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Domestic Violence in Michigan

What is the Punishment for Domestic Violence?

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A first offense carries Domestic Violence a potential punishment of 93 days in jail and up to 2 years of time consuming, difficult and expensive probation. A charge of aggravated domestic violence carries a possible 1-year sentence in jail. Don’t worry! The law does not require you to do any jail and an experienced lawyer can help you.

Domestic Violence in Michigan

Domestic violence is an “assault” or “assault and battery.” A simple assault is an intentional action or threat of action which would make a reasonable person fear immediate harm being done to them. This is important because many people mistakenly think that actual physical touching is required to be charged with a domestic violence case. The key factor in finding an assault is when any person “reasonably” feels they are about to be harmed. Assault and battery is an event where someone is actually touched. It is one step beyond the simple assault. Examples of a battery are punching, shoving, pushing or scratching another person intentionally and without that person’s consent.

Domestic Violence in Michigan

Domestic violence can result in additional punishments above and beyond those for simple assault or assault and battery. A simple assault or assault and battery may be charged as domestic violence when the alleged victim is a spouse or former spouse, if there is or was a dating relationship, if there is a child in common, or a resident or former resident of his or her household.

Prosecutors and judges are often overzealous in the prosecution and punishment of domestic violence charges. The domestic violence defense lawyers with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will not be intimidated and we will zealously fight to avoid a conviction and jail time.

Enhanced Punishments for Domestic Violence with Prior Convictions

A domestic violence second offense carries a penalty of up to 1 year in jail and/or $1,000.00 fine. With two prior convictions, the penalty jumps to a 5-year felony with a $5,000.00 fine, or both. A domestic violence becomes the more serious offense of aggravated domestic violence if there is an injury.

Other Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction

Even a first domestic violence conviction can result in immigration and firearm consequences. An alien convicted of domestic violence can be deported, refused entry into the United States, or denied US citizenship. With decades of experience representing aliens charged with domestic violence and other assaultive crimes, LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has achieved unparalleled success in negotiating resolutions to minimize immigration consequences.

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Michigan judges have discretion when it comes to gun ownership, but federal law will prohibit someone convicted of domestic violence from possessing firearms. This is something a judge, prosecutor, or court-appointed attorney will almost never warn you about. It is probably becoming very obvious to you why you need an experienced, reputable, retained attorney at your side if you are charged with domestic violence.

Even if you’re guilty, You Still May be Able to Avoid a Conviction

If you are charged with domestic violence and there is a very strong likelihood that you will be found guilty at a trial, there still is hope. If the prosecutor knows that you have a respected, aggressive retained attorney, he or she will know they will be unable to pressure you into a quick guilty plea. If a prosecutor knows he or she has a virtually unbeatable case, they may try to pressure you into a bad deal. However, if you have a reputable retained attorney at your side, the prosecutor will know they cannot buffalo you into a plea. In situations where the evidence is overwhelming, an experienced domestic violence attorney will arrange a deferred conviction under the Domestic Violence Statute. With a deferred conviction, the defendant can earn a dismissal of all charges after successfully completing probation. Although a judge may be reluctant to give such a favorable sentence, a great lawyer will know how to make the most persuasive argument in court.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

How to Get a Good Sentence for Domestic Violence

The Defense Team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has a renowned record of achieving favorable results for clients charged with domestic violence in Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties and throughout Michigan. When you need someone to stand up and fight you, no matter what the challenge, we will have your back and we will not let you down. Call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

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“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

How Much Jail Time Will I Get for Domestic Violence?

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Domestic violence is a crime that is taken very seriously and can deliver harsh consequences. Prosecutors, police officers, and judges will relentlessly push for your conviction. Once you’ve been charged with this crime, you are most certainly terrified and thinking, What Can I Do Now?  or How Much Jail Time Will I Get for Domestic Violence?

 

Domestic Violence Defined

It is very common to receive inquiries asking, “How Much Jail Time Will I Get for Domestic Violence?” Before any punishment can be considered, it must first be determined if an assault actually occurred or whether a defendant is likely to be convicted. In many domestic violence cases, a conviction and jail time can be completely avoided.

Domestic Violence in Michigan

Domestic violence is an assaultive crime that occurs between family members, people with a romantic relationship, or residents of the same home. Typically, a domestic violence or domestic assault occurs when an assault or an assault and battery is alleged. For there to be a domestic violence, it is not necessary that there be any injury or even actual touching of another person. An aggravated domestic violence is a more serious charge and involves an assault and battery with an injury.

Typical relationships that can result in a domestic violence charge, as opposed to an ordinary assault misdemeanor, include spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, ex-partners, roommates, parents, and children.

