Domestic violence is a criminal offense, just like all other violent offenses like assault and battery. In Michigan, any act of assault against a current or former spouse, an individual with whom the offender shares children, a current or former member of the offender’s household, or an individual whom he or she is dating may be charged as an act of domestic violence.
In Michigan, domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. How it is charged depends on a few factors, including whether the alleged victim suffered a serious bodily injury and if the alleged offender has previous domestic violence convictions on his or her record.
Many individuals who feel they are at risk of facing domestic violence choose to enact personal protection orders (PPOs), commonly known as restraining orders. A PPO is a court order that prohibits an alleged abuser from making contact with the individual who obtained the PPO. A PPO can include the following requirements:
Violating a PPO is an act of criminal contempt. The penalties for this violation are a fine of $500 and up to 93 days in jail.
For an individual’s first and second domestic violence charges, he or she faces a misdemeanor. Penalties for a first-time domestic violence charge that does not involve bodily injury are:
For a second offense or one involving bodily harm, the penalties are a $1,000 fine and up to one year in jail.
For a third offense, an individual faces up to two years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
Domestic violence is one of the few offenses that do not require law enforcement to have an arrest warrant to make an arrest. When law enforcement has reason to believe that an individual committed or is in the process of committing domestic violence or a PPO violation, they can arrest him or her.
If you have been charged with domestic violence or violating the terms of a personal protection order, you need to start working on your legal defense strategy with an experienced domestic violence defense lawyer now. To get started with a member of our team, contact Van Den Heuvel Law Office today to set up your initial legal consultation with us.