In Michigan, accusations of domestic violence are taken very seriously. In the era of #MeToo, courts and juries are much more likely to take a victim’s allegations seriously, even when they are questionable. While it is good that these charges are taken more seriously than they once were, it has also resulted in innocent people being charged when they did not commit a crime. In the worst cases, those innocent people are convicted and face harsh penalties as a result. It is for this reason that anyone accused of this offense must speak to a domestic violence lawyer near them who can assist with their case.
Domestic violence in Michigan is defined as a pattern of violent or threatening behavior that is generally used to control another person. For domestic charges to apply, the alleged victim must have a very specific relationship with the person they are accusing, which are as follows:
Any time any of these individuals accuse someone of domestic violence and it results in a conviction, the penalties are very harsh.
Penalties for even a first conviction of domestic violence are very serious. For this misdemeanor, penalties include up to 93 days in jail or a maximum $500 fine, or both. A second conviction is still a misdemeanor, but penalties increase to up to one year in jail or a maximum fine of $1,000, or both. Individuals convicted of a third domestic violence offense will face up to two years in jail or a maximum fine of $2,500, or both. A third conviction for domestic violence is considered a felony in Michigan.
Unfortunately, these are not the only consequences a person will face after being accused of domestic violence. Even when the accused is not convicted, the alleged victim may still seek a restraining order, which can result in the person named in the order losing their Second Amendment rights. When a spouse is making the accusations, they may also do so to secure a better divorce settlement, or to have a spouse removed from the home.
Being charged with domestic violence is very scary. If you are facing charges or someone is accusing you of this offense, our Michigan domestic violence lawyers at Van Den Heuvel Law Office are here to answer your questions and advise on your case. Our knowledgeable attorneys know how to defend against domestic violence charges, will build you the strongest case possible, and ensure your rights are upheld at all times. You do not have to go through this alone. Call us today or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation and to learn more about how we can help.