All violent crimes are serious offenses in Michigan. But if you are charged with an act or threat of violence against a romantic partner, spouse, or someone else with whom you have a close relationship, prepare to face severe consequences that can upend your life from the moment police arrest you.
Michigan law, police, and prosecutors take an aggressive stance against those accused of domestic violence, imposing severe consequences upon conviction. Even before a judge or jury renders a verdict, a domestic violence arrest can disrupt family relationships, savage your reputation, and destroy your career. Regardless of whether you were falsely accused, acted in self-defense, or momentarily lost your temper, your future and your freedom are very much on the line.
The southern Michigan domestic violence defense attorneys at Collis & Griffor understand what is at stake for individuals charged with domestic violence. We also know that these charges are often based on untruths or misunderstandings. While victims of domestic violence no doubt deserve protection, so too do the rights of those charged with such crimes.
We believe that every person we represent deserves to have defense counsel who will listen to their stories without judgment and fight tirelessly for them without hesitation. We are relentless in our efforts to secure the best possible outcome for those facing domestic violence charges in southern Michigan.
What Is “Domestic Violence” in Michigan?
In Michigan, domestic violence charges are based on other criminal offenses such as assault, battery, rape, or harassment. What makes those crimes acts of domestic violence is the relationship between the alleged perpetrator and victim. Specifically, you could be charged with domestic violence if the alleged victim is:
- Your present or former spouse.
- A person with whom you are (or were) in a dating relationship.
- A person with whom you share a child.
- A current or former resident of your household.
Acts against any of these individuals, which could be the basis of a domestic violence charge and conviction, include:
- causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to the victim;
- placing the victim in fear of physical or mental harm;
- causing or attempting to cause a victim to engage in involuntary sexual activity through force, threat of force, or duress; and/or
- engaging in activity directed toward the victim that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, harassed, or molested.
Severe Penalties for Domestic Violence
If the alleged assault or battery does not result in serious injuries, you will likely be charged with domestic assault and face up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500 upon conviction.
However, if serious injuries are involved, the consequences become much more severe. A first conviction for aggravated domestic assault can send you to jail for up to a year and cost up to $1,000 in fines. The penalties for both domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault increase exponentially for subsequent convictions.
False Allegations Are Common
Often the emotions that lead to domestic confrontations can also be the basis for false allegations of threats or violence. Spite, revenge, or an attempt to get the upper hand in a divorce or custody dispute may result in untruthful charges. If someone has falsely accused you of domestic violence, you are not alone. One report found that allegations of intimate partner violence arise in about one-fourth of U.S. divorces, and in about 70 percent of those cases, the claim is found to be unnecessary or false.
Victims Don’t Drop Domestic Violence Charges
Many people accused of domestic violence in Michigan wrongly assume that everything will be fine if they can just get the alleged victim to “drop the charges.” But accusers don’t make the ultimate decision about whether to seek a conviction, prosecutors do. Don’t make the mistake of presuming that you’ll be in the clear if you and your purported victim reconcile.
Call Collis & Griffor Today for Your Free Consultation to Discuss Your Domestic Violence Case
Michigan prosecutors will not hesitate to bring the full force of the law down upon you if they believe you are guilty of domestic violence. At Collis & Griffor, PC, we will not hesitate to take every possible step to protect your rights and ensure that your voice is heard. Our tenacious and dedicated criminal defense attorneys have over 30 years of experience successfully defending those accused of domestic violence and other crimes throughout southern Michigan.
Please contact Collis & Griffor, PC, today at 734-827-1337, or contact us online to set up an appointment for a free initial consultation to discuss your domestic violence case.