Attorney For Domestic Violence In Michigan

In Michigan, domestic violence (DV) charges carry very serious legal, criminal and social consequences and penalties. In today’s society, accusers are actively encouraged to come forward to press charges, sometimes with little evidence of wrongdoing.

Our courts are also becoming more open to hearing cases with often shaky evidence than they ever have before. This atmosphere has resulted in an increased likelihood that innocent individuals will be caught in a spiderweb of wrongful or improper domestic violence charges, as well as other related legal matters such as restraining orders.

If you or someone you know is being charged with DV in Michigan, contact us and talk to an experienced domestic violence lawyer today.

Domestic Violence Charges

Michigan domestic violence ordinance that's titled municipal litigation checklistIn order for charges of domestic violence to be brought against the accused, allegations must be brought forth by a “victim”. This victim must either have lived with, been married to or otherwise had a “dating relationship” with the accused. This is formally defined according to the Michigan Penal Code MCL 750.81(2) as,

“his or her spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a resident or former resident of his or her household.” (THE MICHIGAN PENAL CODE Act 328 of 1931).

These charges can also be brought forth regardless of whether or not the victim and the accused are currently living together or still in an intimate relationship. This means that charges of domestic violence can be brought forth from past relationships. However, in Michigan the statute of limitations for domestic violence is 6 years.

Charges of domestic violence in Michigan are classified on two levels – Domestic Violence and Aggravated Domestic Violence. These cases are usually treated more seriously and face harsher punishments than otherwise similar assault and battery cases.

As mentioned previously, what differentiates charges of domestic violence according to the state is whether or not the victim and the accused were or are in a dating relationship, as opposed to friends, acquaintances, or otherwise. The punishments for these charges vary depending on the case and typically range from a 93 day misdemeanor to a 5 or more year felony.

Domestic violence is differentiated from Aggravated Domestic Violence based on the amount of physical harm to the victim caused by the accused. Generally speaking, charges of domestic violence will be elevated to aggravated domestic violence if the victim suffers serious bodily injury.

This would be an injury that results in disfigurement, hospitalization, or physical impairment. Aggravated domestic violence carries with it a minimum of a 5 year felony, which can be increased if the accused has a previous criminal record.

Michigan Domestic Violence Laws

In Michigan, domestic violence laws encompass charges involving relationships such as spouses (current or former), individuals in a dating relationship, co-parents, and household members. Domestic violence charges generally carry stricter penalties compared to other forms of assault. Legal representation is crucial for anyone facing these charges, as the consequences can include severe penalties such as jail time.

Defense attorneys specializing in domestic violence are essential for navigating the legal complexities and aiming for the most favorable outcome in such cases.

Domestic violence laws are designed to address violence or threats of violence within specific personal relationships, including current or former spouses, dating partners, individuals who share a child, or members of the same household.

Penalties can include significant fines, incarceration, and mandatory intervention programs. Legal representation is critical in these cases due to the complexities involved and the potential for substantial personal and legal consequences.

Domestic Assault

Under Michigan Penal Code 750.81, domestic assault cases do not require the victim to sustain injuries for charges to be filed. The consequences for domestic assault or spousal assault are strict, with penalties increasing with subsequent convictions:

  • 1st Conviction (misdemeanor): Up to 93 days in jail and/or a fine of $500.
  • 2nd Conviction (misdemeanor): Up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000.
  • 3rd Conviction (felony): Up to two years in jail and/or a fine of $2,500.

Given the severity of these penalties, the representation of an aggressive domestic violence defense attorney is crucial to navigate the legal process and mitigate potential penalties.

Domestic Abuse

In Michigan, “domestic abuse” encompasses behaviors beyond physical violence, including emotional, sexual, and psychological abuse within domestic settings such as relationships or households. The legal framework treats domestic abuse seriously, aiming to protect victims and prevent further harm:

  • First Conviction: Typically handled as a misdemeanor, punishable by fines and potential jail time.
  • Subsequent Convictions: May escalate to felonies with harsher penalties, including longer jail terms and higher fines.

Effective legal representation is essential for those accused of domestic abuse, to navigate the complexities of the law and safeguard their rights.

Aggravated Domestic Assault

Under Michigan Penal Code 750.81a, aggravated domestic assault is charged when the victim sustains serious injuries that require medical attention. Here are the penalties for aggravated domestic assault in Michigan:

  • 1st Conviction (misdemeanor): Up to one year in jail and/or a $1,000 fine.
  • 2nd Conviction (felony): Up to two years in jail and/or a $2,500 fine.

If you are facing charges of spousal battery or aggravated assault, it is crucial to have a competent team of domestic violence defense lawyers to minimize the potential penalties.

Stalking Laws in Michigan

In Michigan, stalking is defined as engaging in a pattern of behavior that causes someone to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested. This behavior includes actions like repeated unwanted contact, following, or appearing near a person without their consent.

The law considers these actions as stalking when they form a continuous pattern with a clear intent. If charged with stalking, severe penalties such as up to one year in jail and/or a fine of $1,000 can be imposed, making the representation by a skilled criminal defense lawyer crucial.

Other Considerations

While domestic violence charges carry harsh penalties in Michigan, there are other problems that can arise in addition to these – even if the accused is not convicted of criminal charges. As an example, a victim can use allegations of domestic violence to obtain a restraining order which can cause compilations such as losing your right to own a firearm.

Also, these allegations can be used as leverage in a divorce case in favor of the victim. It is also possible these allegations can be used as the basis to have the accused ejected from their family residence if they are currently cohabiting.

This spiderweb of legal troubles that can arise from domestic violence charges and allegations requires the skill of an experienced domestic violence lawyer to ensure that the accused receives the justice they deserve.