Birmingham Domestic Violence Lawyer

In Michigan, as is the case virtually everywhere, it is against the law to commit assault or assault and battery against another individual. Engaging in this type of conduct is something that is viewed with a very real degree of scorn by society at large, but there are times when such actions are subjected to an even greater level of social stigma.

Being accused of committing an assault crime against a spouse, domestic partner, family member, former dating partner, co-parent or anyone living in the same household can bring not only severe criminal punishments, it can ruin reputations. Therefore, if you are facing a charge of this nature, a Birmingham domestic violence lawyer can be your greatest ally in defending your good name as well as your freedom. Call today to discuss the steps a defense attorney in Birmingham can take to assist you.

Key Domestic Violence Definitions

Broadly stated, assault in Michigan is defined as intentionally placing someone in fear of imminent harmful, offensive or unwanted contact.

It is important to note that no physical contact or actual injury need take place in order for assault to be charged, as long as the alleged victim did have an actual fear of impending harm the offense of battery, however, does require that there be physical contact resulting in harm or unwanted touching.

Even if the accuser does not sustain tangible injuries, it is possible for a defendant to be found guilty of battery.

Individuals who assault another without a weapon and who ultimately inflict serious injuries requiring medical attention will be guilty of “aggravated” assault and battery. For first-time offenders, this is considered a misdemeanor offense, though multiple, subsequent convictions can yield escalations in the severity of possible penalties.

Potential Punishments

Mich. Comp. Laws § 750.81 provides that domestic assault convictions can bring substantial monetary fines as well as periods of incarceration. Specifically, when it comes to crimes of this nature committed against anyone within the categories of domestic relationships mentioned above,

  • First-time offenders can receive jail time up to 93 days and/or a fine of up to $500
  • Second offenses bring possible jail time of up to one year and/or a fine of up to $1,000
  • Third and subsequent convictions are classified as felonies subjecting defendants to upwards of five years’ imprisonment and/or fines up to $5,000.

In cases of aggravated domestic assault, the penalties are more stringent, even for first-time offenders. An initial conviction on charges of this type can bring up to one year in jail as well as a fine of up to $1,000. A second (felony) conviction on a charge of aggravated domestic assault can yield upwards of two years’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,500 making it imperative a domestic violence attorney in Birmingham is contacted.

Building a Defense

Given the highly sensitive nature of domestic violence accusations, defending against charges of this type can pose a unique set of challenges.

The frustrating fact of the matter is that there are all many instances in which false allegations of domestic violence are made by individuals who are motivated primarily by feelings of jealousy, disappointment or rage. There are other situations in which accusations of this type are lodged in order to secure a strategic advantage in a child custody or divorce dispute.

Making matters worse if the fact that even in instances where the alleged victim ultimately retracts their tale of violence, once the initial complaint has been made to law enforcement, it may be impossible to stop legal proceedings from moving forward.

Clearly, domestic violence cases are a different breed from other types of legal matters, and it is essential for the accused to have the help of an experienced attorney with a track record of positive client outcomes.

A skilled Birmingham domestic violence lawyer will delve into the facts of each case in order to get to the truth of the events giving rise to criminal charges. The personal history, potential motivations and psychological background of the accuser will all be explored in order to get both sides of the story out into the open.

Reduction or dismissal of charges will always be sought, but if those results appear unattainable, substantial mitigation of penalties will be aggressively pursued.

Advantages of a Lawyer

A domestic violence conviction can have lingering effects on your life, besides the obvious possibility of jail time and costly monetary fines. Your standing in the community, your professional license and perhaps even your custodial rights to minor children can be lost, perhaps permanently, and it is critical that you take every measure available to prevent those outcomes.

If you are facing domestic violence charges in Southeast Michigan, take heart in the fact that zealous legal advocacy is within reach. To discover how a Birmingham domestic violence attorney with our firm can help, contact us today.