Unlike the average assaultive crime, a domestic violence charge certainly raises emotional, psychological, and often familial issues that are inherently woven into the persons involved. This can affect the entire texture of the defense strategy. While every matter has unique and individual facts, the right criminal defense attorney can provide insight on legal defenses and a strategic course of action to charges that can be very challenging.
It is important to remember that each domestic violence case will is unique and will present a distinctive fact pattern that must be integrated into the overall defense theory of the case.
What is a Domestic Violence charge?
Domestic violence is a type of assault and battery, distinguished where there is a relationship between the defendant and the complainant. The relationship is defined by law as 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.”
Do I have to be in a romantic relationship to be charged with Domestic Violence?
Although domestic violence charges are commonly associated in situations involving a romantic relationships, the definition applies to a much broader class of individuals. This distinction could allow for creative plea bargaining and should be kept in mind throughout the case.
Is a Domestic Violence charge a felony or misdemeanor?
Domestic violence may be charged at both the misdemeanor and felony levels. The level of the charge depends on the defendant’s criminal history.
- A first offense is a misdemeanor punishable by no more than 93 days’ imprisonment, a maximum fine of $500, or both. MCL 750.81(1).
- A second offense is also a misdemeanor punishible by up to a 1-year imprisonment, a maximum fine of $1,000, or both. MCL 750.81(4).
- A third or higher offense charge is a felony and may result in a up to 5-years imprisonment, a maximum fine of $5,000 or both. MCL 750.81(5).
I have been charged with Domestic Violence, what do I do?
Call the experienced attorneys at Michigan Law Services, PLLC today for a free consultation. We will go over your case and discuss the legal options and defenses you have. We are in court every day defending our clients. We make the law work for you.