Defense Against Domestic Violence And Assault Charges
Assault is a serious crime. Those who are convicted may face immediate repercussions such as jail or prison sentences and probation. Moreover, an assault charge can have a long-term effect on one’s ability to find and keep employment, making it difficult for them to move forward in life. No one wants their future to be overshadowed by this type of criminal conviction.
Domestic violence charges can have long-lasting, life-altering consequences, including imprisonment, probation and fines, mandatory attendance in anger management classes, and restricted contact with family members that the judge orders. Additionally, those convicted of domestic violence charges cannot possess a firearm due to federal law. Don’t let a single charge ruin your future – get informed and know your rights! If you are facing a domestic violence or assault charge, then it is critical to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney immediately.
In Michigan, assault is a broad category that encompasses any physical act done against another person which could lead to actual physical harm or the immediate threat of physical harm. The way an assault is carried out and the level of harm inflicted will influence how Michigan assault laws are interpreted. Depending on several factors such as whether there were any injuries, if a weapon was used or threatened, and the alleged level of harm, an assault can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony. Additionally, someone can not only face criminal charges because of an assault but may also be liable for civil action which includes being sued for monetary damages.
Domestic Violence Explained
Domestic violence is a form of assault that usually involves some sort of personal relationship between the alleged victim and perpetrator. This can involve an intimate partner or family member, as well as roommates. The occurrence of outbursts or lack of control due to the closeness of the relationship is common in domestic violence cases. Additionally, repeat offenders risk further charges with even harsher consequences. It’s important to note that a domestic violence conviction can lead to deportation for non-citizens. It’s imperative to know that a domestic violence charge can be charged as either a misdemeanor or felony depending on what happened.
Consequences Of A Conviction
Domestic violence allegations come with serious repercussions for defendants. If charged for the first time and no injuries were suffered by the complaining witness, then a defendant can face up to 93 days in jail, fines, and court costs. However, if a defendant is charged with domestic violence for a second time or the complaining witness has visible injuries, then up to one year of jail time may be imposed. Aggravated domestic violence carries even more severe punishments – up to five years in prison – if a defendant is charged with such a crime for the third time or aggravated domestic violence for the second time. A felony domestic violence conviction can result in up to five years in prison. Additionally, any conviction or admission to a charge of domestic violence will make it illegal for the defendant to own or possess a firearm per federal law.
Boyfriends and girlfriends, spouses, other family members – everyone fights at some point in time. Unfortunately, when these fights turn physical, one of the parties may face domestic violence or even straight assault charges. If this has happened to you, it is time to take action.
Legal Defenses To Assault And Domestic Violence
There are several defenses that are potentially available in an assault or domestic violence case. These defenses can potentially defeat a charge before or during a trial. The facts and circumstances of your case will determine what your best legal defenses are.
Your presence is a key factor in any assault case. The prosecutor must prove that you were present at the scene of the crime with no reasonable alibi for your defense, or else the jury can’t find you guilty. In addition, the prosecutor must show that physical contact was either made or attempted. Simply speaking threatening words isn’t enough – and if you attempted to hit someone but missed and struck someone else instead, you are still guilty of assault.
The prosecutor also has to prove your intent behind the contact; this means that if there was any criminal intent from the beginning, it will be assumed to have transferred even if your actions failed. Intent is determined by a variety of factors, including witness accounts and evidence such as video recordings.
Lastly, unjustified contact must be proven in order for an assault charge to stick – which brings us to self-defense. You are allowed to defend yourself when faced with immediate danger; provided your response matches the threat level, you may use it as a defense against charges. Remember though: a defendant does not have to prove their self-defense claim – they only have to raise it in court for it to be taken into consideration by the jury.
In Michigan, a law exists that allows those charged with first-offense domestic violence to have their convictions deferred and eventually dismissed after successfully completing a period of probation. The MCL 769.4a statute requires defendants to plead guilty or no contest in conjunction with the prosecutor’s agreement to participate in any related treatment programs.
Upon being sentenced in this manner, the defendant will then be placed on probation for an allotted amount of time, which includes completing anger management classes and other sorts of probationary requirements. Other first offender programs such as the Holmes Youthful Trainee Act (HYTA) or prosecutor deferrals may be available. It is important to speak to an experienced attorney to understand how these resolutions might apply to your case.
We Take Your Defense Seriously
Police, prosecutors and judges take assault charges seriously, especially domestic assault or threats of domestic violence. You need an attorney who can assert your rights in a fast-moving system that is stacked against the accused.Williams & Associates
At Williams & Associates, we do not shy away from assault and domestic violence cases or automatically encourage clients to plead guilty because we fully understand the penalties and collateral consequences of a conviction. Our approach is to challenge the government’s version of events and make sure that our clients have an opportunity to tell their side. We aim to provide a vigorous defense.
Tell Us What Happened
Call our Traverse City law firm at 231-735-8575 or contact us online. In a free initial consultation, we will listen to your circumstances and then explain your rights, where you stand and how we can help. We take cases in northern Michigan and statewide.