Possible Punishments

In the event that you are charged with Domestic Violence, the possible punishment is dependent upon the severity of the allegations and whether there are any prior convictions. It is important to understand that the punishment could include both incarceration, years of probation, a financial penalty, and so much more. For example, if you are charged with Domestic Assault only once, then the offense is a misdemeanor that could have up to 93 days in jail/$500.00 fine. If you have been charged with this offense for a second time, there is a possibility of up to: 1 year in jail/$1000.00 fine. Your third offense is a felony and you may spend up to 2 years in prison/$2,500.00 fine. Additionally, you can be ordered to serve up to two years of probation on a misdemeanor and up to five years on a felony domestic conviction.

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An Aggravated Domestic Assault, first offense, carries up to 1 year in jail/$1000.00 fine. If you are charged with this offense twice, there is a possibility of up to: 2 years in prison/$2,500 fine.

If the offense involved a weapon, this is labeled as Felonious Assault and the punishment will be up to four years in prison.

Alternatives to Jail

Now that you’ve read the above, you may be convinced that you will spend some time in jail and pay a lot of money out of your pocket to the court. There’s a strong possibility that a top domestic violence defense attorney can help you avoid jail altogether. In many cases, a conviction can be avoided entirely. It may seem too good to be true, but you should know that there may be options available to you such as probation, a reduced charge, deferral and possibly a dismissal! When you have an attorney with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. in your corner, you don’t have to ask yourself, how much jail time will I get for Domestic Violence?

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

The prestigious legal team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. specializes in the criminal defense of charges such as Domestic Violence. Our exceptionally qualified attorneys know how to best protect you and get your side of the story heard. We will listen when others will not. If you’re worried about jail time for a Domestic Violence charge, call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form and one of our highly experienced attorneys will promptly contact you.

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“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Domestic Violence in Michigan

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Incidents of domestic violence are typically complicated and entangled, with conflicting accounts of what exactly has happened between two people. Too often, courts assume that the most obvious answer is the correct answer, leading to innocent folks paying for crimes they never committed. Due to bias or a rush to judgment, we see accused individuals overcharged for their crimes, and slapped with prison time that is much too aggressive given how there is generally two sides to every story. Domestic violence can involve allegations of an assault between spouses, siblings, roommates, parents, children, and even boyfriends and girlfriends.

Domestic Violence in Michigan

Charges of domestic violence, even without a conviction can result in serious, life-altering consequences for you, your employment, child custody, and family relationships. If you are facing domestic violence accusations, it is important to hire experienced and aggressive attorneys to help you strategize moving forward. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN P.L.L.C. is one of Michigan’s most experienced firms, with a proven track record of success in defending individuals who have been accused of domestic violence.

What makes domestic violence cases complicated?

When many of us hear the words “spousal abuse” or “domestic violence,” we tend to rush to judgment, painting the accused individual as an abusive monster deserving of the maximum penalty. In domestic violence cases especially, it can be difficult for men to get fair treatment since it comes down to “he says, she says” in many cases. Without a third party witness to the violence and abuse, courts often times make assumptions with no other evidence to consider. Additionally, false reporting is all too common, especially when one parent is trying to gain sole custody over the other or more money in a divorce settlement.

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Will I serve prison time for an incident if convicted of domestic violence?

Mandated prison time is less likely when represented by a reputable attorney with years of experience navigating the ins and outs of domestic violence cases. Often times, clients erroneously believe that incidents that are nonviolent will not be punished by jail time. In severe domestic violence cases, hiring an attorney will result in a lesser charge, which might entail community service, probation, or anger management and mandated counseling. In those cases where an accused is innocent, the goal of LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. will be for an outright dismissal of all charges!

Is hiring an attorney worth it?

A domestic violence charge will impact every aspect of your professional and personal life. The law may consider you innocent until proven guilty, but you are still susceptible to unfair treatment and assumptions. Hiring an experienced law firm to represent you will have a huge impact on your future. Many court appointed lawyers are conscientious; however, a court appointed lawyer will not meet you until the hearing date and there will be no opportunity for preparation. In most cases, careful and crafty preparation can set up a case for a dismissal or reduced charges instead of a conviction that would otherwise have occurred.

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The defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience winning misdemeanor and felony domestic violence cases throughout Michigan. If you are accused of domestic violence, spousal abuse or domestic abuse, call us today at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

Bond Reduced to a Personal Bond in Oakland County – Domestic Violence Case

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Can my sons bond be reduced to a personal bond on his Oakland County misdemeanor domestic violence case if he has been in jail for 30 days

I was retained last week on a 1st offense DV case. The client’s father met with me in my office and indicated that his son had been in jail for over 30 days on a high cash bond. He explained that his son had pushed his wife during a heated argument and he had confessed to everything during a recorded 911 call. I informed him that, regardless of the strength of the evidence, his son was entitled to a personal recognizance bond and explained that Michigan Court Rule 6.004 provides that a defendant who has been incarcerated for a period of 28 days or more must be released on personal recognizance. The only exception to this rule is when the court finds by clear and convincing evidence: that the defendant is likely to either fail to appear in court to present a danger to another person or the community.

