You Need To Take Domestic Violence Charges Very Seriously
The law comes down swift and harsh when a person is accused of assaulting someone with whom they have an intimate relationship. To prevent further violence, police will typically separate the parties and a judge will enforce it with a protection order.
It can be overwhelming to suddenly be facing criminal assault charges, court orders and being cut off from your loved ones. Your legal team at Ryan Maesen Attorney at Law understands the immediate trouble and the long-term consequences of domestic violence charges. As your defense lawyer, I will do everything in my power to defeat the charges or lessen the impact on your life and your freedom.
How Does The State Of Michigan Define Domestic Violence?
Under Michigan law, domestic violence is an assault or battery by a person in one of the following relationships with the victim:
- Current or former spouse
- Dating relationship or live-in partner
- Sharing a child together
- Residents of the same household (roommates, family members)
An assault is defined as putting another person in fear of harm. A battery occurs when a person carries through with the assault by making physical contact with the other person. A charge of domestic assault does not require that the accused cause lasting injury to the other person – any form of offensive, aggressive or unwanted physical contact can result in battery charges.
What Are The Penalties For Domestic Violence?
Unlike assault and battery charges, domestic assault charges often generate harsher penalties, and anyone facing charges for domestic abuse, spousal battery or stalking will require an aggressive, highly experienced criminal defense attorney.
Normally, misdemeanor crimes carry maximum jail time of one year. But a third offense of domestic assault or a second offense of aggravated domestic assault can be charged as high court misdemeanors, also known as “two-year felonies” because of the longer jail term that may be levied.
In domestic assault cases, the alleged victim does not have to be injured to bring charges against the accused. Criminal penalties for domestic assault convictions in Michigan include:
- First conviction (misdemeanor): Jail time not exceeding 93 days and/or a $500 fine
- Second conviction (misdemeanor): Jail time not exceeding one year and/or a $1,000 fine
- Third conviction (felony): Up to two years of jail time and/or a $2,500 fine
Aggravated Domestic Assault
A charge of aggravated domestic assault means that the alleged victim suffered serious or aggravated injuries requiring medical attention. Criminal penalties for aggravated assault convictions in Michigan include:
- First conviction (misdemeanor): Jail time not exceeding one year and/or a $1,000 fine.
- Second conviction (felony): Up to two years of jail time and/or a $2,500 fine.
In domestic violence charges, you may also be subject to a Domestic Relationship Personal Protection Order barring you from entering your home, having access to your children, owning a gun and more.
Experienced Defense Strategies For Domestic Assault Allegations
Domestic violence accusations are deeply personal and are often used as a catch-all reaction by one of the parties who call the police to make a disagreement stop. Unfortunately, the accuser may not understand how receptive law enforcement and the Michigan criminal courts are to even the most questionable allegations of abusive conduct.
The reality is, once the allegations are made – even if the accuser recants later – the prosecutor may still move forward with the charges. This can impact the accused’s personal and professional life from multiple angles and could require him or her to leave their home or lose custody of their children while enduring criminal penalties that will reshape their futures.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, you do not have to face the prosecutor’s office alone. I have defended both men and women accused of domestic violence in my 15-plus years of practice in the Grand Rapids area. You can count on me to guide you through the legal process and outline a customized domestic violence strategy for your unique circumstances so you can get your life back.
My aggressive and thorough approach has yielded real results for clients accused of domestic assault, including dismissed charges and acquittals at trial.
Call Day Or Night For Skilled Defense
Justice is not an entitlement or a guarantee. It must be fought for, even when the alleged victim’s account of events is not entirely truthful.
Maesen Law serves Kent, Allegan and Ottawa counties. You can call my Grand Rapids law firm 24 hours a day at 616-818-0011 or reach out by email to set up a free initial consultation.