A domestic violence or domestic assault charge is not as simple as one spouse assaulting another spouse, neither factually nor legally. According to the Michigan State Police, there are more than 50,000 reported domestic violence cases a year, and each is unique and complex in its own way. Accusations of domestic violence or assault can be especially troublesome because the police will almost always arrest someone on the scene, resulting in at least one night in jail. The laws in Michigan allow for a number of factual scenarios to support a domestic violence charge.
First, there must be some type of assault. An assault is the act of putting someone in fear of a battery. A battery is simply the intentional, unwanted, and offensive touching of another person. Many people believe that in order to be charged with an assaultive crime that an actual, physical touching (aka battery) must occur. That is absolutely not the case.
In order for an assault to be considered domestic violence, there must be some kind of relationship between the two parties. An assault on a 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, qualifies as a domestic assault.
If convicted of your first charge of domestic assault, you are guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both. A second conviction of domestic assault is still a misdemeanor, but is punishible by imprisonment for not more than one year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both. A third conviction for domestic assault makes a defendant guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than two years or a fine of not more than $2,500.00, or both.
Perhaps equally important, is the potential to have a domestic violence conviction removed from your record or deferred. However, obtaining deferred sentencing in Michigan courts can be extremely difficult. Successful expungement or deferred sentencing requires skilled sex crime lawyers who can negotiate with both the prosecutor as well as the presiding judge. Especially when considering the life-changing consequences of conviction, it’s essential for anyone accused of Michigan sex offenses to contact knowledgeable defense attorneys for assistance. With a top criminal attorneys such as Nessel and Kessel Law on your side, you will know how to deal with the criminal justice system and the best options to work through that program.