We reviewed the numerous ways in which we could demonstrate that the client would not be a danger to anyone and that he would appear for all the scheduled court dates.

I was hired on the case and we were in court later that same day. He was home for dinner that night and we are now working to achieve an extraordinary result for our client in the case. Given the amount of time the client served and some weaknesses we’ve discovered in the case, it is appearing very likely that we will be able to get the charge taken under advisement (so no conviction will ever enter against our client), we will be able convince the judge to order no additional incarceration as part of sentence in the case and a very, very short period of probation (we are trying for 30 days).

Michigan Criminal Defense AttorneysThis is not the first time I’ve heard of defendants and lawyers not understanding that a misdemeanor defendant is entitled to a personal bond after 28 days. Even in a felony case, the felony defendant is entitled to a personal bond after 180 days. Delays must not be attributable to the defendant when calculating these time periods.

If you have a loved one who is in custody on a felony or misdemeanor cash or surety bond and a judge is denying a bond reduction, please feel free to contact LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. at (248) 263-6800 to consult with an experienced criminal bond reduction attorney. If you complete a Request for Assistance Form, a top Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney will promptly contact you.

Michigan Court Rule 6.004(C):

“Delay in Felony and Misdemeanor Cases; Recognizance Release. In a felony case in which the defendant has been incarcerated for a period of 180 days or more to answer for the same crime or a crime based on the same conduct or arising from the same criminal episode, or in a misdemeanor case in which the defendant has been incarcerated for a period of 28 days or more to answer for the same crime or a crime based on the same conduct or arising from the same criminal episode, the defendant must be released on personal recognizance, unless the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant is likely either to fail to appear for future proceedings or to present a danger to any other person or the community. In computing the 28-day and 180-day periods, the court is to exclude (1) periods of delay resulting from other proceedings concerning the defendant, including but not limited to competency and criminal responsibility proceedings, pretrial motions, interlocutory appeals, and the trial of other charges, (2) the period of delay during which the defendant is not competent to stand trial, (3) the period of delay resulting from an adjournment requested or consented to by the defendant’s lawyer, (4) the period of delay resulting from an adjournment requested by the prosecutor, but only if the prosecutor demonstrates on the record either (a) the unavailability, despite the exercise of due diligence, of material evidence that the prosecutor has reasonable cause to believe will be available at a later date; or (b) exceptional circumstances justifying the need for more time to prepare the state’s case, (5) a reasonable period of delay when the defendant is joined for trial with a codefendant as to whom the time for trial has not run, but only if good cause exists for not granting the defendant a severance so as to enable trial within the time limits applicable, and (6) any other periods of delay that in the court’s judgment are justified by good cause, but not including delay caused by docket congestion.”

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“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.

Getting Domestic Violence Charges Dismissed

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In Michigan, there is a statute that can be used to avoid a conviction in a domestic violence case…even when evidence of guilt is overwhelming. The reason for this “second chance law” is that people who are good and decent sometimes make terrible mistakes and a terrible moment in time should not define a person or ruin his or her future. Michigan’s first offender domestic violence law, MCL 769.4a, provides for a plea to be taken under advisement so that a conviction is not entered. When the defendant completes a period of probation, the case is then DISMISSED.  There is no public record of a conviction whatsoever.

Domestic Violence in Michigan

Getting a prosecutor and judge to agree to a plea under advisement pursuant to MCL 769.4a is not always easy. In cases where an alleged victim is opposed to the First Offender Statute, things will be even more complicated. A great criminal defense lawyer can help a defendant maximize his or her chances of getting an under advisement plea pursuant to the domestic violence statute.  Even in cases where a victim objects to this relief, the defense attorney may be able to negotiate a MCL769.4a resolution.  Complainants in these cases can be a spouse, roommate, child, parent or anyone else sharing a domestic relationship.

Good people make mistakes and a person should not be defined by the single worst moment in life.  In many cases a defendant is remorseful and the victim does not want his or her family member to be convicted of a crime and suffer the various consequences related to a criminal conviction.  With meaningful therapy and some education, it is likely in most of these cases that a similar incident will never happen again.  A domestic violence defense attorney who knows how to best work the system to obtain the best possible results is a defendant’s best hope.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys

Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers

The defense team with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has decades of experience successfully representing clients charged with domestic violence and getting the charges dismissed.  We have a strategy for these cases that is second to none and a track-record of consistent success.  Call us today for a free consultation at (248) 263-6800 or complete a Request for Assistance Form and we will promptly contact you.

