Michigan Domestic Violence Attorney
Domestic violence is a serious matter that impacts many families throughout Michigan and the United States. However, not every allegation of domestic violence is valid. The state must prove each element required for a conviction of domestic violence before you can be found guilty and sentenced to jail and/or forced to pay a fine. If you are facing a criminal charge, you need to consult with attorneys who understand the elements required to prove domestic violence in Michigan and the best ways to fight the evidence presented by the prosecution. Call (517) 347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Lansing.
Domestic Violence Charges in Michigan
Domestic assault and battery charges fall under the same code section for assault and battery. The difference is not the actions that were taken or the injury inflicted, but the person who is the victim in the case. For a charge of domestic assault or battery to be filed against you, the victim must be related to you in one of the following ways:
- A current or former spouse;
- A person with whom you share a child;
- A current or former resident of your household; or,
- A person with whom you have been or are currently dating.
Assault against one of these individuals is defined as intentionally causing fear or bodily harm to the person or unwanted contact with the person. You do not need to physically touch the person or cause bodily harm to the person to be charged with the crime. The act of causing fear or harm or fear of being touched without consent is enough for a charge of assault. On the other hand, a charge of battery does require unwanted touching or touching without consent that would be considered offensive by another person. It also includes bodily harm or injury to the other person because of your intentional physical contact with the person. As with assault, you can be charged with battery even if you did not cause bodily harm if the “touching” or “contact” was unwelcome, without consent, or offensive.
What are the Penalties for Convictions of Domestic Violence?
Domestic assault and battery is divided into simple assault and aggravated assault. The difference between the two charges is the level of injury sustained by the victim.
Simple or regular domestic assault and battery is governed under Michigan Compiled Code §750.81. For the first conviction, you can serve up to 93 days in jail, pay a fine of up to $500, or both. For a second conviction, the maximum jail time increases to one year and the maximum fine increases to $1,000. Both charges are misdemeanors. However, a third conviction under this code section is a felony with up to two years in jail, a fine up to $2,500, or both.
If your charges fall under the aggravated domestic violence statute of Michigan Compiled Code §750.81, you face more severe penalties for a first and second conviction. The first conviction is a misdemeanor and carries a maximum of one year jail time, up to $1,000 in fines, or both. For a second conviction, you are guilty of a felony and can face up to two years in jail, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
Stalking Charges in Michigan
Sometimes a related charge in a domestic violence case is a stalking charge. Stalking laws are outlined in Michigan Compiled Laws §750.411h. Stalking has a broad definition that can include anything from following someone to continuing calling that person to making the person feel frightened or terrorized. The penalties for stalking can be as severe or more severe than those for domestic assault and battery. Aggravated stalking convictions can carry penalties of up to five years in prison and fines up to $10,000.
Do Not Let a Domestic Violent Charge in Michigan Ruin Your Future!
Unfortunately, jail time and fines are not the only negative consequences of a domestic violence conviction. A conviction can follow you for many years because it becomes a part of your criminal record. Something that was a mistake and never should have occurred can cost you jobs, relationships, and opportunities. Instead of allowing this to happen, you need to contact The Clark Law Office to discuss your case with an experienced Michigan domestic violence defense attorney. Call our office at 517-347-6900 to schedule a free legal consultation with one of our experienced criminal law attorneys.