Schmierlaw provides Experienced, Affordable, and Aggressive Defense to individuals charged with Crimes Against Persons
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Crimes Against Persons refers to criminal offenses which involve bodily harm, the threat of bodily harm, or other actions committed against of an individual. Those involving physical harm include assault, battery, and domestic violence. Also, crimes against persons include other offenses such as harassment, kidnapping, and stalking also are considered crimes against the person.

Generally, crimes against persons where there is violence result in the most severe penalties that the criminal justice system can impose. Usually if you are convicted of a crime against a person, other than first-time simple assault or domestic violence defendants, a conviction could mean a good chance of going to jail.

Homicide, Murder, Manslaughter

Murder involves the killing of one individual by another.
While the exact definition of the crime varies depending on the jurisdiction, the consequences of a murder conviction are severe. Many courts distinguish between murder such as 1st Degree which is viewed as a premeditated crime, 2nd Degree which is not premeditated and manslaughter, which is a less serious offense, so it is important to have an experienced and aggressive Criminal Defense Attorney on your side.

How Homicides are Classified in Michigan

  • First degree murder – Planned or premeditated murder
  • Second degree murder – Intentional, reckless killing that was not premeditated
  • Voluntary manslaughter – Passion killing, when someone is killed in the heat of the moment
  • Involuntary manslaughte r – The killing was a complete accident, but caused directly by the actions of another person. Ford instance, shooting at a target in the back yard and accidently killing your neighbor
  • Vehicular manslaughter – When negligent driving actions directly cause the death of another person
  • Engage in child sexually abusive activity -as that term is defined in section 145c, with that person, if that person is a minor

The prosecution faces a heavy burden of proof in a murder case. They must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant planned or was fully aware of what was happening or could happen.

Defenses to a Charge of Murder
There may be numerous defenses in a murder case to improve the outcome, including: self-defense, insufficient proof or evidence, factual innocence, insanity, and more. A good Defense Lawyer will gather evidence in your favor and may be able get your case dismissed depending on the facts. And depending on the fact, an Criminal Defense Attorney will work to reduce any penalties you ay face, negotiate alternative punishments,, and devise other strategies to improve the outcome of your case.

Kidnapping and Human Trafficking

In Michigan a person who commits the crime of kidnapping is guilty of a felony with prison for life or any term of years and up to $50,000.00. A person commits the crime of kidnapping if he or she knowingly restrains another person. "Restrain" means to restrict a person's movements or to confine the person. This confinement or restraint does not have to exist for any particular length of time and may be related or incidental to the commission of other criminal acts.

Under the law there must also be intent to do one of the following:

  • Hold that person for ransom or reward
  • Use that person as a shield or hostage
  • Engage in criminal sexual penetration or criminal sexual contac
  • Take that person outside of this state.
  • Hold that person in involuntary servitude
  • Engage in child sexually abusive activity, as that term is defined in section 145c, with that person, if that person is a minor

Parental Kidnapping
In addition, Michigan also has kidnapping laws when one parent takes a child from the other parent or fails to return a child as required under a parenting time order. In this situation the prosecutor must prove must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt: (1) that the defendant took the child, or kept the child for more than twenty-four hours, (2) that the defendant intended to keep or conceal the child from (3) the person who had lawful charge of the child.

Domestic Violence

When the Police are Called for Domestic Violence, Most Always, Someone is Going to Jail.
When police are called to a home or residence on a Domestic Violence call, they usually end up removing someone from the home. Police make an arrest on charges of Domestic Violence in order to diffuse the situation and prevent further problems. Even if you acted in self defense or did not strike the other person, public policy requires the police to do something.

You need a Domestic Violence Defense Attorney who will treat your charges and defense seriously.
Everyone has argument with their boyfriend, girlfriend or spouse, but if it gets out of hand and the police are called, you can bet they will show up at your door. And once they do show up, they will take the matter seriously and someone is going to jail. You should take this matter seriously too. A conviction or even allegations of Domestic Violence may effect your rights to child custody or visitation. You or your children could be removed from your home. And you could face prison time.

