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Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence & Criminal Law

Domestic violence is not just a reason to end a marriage, it is a crime. Like with any other crime, an individual facing a domestic violence charge can only be convicted if the court finds him or her guilty of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt.

You can defend your case against a domestic violence charge with the help of a criminal defense lawyer. As soon as you can after you are arrested for alleged domestic violence, start working on your defense with a lawyer. Do not say anything about the alleged incident to law enforcement and do not answer any questions about it without first consulting with an attorney.

Domestic Violence Charges in Michigan

In Michigan, domestic violence can be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances of the case. Domestic violence is defined as any violence or realistic threat of violence between a married couple, a couple who has a child together, members of the same household, or a couple engaged in a dating relationship.

Penalties for Domestic Violence and PPO Violation Convictions in Michigan

There are two types of domestic violence charge in Michigan: domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault. A victim does not need to demonstrate that he or she was injured to file a domestic assault charge. To file an aggravated domestic assault charge, the victim must show that his or her injury necessitated medical attention.

Domestic assault is the act of attempting to injure or successfully assaulting a domestic partner as defined above. For an individual’s first and second offense, this is a misdemeanor charge.

  • For an individual’s first conviction of domestic assault, he or she faces up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500;
  • For a second offense, a convicted individual faces up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000; and
  • Once an individual is charged with domestic assault a third time, he or she faces a felony charge. The penalties for this are up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Aggravated domestic assault is defined as a domestic assault without a weapon. If the weapon use causes the victim to suffer an injury, the alleged abuser faces a felonious assault charge. This is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.

Otherwise, aggravated domestic assault is still a misdemeanor, but with steeper penalties than a simple domestic assault charge. For a first offense, the defendant faces up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. For a second offense, he or she faces up to two years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.

Work with an Experienced Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Lawyer

Never assume that a charge is a conviction. You have the right to tell your side of the story and defend your case in court. The most effective way to do this is to work with an experienced criminal defense lawyer to develop and present an effective defense strategy. To get started on your legal defense strategy, contact Van Den Heuvel Law Office today to set up your initial consultation with us.