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Michigan Domestic Assault Charges

In Michigan, the crime of assault occurs when a person has placed another person in fear of being hurt, they do not actually have to necessarily touch them, they just must put them in fear of being hurt. An assault is an attempt to commit a battery or an act that would cause a reasonable person to be in fear or to apprehend or believe that they are facing an immediate battery.

If you are facing assault and domestic violence charges in Michigan, a distinguished domestic violence lawyer can help you create the most appropriate defense for your future. A Michigan domestic assault lawyer will have knowledge of local laws that may apply to your case and may help to mitigate penalties.

Defining Domestic Violence

Domestic violence only applies to domestic scenarios, it is the certain category of persons that fit into that category of being domestic and that usually means either they have a relationship with them or they live with them in the same household. For example, domestic violence would be an assault or a battery that occurs against a spouse or a former spouse, someone that they have dated in the past, or someone that they live with.

Domestic violence is an assault or battery that has the additional element of the specific relationship.

Basic Assault Charges

If a person makes a fist and starts swinging it toward someone’s face, they have assaulted them, once they actually strike the other person jaw, that what is where the battery happens, but the assault happens just because they have attempted to or has placed another person in fear. The individual must have the intent to commit a battery or to put someone in fear of an immediate battery.

An assault cannot happen by accident and if there are assault and domestic violence charges in Michigan or an allegation of assault, the person must have had the ability to commit the battery or at least have appeared to have the ability or maybe even just thought that they had the ability to commit the battery. Assault and battery pretty much always go hand and hand and a battery is almost always preceded by an assault.

A battery is a forceful, offensive, or violent touching, hitting, or hurting of a person or something that is closely connected with that person. A person does not have to actually hit their body, if they are walking with a cane in that connection, it would be a battery. It cannot be accidental and it must be done with specific intent, now those are what are defined as assault and battery and those things can be committed in order to defend a person, it does not matter who they are, it does not matter what their relationship is to a person.

Elements of Domestic Assault

A person that is charged with domestic violence is by definition being charged also with assault or battery because. In order to be charged with domestic violence, they have to either commit an assault or a battery against a domestic partner. One assumes the other and it would in most instances be inappropriate for a prosecutor to charge a person separately under two separate criminal statutes, although it might be possible for the prosecutor to do it.

The question would become whether it would be double jeopardy for a person to be convicted of both crimes and that would be something that their lawyer would have to resolve with the judge. Battery, assault and domestic violence charges in Michigan committed against a domestic person with whom they have a domestic relationship. An assault and battery without being domestic violence is the same thing; it is just against the person that they do not have a domestic relationship with. Assault and battery are much broader because it does not require a domestic relationship, domestic violence is much narrower because it does require a domestic relationship.

Unique Aspects of Domestic Assault

The difference of domestic violence case treatment to assault in Michigan is that the judge might be trying to look for a circumstance under which the domestic violence case can be used as a catalyst to make the relationship better in the long run. Domestic violence has a unique advisement opportunity where a judge under the appropriate circumstances can take the domestic violence under advisement, that will actually be dismissed after a successful probation. The goal is to use the offense in the probation to make sure that the appropriate services are offered so that the parties can preserve the domestic relationship in a much healthier way. There is a statute specific to domestic violence cases that can sometimes allow this to happen.

Domestic violence charges tend to be some of the more difficult ones for prosecutors to prove because it is often one person’s word against another and there is sometimes a reason for exaggeration or for outright lying by the party that is making the claims.

Unfortunately, false complaints and charges are usually made as an attempt to use these charges as leverage in a divorce, a property dispute, or in some other way to have power over the other person. Sometimes the judge can recognize what is going on and dismisses the case. Juries often look at these cases and decide that the prosecutor has not met their burden of proof.