In Michigan, domestic violence is charged under a domestic assault law when the victim has a particular relationship with the defendant. Domestic violence convictions not only carry the possibility of imprisonment and fines, like other crimes, but also may have a significant impact on family law matters, such as the parent with whom a minor child lives or whether alimony must be paid. At the Neumann Law Group, our criminal defense attorneys understand the long-term consequences of domestic violence charges and convictions. Grand Rapids and Traverse City domestic violence lawyer Kelly Neumann can help you protect your rights.Fighting Domestic Violence Charges
You may be charged with domestic assault under section 750.81 if you assault or assault and batter a current or former spouse, someone with whom you have been in a dating relationship, someone with whom you share a child, or someone with whom you live. Assault means that you attempted to cause a physical injury to someone, such as by trying to hit them, and you appeared to have the ability to carry out your threat, causing the victim to fear impending violence. Battery occurs if you intentionally use violence or force against someone, such as by kicking them.
In Michigan, the police may arrest you without a warrant under certain circumstances when domestic violence is alleged. The officer must have reasonable cause to believe that you committed or are committing a domestic assault.
In most cases, a first domestic assault or domestic assault and battery offense may be punished by at most 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. However, the penalties are harsher for subsequent convictions. When you have two or more prior domestic violence charges, a third or greater conviction may result in two years in prison, a $2,500 fine, or both. When domestic violence results in serious or aggravated injuries, but no weapon was involved, you may face up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. Penalties are much worse for domestic violence felony charges when weapons and serious injuries are involved.
Sometimes a person making an accusation of domestic violence petitions for a personal protection order. If you violate this order and are arrested, you might face criminal contempt charges, which entail more jail time.
You should retain a criminal defense attorney to defend you against domestic violence charges, even if it is the first time that you have faced criminal charges and even if the charges are not felony charges. A first offense misdemeanor may not seem to carry heavy penalties, but in addition to possible prison time and greater penalties for later offenses, a domestic violence conviction may affect determinations in family law matters. Moreover, on a first offense, you are eligible for a deferral under MCL 769.4a. This allows the court to defer further proceedings and put you on probation without adjudicating you guilty.Contact a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
Families may be torn apart by domestic violence charges. If you have been accused or charged, you should speak to a Traverse City or Grand Rapids domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. Our principal, Kelly Neumann, is an experienced trial attorney who is also knowledgeable in family law, and she can explain the potential consequences of a conviction for a family law proceeding. The Neumann Law Group also represents defendants in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Muskegon, Midland, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as in the Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or use our online form to set up a free appointment with a domestic violence or restraining order attorney.