Environment Fueling Domestic Violence Charges 

People are unable to go to work, children are unable to go to school, and they are required to stay home. Activities are canceled and public gatherings are not allowed. One of the few options to relieve the stress and boredom is to go outside for a walk. 

The increase in domestic violence is likely the result of relationships that were deteriorating before the pandemic occurred. People lash out at their spouses or family members, leading to domestic violence charges. Here are some of the reasons that we believe are leading to an increase in domestic violence charges:  

  • Job losses and financial worries
  • Pre-existing relationship issues
  • Difficulties in honoring existing custody arrangements
  • Boredom, loneliness, depression

These stresses and negative feelings can lead to friction in any relationship, but especially in one that is already tumultuous. 

You’ve Been Charged with Domestic Violence But That Doesn’t Mean You Are Guilty

In the context of the coronavirus pandemic, we believe that many of these domestic violence charges are exaggerations of what actually happened or are completely baseless. Jealousy, frustration, and a feeling of helplessness can cause family members to lash out at others unjustifiably. Here are some of the reasons someone might make a false domestic violence charge:

  • Out of retaliation for some perceived wrong
  • To gain an advantage in a custody dispute
  • To accelerate divorce proceedings
  • To force you from your home

What to Do if You’ve Been Charged with Domestic Violence

It is quite common to feel overwhelmed, angry, sad, or some combination of all three if you’ve been charged with domestic violence. However, the days surrounding your charge are critical, and your next steps are very important. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, here are the steps you need to take: 

    • Remain calm and focused. These charges could change your life forever. Lashing out or acting on impulse could make your situation worse. 
    • Cooperate with the authorities. If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, it is likely that you have been served with a restraining order (referred to as a “personal protection order” in Michigan). Abide by the terms of the order to the letter and follow the instructions of the officer who served it on you. 
  • Contact a lawyer. The legal process is complicated and the stakes in a domestic violence case are extraordinarily high. An Ann Arbor domestic violence lawyer can help you navigate the system, defend your rights, and protect your future. 

Call an Ann Arbor Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

In addition to potential jail time and serious fines, a conviction will also result in a stigma that could haunt you for years to come. Don’t leave your future in the hands of your accuser. Contact ArborYpsi Law at 734-883-9584 to schedule a free consultation today. We can discuss your case, review your options, and help you find a way forward.