Domestic Violence and Personal Protection Orders
Ensuring safety. Protecting legal rights. An advocate you can trust.
While all cases of violent crime are legally challenging and emotionally traumatic, domestic violence is particularly upsetting because of the close relationship between the assailant and the victim. It can be difficult for victims who have been injured by a spouse or partner or some family member or person they know to come forward and even harder to follow through with pressing charges. Fortunately, Michigan law provides several means for victims to protect themselves, especially if they have the aid of an experienced family law attorney.
Attorney Alyson Oliver and her team have the experience, dedication and integrity to protect victims of domestic violence. The attorneys understand the unique legal status of such cases in Michigan as well as the intricacies of the court system in Oakland County.
Defining Domestic Violence
In order to constitute domestic violence, a violent crime must be committed in the context of a domestic relationship between two people. This type of crime can be committed if the victim:
- Is a spouse or former spouse of the perpetrator
- Is in a dating relationship with the perpetrator
- Lives in the same household as the perpetrator
- Shares a child with the perpetrator
Domestic violence includes a wide range of crimes, not all of which involve physical violence against the victim. Actions that can constitute domestic violence include:
- Harassment via phone calls or emails
- Trespassing at the victim's workplace or on other private property
- Verbal abuse or intimidation
- Threatening bodily harm or death
- Removing children from the other parent's home, or interfering with a court-ordered removal
- Physical assault and battery
- Rape and sexual assault
Michigan law classifies domestic violence into two categories: domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault. To qualify as aggravated, the assault must cause the victim to suffer an injury requiring medical attention.
Personal Protection Orders
A personal protection order, or PPO, is a court order designed to protect victims from additional violence. In order to obtain a PPO, the victim must demonstrate that the abuser is likely to assault, threaten, harass or stalk him or her. The victim must also prove a domestic relationship with the abuser. After the victim files for a PPO and has it signed by a judge, the order immediately becomes enforceable anywhere in the state of Michigan. Once the PPO has been served to the abuser, it becomes enforceable throughout the United States.
Legal Rights for Victims
Due to the unique nature of domestic violence, victims of domestic assault have several legal rights not afforded to those pressing charges for most other crimes. For instance, the prosecution may use statements made by the victim to the police as evidence, rather than using the victim's own statements at trial. This is because domestic violence victims often cannot testify to the full story or even later recant their previous statements due to their relationship to the abuser.
In domestic violence cases, the prosecution can also introduce evidence of past instances of domestic violence committed by the same person, including incidents that were never reported to the police. Michigan courts routinely issue no contact orders if the abuser is released from jail on bond while awaiting trial, again affording the victim protection from further violence.
Advocating for Victims Who Have Been Harmed
At Oliver Law Group, P.C., we understand that it can be exceptionally difficult for victims to come forward and even harder to see the case through. Attorney Alyson Oliver has the compassion and sensitivity to hear your case and the experience and dedication to see it through in court. Our family law attorneys are committed to providing high-quality representation, always with integrity and compassion.