Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge
Domestic violence charges always carry serious legal, criminal, and personal consequences. The repercussions of these accusations go far beyond the legal penalty. In Michigan, a domestic assault conviction can damage your reputation and substantially decrease the quality of your life.
Since the possible consequences of a domestic violence conviction are far-reaching, you will need to seek legal representation from an attorney for the best possible result in your case. At Revolution Law PLC, our domestic violence defense attorneys provide compassionate and aggressive representation focused on results. We are ready to stand by you to protect your interests and fight for you in court. With an office in Bay County, Michigan, we serve clients throughout Midland and Bay counties.
Domestic Violence in Michigan
In Michigan, domestic violence is defined as “domestic assault” and applies to assaults committed by persons against someone currently or formerly in certain relationships with them. According to the official website of the State of Michigan, you can face domestic assault charges if you assault your:
Current dating partner
Former dating partner
The other parent of your child
A current resident of your household
A former resident of your household
Although assault is the most common type of crime alleged in domestic violence cases, domestic violence is an umbrella term that refers to various behaviors through which a person physically, sexually, or emotionally abuses someone from the above-mentioned categories.
The Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
The possible penalties for a domestic violence conviction depend on the defendant’s criminal history and the severity of the offense:
If there are no prior convictions for domestic violence, the penalties include up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500;
If there are no prior convictions for domestic violence, but the alleged victim suffers a serious/aggravated injury, the penalties include up to one year in jail and a fine of $1,000;
If there are prior convictions for domestic violence, the penalties include up to one year in prison and a fine of $1,000; and
If there are two or more prior convictions for domestic violence, the maximum prison sentence increases to two years and a fine of up to $2,500.
For sentencing purposes, domestic violence crimes reviewed in the defendant’s criminal history include the following crimes committed by a current or former spouse, dating partner, household member, or the parent of their child:
Assault and battery
Assault with intent to murder, cause great bodily harm, or maim
In addition to a possible prison sentence and fines, people convicted of domestic violence in Michigan may be facing the following consequences:
Probation. Those convicted of domestic violence may also be sentenced to probation, regardless of whether the judge has imposed a jail/prison sentence or not.
Loss of license. In Michigan, a Concealed Pistol License (CPL) is immediately revoked when someone is convicted of domestic violence. If you have a license for legal, medical, or aviation fields, it will also be suspended or revoked if convicted of an assault-based offense.
Loss of firearm. It is illegal for persons convicted of domestic violence to purchase or possess firearms in Michigan.
Loss of job. Michigan law prohibits people with a domestic violence conviction on their record from being employed as a teacher or childcare worker.
Limited employment opportunities. Your domestic violence conviction will be seen by prospective employers on background checks, which can limit your employment opportunities.
Limited housing opportunities. Landlords routinely run a background check of prospective tenants and often reject applicants with certain convictions on their records.
Counseling/treatment. If appropriate, the judge may also order mandatory domestic counseling and/or anger treatment therapy.
Restraining order. The accuser can also request a Personal Protection Order against you to prevent you from (a) communicating with the accuser and other people covered by the order (e.g., children) and (b) appearing in certain locations, including the accuser’s home.
Deportation. Immigrants who were convicted of domestic violence risk being deported and losing their immigration benefits.
If you want to avoid or mitigate the negative consequences of a domestic violence charge, it is vital to hire a criminal defense attorney.
Legal Defenses for Domestic Violence
Being accused of domestic violence is not the end of the world. When represented by an attorney, you can explore several legal defenses that are available to you. Some of the common defenses to domestic violence charges include:
It was an accident. While you do not deny that the accuser was harmed, claiming that “it was an accident” means that you deny having the intent to cause injury to the accuser.
It was self-defense. Another common legal defense in domestic violence cases is claiming that you were trying to defend yourself or your children.
There is no evidence of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. In order to convict you, the prosecution must demonstrate evidence that shows you are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
The accusations are false. If you were falsely accused, your attorney will look for inconsistencies in the accuser’s story to defeat the accusations against you.
The success of your defense strategy depends on your level of cooperation with your defense attorney. You should be upfront and honest when discussing the details of your case with your attorney in order to ensure that they can build a strong and compelling defense on your behalf.
Consult a Criminal Defense Attorney to Learn More
Domestic violence charges can lead to devastating and unimaginable outcomes that are not limited to substantial fines and a prison sentence. The consequences of domestic violence charges are far-reaching, which is why it is vital to protect your rights with the help of an attorney. At Revolution Law PLC, our criminal defense attorneys are here to help you mount a rigorous defense to protect your reputation and future. Call now for a free consultation.