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Plymouth Domestic Violence Lawyer

Whether it stems from an argument between a married couple getting out of hand, a disagreement turning into an aggressive dispute, or a simple misunderstanding, a criminal charge for domestic violence is very serious and could result in severe penalties for those involved. In the wake of such an accusation, a Plymouth domestic violence lawyer can investigate the allegations, build a strong defense, and work to clear your name of any wrongdoing. Through excellence in criminal defense, your diligent criminal attorney can provide legal representation and protection as soon as you become aware of the accusations against you.

Domestic Violence Laws

Michigan defines the criminal context of domestic violence within the state’s general assault and battery statute. For a criminal action to constitute domestic violence, the individuals involved must be family members or have an otherwise close relationship, as defined by Michigan Compiled Laws §750.81(2).

In this regard, a “close relationship” may entail any kind of relationship between:

  • Current or former spouses
  • Current or former dating partners
  • Individuals living in the same household
  • Individuals who share a child

An assault or battery between people in these groups is characterized as domestic violence under Michigan law.

Penalties for Assault and Battery Against Domestic Household Members

Legally speaking, an incident charged as assault may not necessarily involve any actual injuries to any party. Nevertheless, the potential penalties for a first offense may include a jail sentence of up to 93 days and a $500 fine.

For individuals with previous domestic violence convictions or who allegedly commit assault against someone who is pregnant, the charge is still a misdemeanor offense. The potential penalties increase to one year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. Individuals with two or more prior assault convictions may face a potential sentence of five years in jail maximum and a potential fine of up to $5,000. Given the harsh nature of potential penalties that defendants may face, they are recommended to contact a well-practiced Plymouth domestic violence lawyer when seeking help with building a legal defense.

Enhancements to Domestic Violence Penalties

There also are other factors that could further enhance the penalties for domestic violence-related assault. Under Mich. Comp. Laws §750.81a(2), an assault that does not involve a weapon but causes serious injury to another is a misdemeanor offense, with a potential jail sentence of up to one year and a fine of up to $1,000.

For a second or subsequent conviction under this section, the offense becomes a felony and contains a potential prison sentence of up to four years and a fine of up to $5,000. Mich. Comp. Laws §750.82 makes it a felony offense for individuals who assault another person with a gun, knife, club, or other dangerous weapons. A conviction for these offenses may lead to potential penalties of up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

Other Consequences for Domestic Violence Convictions

Lengthy probation may result from criminal domestic violence. If found guilty, you may be required to undergo counseling and/or substance abuse treatment, and the court may also order you to cease contact with the subject of the alleged assault.

Alternatively, Michigan maintains a domestic violence deferral program for first-time offenders, which allows those convicted of this offense to serve probation and complete certain requirements instead of serving a jail sentence. Anyone who successfully completes the program would not have a criminal conviction on their records. It may be worthwhile to speak with a domestic violence attorney in Plymouth about your eligibility for a deferral program before deciding your next step.

Contact a Plymouth Domestic Violence Attorney

If you are facing domestic violence charges, you may be unsure about court procedures, potential options for resolution, and the possible penalties for a conviction. Fortunately, a Plymouth domestic violence lawyer can provide assistance across all areas by providing excellence in criminal defense. Get in touch with an attorney today to discuss your case and learn how you could protect yourself through all ensuing legal processes.