Michigan Domestic Violence Definition - Criminal Defense

Michigan Domestic Violence Definition; Is What I'm Accused of Really Considered "Domestic Violence"?

The Michigan Domestic Violence definition has been a subject of controversy.  If you're facing a Michigan Domestic Violence charge, you may be wondering: "Does the act that I'm accused of really meet the Michigan Domestic Violence definition?  Even if I did it, it just seems silly."  Well, you're not alone.  While the legal definition of Domestic Violence under MCL 750.81(2) isn't exactly as broad as Oprah and Dr. Phil would like us to believe (i.e. "mental abuse" and verbal fighting), the Michigan Domestic Violence definition does include more than what most of us might think of when we hear the word "violence." The official Michigan Domestic Violence law (actually called "Domestic Assault") is MCL 750.81(2), but it does not contain the actual Michigan Domestic Violence definition.  The actual Michigan Domestic Violence Definition is contained in the body of "case law" by our Appellate Courts interpreting the MCL 750.81(2).  Here is what the Michigan Domestic Violence Definition comes down to:

  •  Domestic Violence in Michigan is an Assault or Assault and Battery upon a "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."
  • An "Assault and Battery" is any intentional, unwanted touching that is: forceful, violent, or offensive.  Note that the touching may be by your own body or by any object set in motion by you.  Also, the touching may be directly upon the other person's body or upon any object closely connected to them.
  • An "Assault" is either: an unsuccessful attempt to commit a Battery; or any act that would put a reasonable person in apprehension of an immediate Battery.  Note then, that the Michigan Domestic Violence definition includes an "Assault" where there is no "Battery" (i.e. the Michigan Domestic Violence definition does not require you to actually touch someone).

So here's the bottom line, while it is common-sense that the Michigan Domestic Violence definition includes alleged punching, kicking, slapping, choking, etc., based on the above law, here are a few more obscure things that, believe it or not, could meet the Michigan Domestic Violence definition:

  • Throwing an object and hitting a backpack or purse;
  • Swinging at the person with a pillow and completely missing;
  • Trying to spill water on someone and completely missing;
  • Swinging at Person 1, missing, and accidentally hitting Person 2;
  • The list goes on and on under the Michigan Domestic Violence definition...

But one thing is for sure, if you are convicted under the Michigan Domestic Violence laws, regardless of what you would define as "violence," that is the word that will be permanently stuck to your name for any interested member of the public to see (anyone can look at the State Police "ICHAT").  When it comes to getting a job or being admitted to an educational institution, you may not get a chance to explain that what happened was not "violent."  That's why you should always consider options like the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral, MCL 769.4a, or taking your case to Trial to convince a Jury that there is Reasonable Doubt as to whether the Michigan Domestic Violence definition has been met. Now here's the good news: even if you're accused of something that technically meets the Michigan Domestic Violence definition doesn't mean that you're Guilty of the Michigan Domestic Violence charge; it doesn't mean the Prosecution can prove it beyond any and all Reasonable Doubt.  You should contact a Michigan Domestic Violence defense firm, like Prain Law, PLLC.  We aggressively defend those accused of Michigan Domestic Violence charges every single day.  Every second you wait can compromise your defense.  Call now at (248) 731-4543.

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