At Schmierlaw, if you are charged with Domestic Violence we will:

  • Listen to our client and investigate all the facts related to a Domestic Violence charge
  • Examine any prior history of your accuser for making false statements and accusations about Domestic Violence
  • Work to uncover any reason that person may have for making false accusations
  • Advise you of your options in fighting Domestic Violence charges
  • Use any means necessary to uncover the truth and prove your innocence.
  • Determine whether there are any diversion programs that may be available to keep a Domestic Violence conviction off your record

Even if the victim agrees, you may not be able to get the Prosecutor to "Drop the Charge"
Once charged with Domestic Violence, it is very difficult to get the charges dropped; even if the alleged victim forgives you and wants to drop the matter.In fact, in many Domestic Violence cases, especially with spousal abuse, once an arrest has been made, the Prosecutor will take over the case. When this happens, even if the victim wants to forgive and forget, the victim is simply a witness and must take a back seat while the Prosecutor goes ahead with the criminal case.

What is Domestic Violence and Other FAQs

What is considered domestic violence?
Domestic violence is any violent behavior used by one person in a relationship to control the other. Partners may be married or not married, living together, separated, dating or just having a child in common.

What is considered assault and battery?
An assault is not actually touching someone but threatening someone with a battery. A battery is defined as a harmful or offensive touching. Gestures such as raising your fist at someone like you are about to hit them is considered an assault and battery. If a domestic relationship as defined above is involved, it is considered domestic violence.

Does a Personal Protection Order against me mean I have a criminal record?
A Personal Protection Order is a civil matter and will only remain on your record for one year unless the person who requested the PPO against you asks the court to extend it. If there is a violation of the PPO or a conviction, such as a charge for assault, it is a criminal matter and there will be a criminal record of that conviction.

What happens if someone violates a PPO?
If you violate a PPO you may be arrested. If a police officer is called to a home and the PPO was issued against you being near that home and you are at that home, the officer can make an arrest without a warrant if he has probable cause to believe you are violating the PPO and represent a threat.

What happens if the police are called to respond to domestic violence?
If the police are called they will take you or the other party to jail. Where in many instances the police can set an interim bond and release someone before arraignment, Michigan law requires a person to go before the magistrate before a bond can be set. That means if you are arrested at night, you will spend the night in jail. Generally, when you appear before the magistrate at the arraignment, a no contact order will be imposed. This means that if you and the victim are living together, one of you will be moving out. After the arraignment a pretrial date will be set, and at that time you can either take your case to trial or make some sort of plea deal with the prosecutor. At that time, the judge may lift the no-contact order as long as the victim agrees and the judge feels that the threat of further violence has passed

What are the penalties for Domestic Violence?

1st conviction-a misdemeanor with up to 93 days in jail and/or $500 fine
2nd conviction-a misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and/or $1,000 fine
3rd or more convictions-a felony with up to 2 years in prison and/or $2,500 fine

Penalties for Aggravated Domestic Assault with injury requiring medical care:

1st conviction-a misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and/or $1,000 fine
2nd conviction-a felony with up to 2 years in prison and/or $2,500 fine

If this is a first charge for Domestic Violence there is a diversion program for first time offenders. This usually includes probation, anger management, drug or alcohol testing, and fines and oversight fees. If you successfully complete probation, the charge against you will be dismissed. However, you only get one bite at this apple. If this is your second charge, besides jail time if imposed, you also will likely face probation with the same conditions. If this is misdemeanor, probation can be imposed for 2 years. If this is your third offense, probation can last up to five years.

If you have a weapon, you can be charged with felonious assault.
If you assault someone with a weapon such as a gun or knife you can be charged with felonious assault. A felonious assault is an assault without the intention of actually using the weapon but used with intent of scaring them. The penalties for felonious are quite severe and you could face prison time for up to 4 years.
If you are charged with domestic violence or any other assaultive crime, an attorney who understands the laws may be the best investment you will ever make. Faced with jail or prison time, this is not the time to go it alone. Retaining an attorney to fight against a charge of Domestic Violence can mean the difference between having a clean criminal record or not.

MCL 769.4a Domestic Violence Diversion for First Time Offenders

Diversion Program Available for Domestic Violence First Time Offenders
If you have been arrested and charged with Domestic Violence or DV and you are a first time DV offender, Michigan law provides a diversionary program in which you may be eligible to participate. You need an experienced and aggressive Domestic Violence Attorney who can negotiate with the prosecutor and the Judge to ensure that your arrest for Domestic Violence has the least impact on your life and future.

