Michigan Domestic Violence Law Gets Tougher - MCL 769.4a

Michigan Domestic Violence Law - MCL 769.4a Has Changed to Make it Harder to Get the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral...

The Michigan Domestic Violence lawMCL 750.81(2), is already harsh.  Essentially, if someone in a domestic relationship accuses you of doing an act that doesn't even necessarily involve touching at all, you can be at risk of doing up to 93 days in Jail and/or a fine of up to $500 for a "first offense."

Penalties under the Michigan Domestic Violence Law get even harsher if you've been convicted, up to 5 years in Prison if charged with a Michigan Domestic Violence Felony (and on up if charged as an Habitual Offender).  If you have questions about your charges under the Michigan Domestic Violence law, you should stop reading and call a Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer.

If you're facing a Michigan Domestic Violence charge (also called a Michigan Domestic Assault charge) and have been researching online, you're probably aware of MCL 769.4a, the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral.  This is part of the Michigan Domestic Violence law that allows someone who does not want to have a Domestic Violence Trial but has never been convicted of a Domestic Violence charge (and where other conditions are met) to plead Guilty or be found Guilty, go on Probation, and avoid ever having a permanent, public conviction under the Michigan Domestic Violence law.  But as of 2013, the requirements have gotten stricter...

 Under the old Michigan Domestic Violence law, a person could get MCL 769.4a more than once.  In other words, MCL 769.4a allowed for someone to be twice charged with Domestic Violence in Michigan, never have to go through a Trial, plead Guilty twice, and STILL walk away with no permanent, public record of any conviction under the Michigan Domestic Violence law.  THIS IS NOT THE CASE ANYMORE, even though Lawyers may be mistakenly advising their clients that it is!

Under the new Michigan Domestic Violence law, a person can get the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral under MCL 769.4a only once.  In other words, the Michigan Domestic Violence law now says that even if you have successfully completed your Probation on a prior Domestic Violence case and the case was indeed "dismissed" (really, "deferred"), that prior case will be treated as a "conviction" if you are accused of violating the Michigan Domestic Violence law again.  Thus, even if the new accusation is a complete lie and the Prosecutor knows it, you will NOT be eligible for another Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral under MCL 769.4a.  This is specifically stated in MCL 769.4a(5).

**NOTE: In some Courts, the Prosecutors may refuse to agree to the Domestic Violence Deferral under MCL 769.4a if your accuser tells their Victim Advocate that you have "done it before" - even if the Police were NEVER even called!  This means they treat an unfounded accusation from years ago as if it were a "conviction."  For example, this is true of Domestic Violence charge in Washtenaw County 14A-1 District Court.  However, this can be overcome at the Domestic Violence Pretrial...**

If you are accused of violating the Michigan Domestic Violence law and have already used the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral in a prior case, what it all comes down to is this: if you cannot afford to have a permanent violation of the Michigan Domestic Violence law on your public record, you're going to need to find a great Michigan Domestic Violence Defense Attorney and have a successful Trial.  If you're still reading, Call The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC anytime at (248) 763-0641 and get your questions answered NOW.  Don't feel like talking at the moment?  Fill out the Contact Form and we'll reach out to you in the near future.

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