Michigan Domestic Violence Statute

769.4a Assault on spouse, former spouse, individual with child in common, dating relationship, or household resident; plea or finding of guilty; deferral of proceedings; order of probation; previous convictions; adjudication of guilt upon violation of probation; mandatory counseling program; costs; circumstances for entering adjudication of guilt; discharge and dismissal; limitation; court proceedings open to public; retention of nonpublic record by department of state police; definitions.Sec. 4a.

(1) When an individual who has not been convicted previously of an assaultive crime pleads guilty to, or is found guilty of, a violation of section 81 or 81a of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.81 and 750.81a, and the victim of the assault is the offender’s spouse or former spouse, an individual who has had a child in common with the offender, an individual who has or has had a dating relationship with the offender, or an individual residing or having resided in the same household as the offender, the court, without entering a judgment of guilt and with the consent of the accused and of the prosecuting attorney in consultation with the victim, may defer further proceedings and place the accused on probation as provided in this section. However, before deferring proceedings under this subsection, the court shall contact the department of state police and determine whether, according to the records of the department of state police, the accused has previously been convicted of an assaultive crime or has previously availed himself or herself of this section. If the search of the records reveals an arrest for an assaultive crime but no disposition, the court shall contact the arresting agency and the court that had jurisdiction over the violation to determine the disposition of that arrest for purposes of this section.

(2) Upon a violation of a term or condition of probation, the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided in this chapter.

(3) An order of probation entered under subsection (1) may include any condition of probation authorized under section 3 of chapter XI, including, but not limited to, requiring the accused to participate in a mandatory counseling program. The court may order the accused to pay the reasonable costs of the mandatory counseling program. The court also may order the accused to participate in a drug treatment court under chapter 10A of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.1060 to 600.1084. The court may order the defendant to be imprisoned for not more than 12 months at the time or intervals, which may be consecutive or nonconsecutive and within the period of probation, as the court determines. However, the period of imprisonment shall not exceed the maximum period of imprisonment authorized for the offense if the maximum period is less than 12 months. The court may permit day parole as authorized under 1962 PA 60, MCL 801.251 to 801.258. The court may permit a work or school release from jail.

(4) The court shall enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed as otherwise provided in this chapter if any of the following circumstances exist:

(a) The accused commits an assaultive crime during the period of probation.

(b) The accused violates an order of the court that he or she receive counseling regarding his or her violent behavior.

(c) The accused violates an order of the court that he or she have no contact with a named individual.

(5) Upon fulfillment of the terms and conditions, the court shall discharge the person and dismiss the proceedings against the person. Discharge and dismissal under this section shall be without adjudication of guilt and is not a conviction for purposes of this section or for purposes of disqualifications or disabilities imposed by law upon conviction of a crime, but it is a prior conviction in a prosecution under sections 81(3) and (4) and 81a(3) of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.81 and 750.81a. There shall be only 1 discharge and dismissal under this section with respect to any individual.

(6) All court proceedings under this section shall be open to the public. Except as provided in subsection (7), if the record of proceedings as to the defendant is deferred under this section, the record of proceedings during the period of deferral shall be closed to public inspection.

(7) Unless the court enters a judgment of guilt under this section, the department of state police shall retain a nonpublic record of the arrest, court proceedings, and disposition of the criminal charge under this section. However, the nonpublic record shall be open to the following individuals and entities for the purposes noted:

(a) The courts of this state, law enforcement personnel, the department of corrections, and prosecuting attorneys for use only in the performance of their duties or to determine whether an employee of the court, law enforcement agency, department of corrections, or prosecutor’s office has violated his or her conditions of employment or whether an applicant meets criteria for employment with the court, law enforcement agency, department of corrections, or prosecutor’s office.

(b) The courts of this state, law enforcement personnel, and prosecuting attorneys for either of the following purposes:

(i) Showing that a defendant in a criminal action under section 81 or 81a of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.81 and 750.81a, or a local ordinance substantially corresponding to section 81 of that act has already once availed himself or herself of this section.

(ii) Determining whether the defendant in a criminal action is eligible for discharge and dismissal of proceedings by a drug treatment court under section 1076(5) of the revised judicature act of 1961, 1961 PA 236, MCL 600.1076.

(c) The department of human services for enforcing child protection laws and vulnerable adult protection laws or ascertaining the preemployment criminal history of any individual who will be engaged in the enforcement of child protection laws or vulnerable adult protection laws.

(8) As used in this section:

(a) “Assaultive crime” means 1 or more of the following:

(i) That term as defined in section 9a of chapter X.

(ii) A violation of chapter XI of the Michigan penal code, 1931 PA 328, MCL 750.81 to 750.90h.

(iii) A violation of a law of another state or of a local ordinance of a political subdivision of this state or of another state substantially corresponding to a violation described in subparagraph (i) or (ii).

(b) “Dating relationship” means frequent, intimate associations primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional involvement. This term does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between 2 individuals in a business or social context.

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“We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

– LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C.