Domestic Assault Pretrial: What Happens at the Pretrial Conference?

Being a Domestic Assault Lawyer, I concentrate my criminal defense practice on defending those facing Domestic Assault charges in Michigan. This crime is also called Domestic Violence, so I use those two names interchangeably. Because a Domestic Violence charge (first offense) under MCL 750.81(2) has a maximum sentence of 93 days in Jail and and/or a $500.00 fine (not to mention the potential for the word "Assault" or "Violence" on your permanent public CCH record), you need the best Domestic Assault defense you can get - you can't afford not to get the right Michigan Domestic Assault Lawyer. With an injury or priors, a Michigan Domestic Assault / Domestic Violence conviction can even be a Felony, meaning a maximum penalty of over 1 year in State Prison. It's no joke. Many criminal defense attorneys downplay the importance of the Pretrial Conference. In-fact, it is one of the most important days in your life as you face a Michigan Domestic Assault charge.

After your Michigan Domestic Assault arrest and District Court Arraignment, you'll likely be out on Bond with a No Contact Order. You will receive a Notice to Appear for a Pretrial Conference in the District Court where you were arraigned. The time between the Domestic Assault Arraignment and Pretrial Conference varies, but it is usually about 2-3 weeks. During this time, you NEED to contact a Michigan Domestic Assault Lawyer - the sooner the better for your freedom and your future. Here is what happens at the Pretrial Conference ...

Your Domestic Assault Lawyer meets you at the District Court, signs-in for you with the Clerk, and approaches the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney who has set-up shop in one of the conference rooms while you wait in the hallway or Courtroom. I tell them your name and that you're facing a Domestic Assault charge. The Prosecutor fumbles through her stack of files until she finds the one with your name on it. Your Domestic Assault file is stamped "Victim Activated," reminding the Prosecutor that under the Crime Victim Rights Act, she cannot enter into a plea agreement with your Domestic Assault Lawyer until she consults with the alleged Victim, if the Alleged Victim wishes to appear and give their input about what should happen to you (the alleged Victim is always notified of all Court hearings, and is sometimes even Subpoenaed to appear by the Prosecutor). Sometimes, there is even a person called the Victim Advocate present to help convey the wishes of the alleged Victim.

Your Domestic Assault Lawyer and the Prosecutor will discuss whether the case will be resolved by Plea Agreement (including what the Sentence may be) or whether it will go to Trial (there are ultimately only these 2 possibilities in a Domestic Assault case). Now, you understand why the Pretrial Conference is a very important day in your life. But to the Prosecutor, you're just another file in a big stack; she wants to take you down but doesn't even know you or remember the facts of your case.

Is your Michigan Domestic Assault Lawyer familiar enough with the facts of your case to educate the Prosecutor why they should offer you leniency? Has your Domestic Assault Lawyer done the following before the Pretrial Conference?

1) demanded, received, and reviewed all of the Discovery materials with you well in advance of the Pretrial Conference so you can make sound, informed decisions as you face your Michigan Domestic Assault charge?

2) spoken with the alleged Victim well ahead-of-time to establish familiarity, bring down their defenses, find out what their testimony about the Domestic Assault would be (so that he can convey the positives to the Prosecutor in hopes of a good deal or dismissal), to find out what their position is on having the No Contact Order removed?

3) obtained a written and sworn Affidavit from the alleged Victim stating that their original claims of Domestic Assault were exaggerated and motivated by anger, jealousy, etc. (where appropriate, to present to the Prosecutor at the Pretrial Conference)? REMEMBER: you CANNOT do this yourself in a Michigan Domestic Assault case, because it is prohibited by the No Contact Order as part of your Bond.

4) checked your CCH record to see if you are eligible for the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral under MCL 769.4a, which can make the Domestic Assault case disappear to the public as if it never even happened?

5) called and spoken to the Prosecutor to ensure that any Plea to Domestic Assault will be a No Contest Plea to protect you from civil liability, or to make sure that any Plea of Guilty (to a reduced charge) will be only to the version of the facts that you are comfortable with, and omitting the parts you are not?

6) checked with the District Court Judge to see if he or she will either accept a Killebrew agreement or provide a Cobbs evaluation to virtually eliminate the possibility of Jail time for you?

In our experience, these are things that most criminal defense attorneys NEVER do at all. At The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC, your Michigan Domestic Assault Lawyer, these are things we do in every Domestic Assault case (and often much more). Don't go to Court with a Michigan Domestic Assault Lawyer who makes you feel like you're "just another file" to them. Call The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC at(248) 731-4543 for a free and confidential face-to-face consultation. We represent REAL people and strategically plan a REAL defense custom-tailored for you.


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Prain Law, PLLC is focused only on the types charges featured on our website. This helps us deliver the decisive, effective advocacy for which our clients know us. We only serve individuals currently under investigation or who have a current case pending in court. Our firm does not represent injury victims, defendants who have already taken a plea or have been sentenced, or those seeking to expunge a criminal record. We do not respond to anyone who is not involved in a pending investigation or who has a court case for a type of charge we do not handle, but we wish you the very best of luck.