In many instances a victim pursues a criminal case with vigor and determination to receive justice, and will stop at nothing to have his or her position heard and advanced. In Michigan a victim has an absolute right to be heard, informed, and consulted with as to the prosecution of the Defendant. A victim has a right to hire a lawyer to advocate on his or her behalf.
On many occasions a victim regrets the decision to involve law enforcement with an argument or dispute that arose with a wife, husband, fiancée , mother, father, son, daughter, other family member, or friend. In most cases in Michigan the position of the Prosecutor or city attorney is that they represent the People of the community, and protect the community in general from harms or disturbances of the peace. A criminal case is never entitled the name of the victim versus the name of the Defendant – it is always the People or City versus the Defendant. Even when the victim strongly tells the Prosecutor and police that they wish for the matter to be dismissed, the desire of the victim is often not followed.
When a victim’s position is contrary to the Prosecution and police, this is a good time to retain an experienced lawyer. Victims are often met with disrespect and threats of what will happen if he or she fails to cooperate with the prosecution of the case. The Court itself will sometimes try to place pressure on the victim and the Defendant by establishing stringent bond conditions, such as no contact between the Defendant and the victim with a delay before the next Court hearing. A no contact provision can create a real hardship, often causing monetary (such as the cost for the Defendant to live in a hotel or elsewhere), emotional, and child care issues.