Aggravated Domestic Violence in Michigan

Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence

Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence charges can be a Felony or Misdemeanor under MCL 750.81a(2) or (3)

Is Aggravated Domestic Violence a Felony or Misdemeanor in Michigan?

A first offense Aggravated Domestic Violence is a Misdemeanor under Michigan law that can land you in Jail for up to 1 year and/or be subject to a fine of up to $1,000.00.  Aggravated DV can also be charged as a Felony with up to 5 years in Prison depending on past criminal history (see below).

What is Aggravated Domestic Violence in Michigan? How is Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence (“Aggravated Domestic Assault”) Defined?

At PrainLaw, PLLC, we are a Michigan Criminal Defense firm that concentrates specifically on defending those accused of Assault and Domestic Violence. So here is the question: “What is Aggravated Domestic Violence in Michigan?” Aggravated Domestic Violence charges under MCL 750.81a(2) are brought when someone allegedly commits Domestic Violence that results in “serious or aggravated injury.”


Under Michigan law, Domestic Violence (“Domestic Assault”) is an Assault or an Assault and Battery upon your “spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a resident or former resident of his or her household…

CLICK HERE for the definition of “Assault” and “Assault and Battery” in Michigan…

Aggravated Domestic Violence in Michigan is a Domestic Assault that is distinguishable from other Assaults because it causes a “serious or aggravated injury,” but not with a weapon like Felonious Assault, and also without “intending to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm less than murder,” like Assault With Intent to Commit Murder or Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder.

In Michigan, what does “serious or aggravated injury” mean?

Under Michigan law, a “serious or aggravated injury” is one that does any of the following:

Can I get a Domestic Violence Deferral (also called “Spouse Abuse Act”) if I am charged with Aggravated Domestic Violence?

Yes, even when you are charged with a Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence offense, you are still eligible for MCL 769.4a as long as you have not been previously convicted of Domestic Violence, Aggravated Domestic Violence, or any other “assaultive” crime.

It is important to note that as of 2013, if you have already received MCL 769.4a in a previous Domestic Violence case and therefore were not “convicted” for other purposes under the law, that still counts as a “conviction” under 769.4a and you will not be eligible again this time. If you want to avoid a conviction for Aggravated Domestic Violence, you’ll either need to get an outright dismissal or a verdict of NOT GUILTY at Trial (or convince the Prosecutor to agree to if after a loss at Trial, which is unlikely).

Finally, you should realize that in order to get 769.4a in an Aggravated Domestic Violence case, the law says that both the Prosecutor and your accuser must agree to it. Because Aggravated Domestic Violence, by its nature, involves an alleged “serious or aggravated injury,” this will make the Prosecutor (and perhaps your accuser) more reluctant to agree to 769.4a.

What happens if I’m charged with an Aggravated Domestic Violence crime in Michigan and I’ve already been convicted of Domestic Violence or some other assaultive crime in the past? 

If you have previously been convicted of 1 or more assaultive crimes “involving domestic violence,” meaning the alleged victim is your “spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a resident or former resident of his or her household,” and are now charged with Aggravated Domestic Violence, then the new Aggravated Domestic Violence CAN be charged as a FELONY punishable by “imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.”

Here is the list of prior assaultive crimes “involving domestic violence” that can elevate a new Aggravated DV (“Aggravated Domestic Assault”) to a Felony:

**Note that, unlike in a regular case of Non-Aggravated Domestic Violence in Michigan (where the law requires two or more such prior convictions to elevate it to a Felony), if you are charged with Aggravated DV, it only takes 1 prior.**

If I got a MCL 769.4a on my first Domestic Violence charge, is this considered a “conviction” for purposes of making a new Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence charge a Felony?

YES. Even though it’s not a “conviction” in other areas of the law, paragraph 5 of MCL 769.4a specifically says it IS a “conviction” for enhancing a new Aggravated Domestic Violence (“Aggravated Domestic Assault”) charge to a Felony.  

What is the Sentence for Aggravated Domestic Violence in Michigan? Will I go to Jail for Aggravated Domestic Violence?

If you are convicted of Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence (“DV”) under MCL 750.81a(2) is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.  As seen above, with a prior, the penalty is increased immensely.

Whether or not you will actually receive Jail time in your Aggravated DV case depends on the gravity of any injury, how your vigorously Aggravated Domestic Violence case is defended, and the efficiency of your Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence defense lawyer.

Often, people convicted of Aggravated Domestic Violence first offense in Michigan don’t receive Jail, but it is more possible than in a case of standard Domestic Violence. In lieu of Jail or after any Jail term imposed, you may also receive a Probation sentence from 6-18 months (24 mos. is the maximum). Typical conditions of Probation for Aggravated DV include:, reporting on a monthly basis, community service or District Court Work Program, and/or weekly “batterer’s awareness” program for up to a year (or other counseling), psychological evaluation.

Will the Judge make me pay my accuser’s hospital expenses if I am convicted of Aggravated Domestic Violence in Michigan?

If (and only if) you are convicted of Aggravated Domestic Violence in Michigan, under the Michigan Crime Victim Rights Act, the Court WILL order you to pay your accuser’s medical expenses and other resulting expenses, even including lost wages. This is called Crime Victim Restitution.

At PrainLaw, PLLC, we have won NOT GUILTY verdicts in cases involving very serious injuries where our client was accused of inflicting a “serious or aggravated injury,” even where the injury required extensive medical procedures, surgery, hospitalization, and recovery. If you are facing a Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence charge, call PrainLaw, PLLC anytime at (248) 763-0641 or (844) CRIM-HELP. Need answers but not free to talk? Use our confidential e-mail Contact Form here: