52-1 District Court Domestic Violence - How a Judge Views Setting Bond
In most domestic violence cases the issue in setting bond is not whether the defendant will flee, but rather what he intends to do or is likely to do when released. Here the court will consider any other fact bearing on his danger to the public and the victim. Sometimes domestic violence is preceded by one or more danger signals. These factors, known as lethality factors, are not in themselves fail-safe predictors of violence, but the presence of one or more of these factors indicates the need for greater protection, either through more restrictive conditions or greater cash bond amounts, or both. The factors are:
· The victim has left the abuser, or the abuser has discovered that the victim is planning to leave.
· The victim (who is familiar with the abuser's patterns of behavior) believes the abuser's threats may be lethal.
· The abuser threatens to kill the victim or other persons.
· The abuser threatens or attempts suicide.
· The abuser fantasizes about homicide or suicide.
· Weapons are present, and/or the abuser has a history of using weapons.
· The abuse involves strangling or biting the victim.
· The abuser has easy access to the victim or the victim's family.
· There is a history of prior calls to the police for help.
· The abuser exhibits stalking behavior.
· The abuser is jealous and possessive, or imagines the victim is having affairs with others.
· The abuser is preoccupied or obsessed with the victim.
· The abuser is isolated from others, and the victim is central to the abuser's life.
· The abuser is assaultive during sex or has forced the victim to have sex.
· The abuser makes threats to the victim's children.
· The abuser threatens to take the victim hostage, or has a history of hostage-taking.
· The severity or frequency of violence has escalated.
· The abuser is depressed or paranoid.
· The abuser or victim has a psychiatric impairment.
· The abuser has experienced recent deaths or losses.
· The abuser has killed or mutilated a pet, or threatened to do so.
· The abuser has started taking more risks, or is «breaking the rules» for using violence in the relationship (e.g., after years of abuse committed only in the privacy of the home, the abuser suddenly begins to behave abusively in public settings).
· The abuser has a history of assaultive behavior against others.
· The abuser has a history of defying court orders and the judicial system.
· The victim has begun a new relationship.
· The abuser has problems with drug or alcohol use, or assaults the victim while intoxicated or high
For more information on domestic violence in Michigan, click here.