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 concerned and thinking, “How much jail time will I get for domestic violence?”
Domestic Violence Defined
It is common to receive inquiries asking, “How Much Jail Time Will I Get for Domestic Violence?” Before any potential punishment or specific sentence can be estimated, it must first be determined if an assault occurred or whether a defendant is likely to be convicted. In many domestic violence cases, an experienced, savvy lawyer can achieve a resolution without a conviction or jail time.
Domestic violence is an assaultive crime between family members, people in a romantic relationship, or residents of the same home. Typically, domestic violence or domestic assault occurs when an assault or assault and battery is alleged. There does not need to be an injury or even touching to be charged with domestic violence. Aggravated domestic violence is more severe and involves assault and battery with an injury.
Typical relationships that can result in a domestic violence charge, unlike an ordinary assault misdemeanor, include spouses, boyfriends, girlfriends, ex-partners, roommates, parents, and children.
If you are accused of Domestic Violence, the possible punishment depends on the severity of the allegations and whether there are any prior convictions. It is essential to understand that the sentence could include incarceration, years of probation, a financial penalty, and much more. For example, if you are charged with Domestic Assault only once, the offense is a misdemeanor that could result in up to 93 days in jail and a $500.00 fine. If you are accused of domestic violence for a second time, there is a possibility of up to one year in jail and a $100,000 fine. Your third offense is a felony, and you may spend up to two (2) years in prison and pay a $2,500.00 fine. Additionally, the judge can order you to serve up to two years on probation for a misdemeanor and up to five years for a felony domestic conviction.
A first offense of Aggravated Domestic Assault carries up to one year in jail, two years of probation, and a $1,000 fine. If you are charged with this offense twice, there is a possibility of up to two (2) years in prison and up to a $2,500 fine.
If the offense involves a weapon, this offense is called “Felonious Assault,” and the punishment will be up to four years in prison.
How Top Lawyers Help Clients Avoid Jail
The best criminal defense lawyers employ various strategies to help clients avoid jail for domestic violence convictions, with the ultimate goal of achieving the most favorable outcome. Here are some common approaches they may use:
Evidence Evaluation: Skilled defense attorneys thoroughly review all the evidence in the case, looking for weaknesses or inconsistencies. Aggressive defense lawyers will challenge the credibility of witnesses, including the alleged victim, and question the validity of the evidence presented by the prosecution.
Negotiating Plea Bargains: Defense lawyers often negotiate with the prosecution to reach a plea bargain that reduces or eliminates jail time. This can involve agreeing to a lesser charge or alternative sentencing options, such as probation, counseling, or community service. Top defense attorneys, such as those with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C., have the skill, reputation, and credibility to make things happen that other lawyers cannot accomplish.
Self-Defense Claims: If applicable, the defense attorney may argue that the client acted in self-defense or defense of others. Someone acts in self-defense if they act based on a reasonable response to a perceived threat. If the defendant asserts self-defense, the prosecution must disprove it beyond a reasonable doubt.
Challenging Evidence: LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. routinely files motions to suppress evidence obtained illegally or in violation of the defendant’s rights. If successful, suppression motions could weaken the prosecution’s case and lead to a dismissal or reduction of charges.
Pretrial Diversion Programs: In some cases, defense attorneys can advocate for their clients to participate in pretrial diversion programs, often involving counseling, anger management, or rehabilitation. Successful completion of these programs can lead to charges being dropped or reduced.
Character References and Mitigation: Attorneys may present character references and mitigating factors to the court, such as the defendant’s remorse, willingness to seek therapy or involvement in community service, to argue for leniency in sentencing. Our job is to persuade judges to consider rehabilitation instead of punishment.
Expert Witnesses: Lawyers may consult with expert witnesses, such as psychologists or forensic experts, to provide testimony that supports the defense’s position and challenges the prosecution’s case. LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has access to and a working relationship with the best of the best experts in the United States.
Alternative Sentencing Options: Defense attorneys may propose alternative sentencing options to incarceration, such as house arrest, electronic monitoring, or supervised probation. Our clients can rest assured that they will benefit from a team of attorneys collaborating to achieve the best possible result.
Familiarity with Local Laws: The best defense lawyers are well-versed in local laws, procedures, and the tendencies of judges and prosecutors, allowing them to tailor their strategies effectively to the specific jurisdiction. The benefit of hiring a top-tier criminal defense law firm is that we collectively have the contacts and familiarity necessary to give our clients every possible advantage in and out of court.
It’s important to note that each case is unique, and the strategies employed by top-tier defense lawyers will vary depending on the circumstances. The goal is to secure the best possible outcome for the client, which may include avoiding jail time, minimizing penalties, or even having the charges dropped altogether.
Alternatives to Jail Time for Domestic Violence
Now that you’ve read the above, you might think 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, the defendant can avoid a conviction. It may seem too good to be true, but you should know that options such as probation, a reduced charge, deferral, and possibly dismissal may be available! 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?”
Why do judges consider jail time for domestic violence cases?
Judges are expected to make impartial and just decisions in all legal matters, including domestic violence cases. However, there are instances where it may appear that a judge has unfairly ordered jail time in such cases. It’s important to emphasize that these situations typically arise due to various factors and are not necessarily indicative of intentional bias.
One factor that can contribute to seemingly unfair decisions is the availability and quality of evidence. In some instances, a judge may opt for incarceration based on the limited information provided, potentially leading to outcomes that seem unjust. Another contributing factor could be the unintentional influence of personal biases or beliefs held by the judge. While judges are trained to be impartial, they are humans. They can sometimes be influenced by their own perspectives, inadvertently affecting their decisions, particularly when deciding whether to impose jail time for domestic violence convictions.
Experienced and Effective Domestic Violence Defense Lawyers
The prestigious legal team at LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. specializes in the criminal defense of charges such as Domestic Violence. Our exceptionally qualified attorneys know how to protect you best 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 for a free consultation, and we will take the time to talk with you, answer your questions, and address your concerns. If you trust us with your representation, we will find a way to help you.
Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete a Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.
We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What usually happens in a domestic violence case in Michigan? Judges and prosecutors are often willing to negotiate for reduced charges and a probationary sentence for defendants without a previous record. Prior convictions complicate plea bargaining and sentencing negotiations. The first thing a lawyer does is collect and review all of the available evidence. Secondly, they work to build a defense strategy. An experienced lawyer design multi-tiered strategies so they are prepared for any circumstance. If the client desires to enter a plea bargain, the lawyer fights to get them the best deal possible. Conversely, if the client wants to plead not guilty and take the case to trial, the lawyer must do everything possible to win!
What’s the statute of limitations on domestic violence in Michigan? The statute of limitations on a domestic violence allegation is six (6) years.
How long do you go to jail for a misdemeanor in Michigan? With the right lawyer, you might not have to serve any time in jail. Judges determine a defendant’s sentence based on the facts of the case, the circumstances of the defendant’s life, the opinion of the victim and prosecutor, and much more. Skilled defense lawyers know what it takes to persuade a judge to focus on rehabilitation, instead of punishment.
How many years is assault in Michigan? Domestic Violence 1st Offense carries up to 93 days in jail. Prior convictions increase the maximum jail term. Felony domestic violence is punishable by up to five (5) years in prison.