Aggravated Domestic Violence - Another NOT GUILTY by Brian J. Prain

Jury not guiltyOn May 11, 2015, Michigan Domestic Violence lawyer Brian J. Prain went before a Jury and (once again) won the acquittal of his client on all charges in Wayne County. What made the case unique was that the accuser was a well-known TV personality. The charges were: count 1, Aggravated Domestic Violence, MCL 750.81a(2); and count 2, Domestic Violence, MCL 750.81(2). The entire court room sat in suspense as the Jury foreperson read the verdict – NOT GUILTY of all charges. In the following interview, Brian J. Prain discusses how the awesome victory was achieved… JB: Well, to start off with, what does it mean to say that one of the charges was Aggravated Domestic Violence, rather than just Domestic Violence? BJP: Well, regular Domestic Violence is a misdemeanor charge in Michigan which basically consists of an Assault or an Assault and Battery within a domestic relationship. Domestic Violence is punishable by up to 93 days in jail. Aggravated Domestic Violence has the added feature of a "serious or aggravated injury." It is a much more serious charge, carrying quadruple the Jail time. Plus, the steaks were really high for my client due to some other circumstances. We had no choice but to win on a tough case.
JB: What exactly was your client accused of doing? BJP: Well, I can't get too deep into the details, but my was accused of repeatedly slamming the accuser's had into a hard object at least 20 to 30 times. The prosecution had photographs of injuries that it claims were caused by this alleged Assault. JB: When the Prosecution – I should say the State of Michigan comes before a Jury with nasty photos and a well-known personality pointing the finger at your client, doesn't the Jury already think they are guilty? BJP: Well, I'm glad that you brought that up. One of my prevailing beliefs is that because of the so-called "credibility" that the government carries, many jurors assume that the Prosecutor has special knowledge about the case, and that "they wouldn't be bringing these charges if they weren't guilty." But that is simply not the case. The fact of the matter is, the State of Michigan has a business to run, and criminal convictions are part of what makes their business thrive. But that initial bias, what I call the "presumption of guilt," is another factor in the court room that we are fighting against in the journey toward truth and justice.
JB: I see. But if there is a strong likelihood that the Jury already thinks the man is guilty because he's accused, how do you go from there all the way to not guilty on each account? BJP: The general answer to your question was best said once by Johnnie Cochran: "Preparation, preparation, preparation. Don't ever let anybody out work you." I live by that philosophy in my law practice. On any given night, there's a chance you'll find me working at 2 a.m., or later – or should I say earlier? Whatever you want to call it. My cases are very personal to me. When my name is attached to something, I feel that I have every bit as much at stake is my clients do. Now, the specific answer to your question is that the Jury's expectations of the system need be reframed by and effectively prepared jury selection question set. This is especially true in an Aggravated Domestic Violence case, or any case involving Domestic Violence. There are some strong public biases at work. I won't get into too much detail on a public forum, because I've spent a lot of time developing this, but I will generally say this: the key to success is reframing the juries expectations to actually believe that the accused is innocent. The Prosecutor must be taken off of his pedestal of trust and reframed into just another lawyer, which is exactly what he is. As I always tell other attorneys who attempt to try these harsh DV cases, if the Defense attorney sits down after Jury selection and the Jury is not convinced that your client is innocent, then they are far too close to guilty then they ought to be. JB: In this particular Aggravated Domestic Violence case, was there any point when you suddenly knew that you had it won and your client would be acquitted? BJP: Well, there is always doubt. But I believe we won the case during the very first phase of the Trial. During the jury selection process, as I was building rapport and trust with the jurors, I felt that I had won by the time I sat down. I knew the entire Jury panel was on my side. That's exactly where you want to be. But I have to give credit where credit is due. I didn't invent all of my strategies on my own. Rather, I was trained by the true masters. Trial lawyers of national fame like Gerry Spence, whose famous trial lawyers College I was selected to attend in 2013. I was one of 55 people nationwide. I keep learning every day. JB: How did your client feel after he was acquitted? BJP: Well, by the time the verdict came in, the tension was very high. Had they come back guilty, let me just say that it would've had immense consequences for this person. But when the verdict came in, my client and I were both overwhelmed with relief. Words can't describe what that experience is like. After such a long time standing accused, he got to walk out a free man. That's it. Case closed. Have a nice life. One thing I have been privileged to experience in my practice is the true happiness and relief of a human being who feels that their life has been saved. JB: So let's say that I've been accused of Aggravated Domestic Violence, or any type of Domestic Violence or Assault crime. How much does it cost to have Brian J. Prain as my attorney? BJP: Well, I hate to sound like everybody else out there, but I don't quote fees over the Internet. Each individual case is complex, and I need to know a little bit about the case before I can speak to cost. However, I do offer free consultations, and anyone can receive a quote, along with a ton of other useful information by simply calling our office. I won't sugarcoat it – I'm not cheap. And if this is your life, you shouldn't want cheap, either. That is not to say that my fees are excessive are outrageous, though. Because you really have to watch out for those attorneys. Just about anybody will take your money, but you can't teach hungry, if you know what I mean. To win a case, to really win a case, it takes hours and hours of intense effort. Every possibility must be considered. Every contingency that could arise in front of the jury must be planned for. That is how you win. The real question you must ask yourself if you are accused of a crime is "What will this cost me if I am convicted?" When you consider the possibility of Jail or Prison, having a permanent record that anyone with access to the internet can find, and the loss of financial, professional, and scholastic opportunities, the fact is that not hiring the best Michigan Domestic Violence defense lawyer is the most expensive mistake you could make. JB: Do you handle any other types of cases besides Domestic Violence and Assault related criminal charges? BJP: No. Absolutely not. I only do criminal defense. That in itself is unique. But even within the world of criminal defense, I specifically concentrate on those types of cases. To my knowledge, there is no other attorney with that specific concentration. JB: Do you take every Aggravated Domestic Violence case to Jury Trial? BJP: No. Unlike many lawyers who take maybe 1% to 5% of their cases to Trial, I probably take about 50%. But that doesn't mean every case belongs in front of a Jury. There are many factors to consider, and cost is but one of them. If you are accused of a DV crime, why not give us a call? We will give you our honest opinion and it won't cost you a thing. JB: How can Prain Law, PLLC be reached?
BJP: Call us anytime at (248) 731-4543. Visit us on the web at

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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.