At ArborYpsi Law we have experience representing clients on assault and battery charges, including domestic assault charges.
Can I get my Assault Case Dismissed?
Last week, we received two dismissals in domestic assault cases. In both matters, we set the cases for trial. The Prosecution was unable to produce key witnesses, and dismissed. One case was in Ann Arbor, while the other case was in the 34th District Court in Romulus.
The ability to obtain dismissals stemmed from our willingness to take the case to trial. Some cases are better than others. However, in each case, the client was willing to go to trial.
Clients often want their cases dismissed without necessarily pushing the case to trial. An unwillingness or inability to take a case to trial will significantly reduce the likelihood of your case getting dismissed. That’s the reality of it. We can work out a nice plea deal that makes you happy, but your case is unlikely to be outright dismissed.
Why is that? First, if you’re not going to trial, then the prosecutor certainly isn’t worried about losing the case. The defense attorney must create a dynamic in which the prosecution can lose the case. Unless that dynamic is created, the prosecutor cannot lose, and the prosecutor knows this. Second, an attorney’s willingness to proceed to trial shows belief in the client’s cause and story. Pushing the case to trial demonstrates confidence.
Not every case of course would be great in trial. The point of writing this is not to say that a defense lawyer should blindly set cases for assault charges. There are times where it is appropriate to quietly resolve the case.
Assault and Battery Trials
It is my belief that assault and battery charges or domestic assault cases go to trial at a higher percentage than other types of criminal cases. I believe this is because the person accused often feels as if they are the victim or they were wronged in some way. In many cases, the accused person is justifiable in feeling this way.
For example, in the East Lansing jury trial I had earlier this year, the client was arrested for punching the “victim,” after the “victim” pushed her first. The client acted in justifiable self-defense, yet she was charged with the crime of domestic assault. The victim had called the police first, and therefore won the preliminary battle of who would get charged with the crime.
There are many variations on this theme. In many assault and battery fact patterns, it takes two to tango. The situation is far from black and white.
Every Assault Case is Unique
I’ve tried many assault cases, and each one was different. More often than not the people involved in these cases have a history, a certain dynamic. The attorney must learn and understand the ins and outs of the case’s dynamics to do well in the case. In every case, I strive to figure out the relationship between the parties as one of the initial steps in case evaluation.
Sam Bernstein is a Criminal Defense Lawyer in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.
ArborYpsi Law is located at 4158 Washtenaw Ave., Ann Arbor, MI 48108.