Legal Question in Criminal Law in Michigan

There is an domestic assault & battery citation issued to my grandson. His girlfriend and him were yelling and she ran out of the house to a neighbor's porch. They called the police. She said she wasn't charging him but the police issued the citation that night. She has been told to go to court on Tuesday and they would drop the charge. She is afraid if she goes they will charge him because she showed up. If she doesn't show, will they drop the charge? I am not sure what category this should be under.

Asked on 12/18/16, 7:55 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Your grandson needs a criminal defense attorney to help him through this mess. Trying to figure out a criminal case on the internet is not a good idea any more than figuring out a medical diagnosis on the internet is a good idea.

Attorney Larry Lewis has a lot of experience with similar cases. You can reach him at

1 866-766-5245.

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Answered on 12/18/16, 8:06 am
Neil O'Brien Eaton County Special Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

Victims do not charge defendants. Prosecutors do. But, prosecutors must by law (the crime victims' rights act) consult with victims. If the victim has a preference on the defendant being charged, or in how the case later gets resolved, the prosecutor must listen. Ultimately, however, it's the prosecutor's decision. Prosecutors often hear from victims within hours or days of an arrest, and sometimes they want charges "dropped". Whether that happens will depend on the gravity of the case's facts, the criminal history of the parties, etc. In my opinion and experience, many prosecutors are wary about a victim's 180 degree turnaround because the victim might be getting 'heat' from the defendant, relatives, etc. to use the victim to pressure the System into not charging. That kind of power-and-control may also be at the heart of the original assault incident, and if the prosecutor caves in at that point, it only encourages and emboldens future defendants to put heat on their (alleged) victims. My bottom line: your grandson's girlfriend should not be afraid to talk to the prosecutor. One reason for her to go to the courthouse is that some prosecutors will have the victim actually testify in a brief court hearing (under oath, on the record) that he/she does not want the case prosecuted, that it's her own personal decision and she's not been pressured / threatened, etc.

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Answered on 12/19/16, 6:38 am

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