Michigan Domestic Violence Charges: All Questions Answered!

Michigan Domestic Violence charges create a world of anxieties. Let Prain Law, PLLC help... Facing a Michigan Domestic Violence charge? You've got questions. We've got answers, minus the B.S. Let's jump right in and tackle the questions on your mind...

Am I going to Jail? Probably not . For those facing a 1st time Michigan Domestic Violence charges and who are actually convicted, the truth is that Jail is hardly ever a concern unless the facts are totally egregious or you are in a rural jurisdiction with a wacky Judge. If it is your 2nd or subsequent Michigan Domestic Violence charge, the possibility of Jail time obviously increases with a conviction. But at Prain Law, PLLC, we have NEVER had a client facing a Michigan Domestic Violence charge go to Jail . What makes you think we'd let YOU be our first? Can I get rid of the No Contact Order that is keeping me from my children, my home, and my property? Most likely. I don"t have to tell you what the No Contact Order is; it's that thing making your immediate life a living hell, amongst all the other long-term anxieties. A No Contact Order is a standard Bond condition in all Michigan Domestic Violence charges . Here's the deal, at your next Court appearance, we can make a "Motion" to have it amended to a "No Assaultive Contact" Order so you can resume life as normal, but the Judge will rarely grant it without your accuser present in Court - so as your Domestic Violence Defense Attorney, we need to arrange for them to be there. For our clients facing Michigan Domestic Violence charges , getting the No Contact removed used to be standard, but the truth is, it's getting tougher these days. If you are facing a Michigan Domestic Violence charge in Wayne, Oakland, or Macomb Counties, the No Contact Order will probably be removed. In other counties like Washtenaw and Livingston, you might want to make alternate living arrangements while the case continues. If the No Contact Order remains in-place, how can I get my property? Via "Civil Standby ." At or before your next Court appearance, we can arrange a "Civil Standby," which is basically a Police escort to your residence to retrieve your most essential property items.

Is Domestic Violence a Felony or Misdemeanor in Michigan? It depends on what your past looks like . Here is the breakdown:

  • 2nd time Michigan Domestic Violence charges under MCL 750.81(3) are Misdemeanor charges (1 year max)
  • 3rd time Michigan Domestic Violence charges under MCL 750.81(4) are Felony charges (5 year max in State Prison)
  • If you are facing Michigan Domestic Violence charges under MCL 750.81(2) and have previously been convicted 1 time of either:
      • any offense involving the word "Domestic Violence"; or
      • a different type of Assault arising out of a "domestic relationship"...
    • you are facing Misdemeanor Michigan Domestic Violence charges (1 year max)
  • 1st time Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence charges under MCL 750.81a(2) are Misdemeanor charges (1 year max)
  • If you are facing Michigan Aggravated Domestic Violence Charges under MCL 750.81a(2) and have previously been convicted 1 or more times of either:
      • any offense involving the word "Domestic Violence"; or
      • a different type of Assault arising out of a "domestic relationship"...
    • you are facing Felony Michigan Domestic Violence charges (5 year max in State Prison)

What does the Court process entail? Will my family business be exposed in a public Courtroom? One Arraignment, several Pretrial Conferences or "Settlement Conferences," and either a Trial and/or a Sentencing - depending . If your Michigan Domestic Violence charges result in reaching a plea deal, then there will be an Arraignment, Pretrial Conferences (at one of which, your Plea will be taken), and a Sentencing. If you take your Michigan Domestic Violence charges to Trial, then there will be a full Trial in a public Courtroom. The type of case where there is the least exposure of your private business is in the case of a Plea of "No Contest" (where you do not have to state in Court what you allegedly did) and where the Complainant does not appear at Sentencing and make a "Victim Impact Statement."

Will there be a public record of my Michigan Domestic Violence charges? What is this "769 Domestic Violence Deferral thing about? Again, it depends . Any time that Michigan Domestic Violence charges are brought against someone, there is always a Court file created that is available to the public upon request. But that assumes that the person is aware of your Michigan Domestic Violence charges and in which Court they were filed. There is also a record-keeping system through the Michigan State Police. The "private" version for Courts and law enforcement is called the "Law Enforcement Information Network" ("LEIN"). The public version is called the "Certified Criminal History" ("CCH") available to any member of the public who knows your name and birthdate. This is where a potential employer, etc., could find out about the case. If you are found Not Guilty at Trial, the public CCH record is removed. If you Plead Guilty or are convicted without the "Deferral," the record of your conviction in CCH is permanent for all to see. If you plead guilty under MCL 769.4a (also called "769," the "Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral," and the "Spouse Abuse Act"), you will go on Probation, but if you successfully complete the Probation, the public record of the Michigan Domestic Violence charges are erased as it is not considered a "conviction."

Am I eligible for 769.4a? Probably, if you have never been convicted before . The Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral under MCL 769.4a is available to those who have not previously convicted of Michigan Domestic Violence charges. However, if you have used MCL 769.4a before, that still counts as a "conviction" for determining eligibility (new in 2013). HOWEVER, even though you are "eligible" under the actual law, certain County Prosecutors Offices have their own rules (the Prosecution must consent). For example, Washtenaw County has a ridiculous policy of not offering MCL 769.4a if you have ever been accused before - read closely, that says ACCUSED, not "convicted." Call Prain Law, PLLC for more details on this. Click Here for our articles specifically on MCL 769.4a.

What will the future look like when these Michigan Domestic Violence charges are over? Will I lose my job? How could this hurt me years down the road? It's quite arange. The best case scenario is to have a "triable" case, take it to Jury Trial, and be found Not Guilty of the Michigan Domestic Violence charges. The law enforcement records *should* be destroyed within 90 days of acquittal. Congratulations! You can now go on with your life and forget all about it for the most part. The second-best outcome is to have to plead Guilty for various reasons, but to receive MCL 769.4a, and the worst-case scenario is to be convicted outright with no Deferral. Whether or not Michigan Domestic Violence charges will result in job loss is a question of specific employer polices and whether you are an "at will" employee or not. If you are, they can fire you for any reason - even an unfounded accusation. It is best to have a Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Attorney contact the employer, as certain information should be withheld. Also, if you receive MCL 769.4a, you cannot ever use it again - thus, if at any time in the future, you should face Michigan Domestic Violence charges again, you are in a more compromised position.

Still have more questions? The best answers are only a phone call away. At Prain Law, PLLC, defending those facing Michigan Domestic Violence charges in Wayne, Washtenaw, Oakland, Macomb, Monroe and even is what we do! The call is free. The consultation is free. Our knowledge and experience is priceless! Call Prain Law, PLLC at (248) 731-4543. Don't feel like talking? No problem! Just e-mail us using the Contact Form
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