Sylvan Lake Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence continues to be a widespread problem in the United States. Statistically, about 20 people per minute are the victims of some kind of domestic violence. These people are both women and men. The violence they endure is sometimes direct and sometimes indirect, but it is always harmful. Fortunately, Michigan family law is extremely broad in this area, so many people may be entitled to protection and not even know it.
Nevertheless, some people hesitate to get help from a Sylvan Lake domestic violence attorney because they think a protective order may do little good or may make the situation worse. Domestic Violence cases from Sylvan Lake are prosecuted in the 48th District Court on Telegraph Road in Bloomfield Hills. This court is very strict on domestic violence charges. At the initial arraignment, the accused in a domestic violence case is removed from the home and ordered to have no contact with the alleged victim. Other strict conditions can be imposed so those accused should have an experienced local lawyer to represent them immediately for domestic violence charges in Sylvan Lake.
A victim can do additional things like file notice of a Personal Protective Order with the county that can be placed with a daycare or school. The intent is to prevent problems before they start but for those people that the order is used against it can be very damaging. At the office of Paul J. Tafelski, we offer a variety of solutions like these.
Who is Entitled to a Protective Order?
As mentioned, “domestic violence” is a broad, umbrella term that encompasses a number of different situations. The law protects against things like physical violence as well as things like stalking. So, the law also applies to a number of different relationships. Some of the more prominent ones are:
- Husband/Wife: For the most part, Michigan law does not recognize common-law marriage. So, for the domestic violence protection to apply, the husband and wife must be legally married. If that is not the case, the alleged victim may qualify under one of the other relationships discussed below.
- Two People with a Child in Common: It does not matter if the parents were once married or never married. It also does not matter which parent has legal custody of the child. In some cases, a judge may grant a PPO even if neither parent has custody of their joint child.
- Dating Partner: This area is a little grey. One or two dates probably does not qualify as a “dating relationship,” while an exchange of marriage promises certainly qualifies as such. Everything else is somewhere in the middle.
- Roommates: This provision once protected same-sex couples before the Supreme Court legalized these relationships. Much like a dating relationship, it is a little hard to draw the line between overnight guests and roommates.
A word about PPOs and divorce proceedings. If the requesting spouse initiated divorce proceedings in another Michigan family law court, a separate judge may be reluctant to grant a PPO, especially without giving the other party an opportunity to be heard. If you need immediate protection in these situations, it is a good idea to show the judge additional evidence that backs up your claim. That could be photographs, a doctor bill, or a witness statement.
The law office of Paul J. Tafelski has experience representing both victims of domestic violence and those accused of committing domestic violence in Oakland County. We are familiar with all aspects of domestic violence law and the multiple ways the legal system is involved such as criminal charges, personal protection orders, divorce and custody disputes. These type of allegations and charges are complex and far-reaching in their impact on lives. An experienced attorney is necessary to best protect your interests no matter which side of a domestic violence issue you are on.
Types of Protective Orders Available in Sylvan Lake
Most alleged victims in Oakland County seek Domestic PPOs. The applicant need only show one instance of physical violence, threat of physical violence, or unlawful restraint. In the latter instance, something like physically blocking a doorway or refusal to give money for gas will probably not be sufficient but a pattern of behavior or incidents could suffice. The proper preparation of your Petition for PPO is important as some judges will limit consideration of your claims to what is written.
Victims may also seek Stalking PPOs. Judges will issue these orders if the alleged victim has felt threatened, harassed or frightened on at least two separate occasions. The more evidence of stalking there is, the more likely a judge is to grant a Stalking PPO.
Typically, a judge will grant a temporary PPO ex parte. These orders are usually good for about two weeks. After that, if the accused contests the allegations, the judge will hold a full hearing. If, after hearing from both sides, the judge decides there is enough evidence, the judge may extend the PPO, usually for one year. If possible, it’s good to be represented in a contested hearing or while trying to secure a PPO.
Count on a Tenacious Lawyer
Domestic abuse victims have a number of legal options. For a free consultation with an experienced divorce attorney and PPO attorney in Sylvan Lake, contact Paul J. Tafelski, P.C. After-hours visits are available.