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Defending Domestic Violence Charges in Birmingham

Regardless of who the violence is perpetrated against, any violent act could lead to serious criminal charges. However, if the alleged target of that violence is a household member, the consequences of a potential conviction could become even more severe.

Anyone who is facing domestic violence allegations in Birmingham should take steps to protect themselves. Speaking with a seasoned attorney could help you in defending domestic violence charges in Birmingham. Your lawyer may be able build a powerful defense through the combination of evidentiary practice and witness cross-examination to achieve a positive resolution on your behalf.

What Makes an Action Domestic Violence?

There is no specific criminal action referred to as domestic violence in the Michigan Penal Code. Instead, the term domestic violence is used to describe criminal offenses committed against a certain group of individuals. These allegations can lead to criminal charges and potential protective orders that could influence many aspects of a defendant’s life.

The Michigan Domestic Violence Act defines domestic violence as any action committed against a household member that is intended to cause fear of mental or physical harm. This definition also includes any action that could reasonably cause fear of mental or physical harm. Because no clear action is defined, it is possible for a seasoned attorney in Birmingham to defend domestic violence charges.

Who Is Considered a Household Member?

Often, domestic violence is thought to be limited to romantic partners. However, Michigan defines a variety of people as household members. These could be anyone who has resided with the accused, including any of the following:

  • Spouse or a former spouse
  • Former or current dating partner
  • Former or current sexual partner
  • People related by marriage
  • Those who have lived with the defendant, including roommates
  • Individuals who share a child
  • Children

While defending domestic violence charges in Birmingham involving a former roommate or dating partner, a defense attorney could provide evidence that the relationship is insufficient in classifying the alleged victim as a household member.

What Happens After Charges Are Brought Forward

Instead of domestic violence specifically, those accused of such acts are usually charged with whatever crime allegedly took place in the context of their domestic relationship. In other words, the relationship between the accused and alleged target is what leads to an action being considered domestic violence.

For example, if someone allegedly assaulted someone living in their home, they may receive charges of assault. However, this could also be considered domestic violence, as the assault could cause reasonable fear. Other crimes that also commonly lead to domestic violence charges include:

  • Stalking
  • Harassment
  • False imprisonment
  • Sexual abuse
  • Child abuse

Defendants in these cases must address the listed charges as well as the potential domestic violence consequences. During an initial arraignment, the court could determine if a protective order should go into effect based on the relationships between the two parties.

A protective order, if granted, may require a defendant cease all contact with the plaintiff, move out of their home, or even lose custody and contact with children. A lawyer could help contest such charges with the goal of reducing or avoiding such penalties.

Learn How to Defend Birmingham Domestic Violence Charges

Individuals defending domestic violence charges in Birmingham alone may run into a number of difficulties. In addition to a case against the core criminal accusation, they must handle the stress of potentially losing their home and contact with loved ones.

For these reasons, it is wise to retain a defense lawyer to help handle any legal proceedings related to such charges. A qualified attorney could provide insight into the laws commonly used when defending domestic violence charges.

It is essential that cases involving domestic violence be handled with the utmost care. A seasoned attorney could use many strategies to defend against these charges and prevent damaging protective orders. Reach out today to discuss your options and begin building your case.