MCL 769.4a
Under MCL 769.4a, when an individual who has not been previously convicted of Domestic Violence pleads guilty or is found guilty of Domestic Violence and the victim is the accused' spouse or former spouse, a person with whom the accused had a child, an individual who has or has had a dating relationship with the accused, or is a person living or having lived in the same home as the accused, the Court, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused and approval of the prosecuting attorney, may defer further proceedings and place the accused on probation.

Honestly say you have never been convicted of Domestic Violence
If you successfully fulfill the terms and conditions of the probation with generally includes anger management classes, the court will then dismiss the charges against you and you can honestly say that you have never been convicted of a crime.

At Schmierlaw., if you qualify for 769.4a status, we will negotiate with the prosecutor and the Judge to make sure you have the best chance of being sentenced under this program.

Assault & Battery, Resisting

Assault and Assault & Battery: What’s the Difference?
Assault and Batter are two different things. An assault charge does not require that any contact be made between the suspect and the alleged victim. All that is required is that the defendant placed the victim in reasonable apprehension of an imminent battery. An example would be a case where a suspect picks up a baseball bat and swings it at the victim. Even if the suspect makes no contact with the victim, the crime of assault has been committed because the victim will have been placed in fear of getting hit.

Assault and Battery Penalties
In some cases assault can be charged as a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail plus a fine . In other cases, assault can be charged as a felony offense where the defendant faces a possible prison sentence.

Resisting Arrest
If you resist a lawful arrest, you may be charged with resisting a police officer. On the other hand, in Michigan, resisting an illegal arrest is within the law. An experienced defense attorney will understand the law and have the experience to defend a resisting charge

Get Help from a Criminal Defense Attorney
It's probably a good idea to have an experienced and knowledgeable criminal attorney at your side when facing an assault charge or resisting arrest. An assault charge on your record can follow you around for the rest of your life. Get someone who knows what they are doing and has done it before to help you out. You will spend some money, but in the long run, it will probably save you a lot of money and maybe have a better future.

Contact Schmierlaw About Your Case

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Whether it is representation in a legal matter or just some legal advice, Schmierlaw can help. We specialize in Criminal and Drunk Driving Defense and can help you with any sort of legal issue which may arise including Felonies or Misdemeanors, Drunk Driving, Traffic Tickets, Juvenile Offenses, or any other legal concern which you may have.

Contact Experienced, Affordable, and Aggressive Schmierlaw for an Initial No-Cost Consultation
Contact Us for an Initial No-cost Consultation

Schmierlaw is a Criminal Defense and Drunk Driving/ DUI legal firm providing representation in Wayne County, Oakland County, Macomb County and throughout Michigan including these Michigan cities:

Macomb County
Chesterfield Twp.
Mt. Clemens
New Baltimore
New Haven
St. Clair Shores
Sterling Heights

St.Clair County
Port Huron
Saint Clair
Marine City

Washtenaw County
Ann Arbor

Ingham County
East Lansing
Meridian Township

Oakland County
Auburn Hills
Addison Twp.
Beverly Hills
Bingham Farms
Bloomfield Hills
Brandon Twp.
Farmington Hills
Hazel Park
Huntington Woods
Keego Harbor
Lake Angelus
Lake Orion
Lathrup Village
Lyon Twp.
Madison Heights
Novi Township
Oak Park
Oakland Township
Orchard Lake
Pleasant Ridge
Rochester Hills
Royal Oak
South Lyon
Sylvan Lake
Walled Lake
West Bloomfield
White Lake
Wolverine Lake

Wayne County
Allen Park
Dearborn Heights
Flat Rock
Garden City
Grosse Isle
Grosse Pointe
Grosse Pointe Farms
Grosse Pointe Park
Grosse Pointe Woods
Highland Park
Lincoln Park
River Rouge
Van Buren

Law Office of James G. Schmier, PLLC
2222 Attard Street, Birmingham, Michigan 48009
Tel: (248) 705-3742     FAX: (248) 540-0044    Email: