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Michigan Domestic Violence 2nd Offense

What is Domestic Violence Second Offense in Michigan? How is DV Second Offense Defined?

MCL 750.81(3)

Perhaps one of the most important questions we answer daily at Prain Law, PLLC is “What is Domestic Violence Second Offense in Michigan?” Michigan Domestic Violence charges are technically (but not as commonly) referred to as “Domestic Assault”).

A Michigan Domestic Violence 2nd Offense occurs when a person who has already been “convicted” of Domestic Violence in the past commits another act of Domestic Violence.

CLICK HERE for the Definition of Domestic Violence in Michigan.

The penalties for Domestic Violence Second Offense in Michigan are much more severe, including up to 1 year in Jail and/or a fine of up to $1000.00.

In fact, the exact wording of the Michigan Domestic Violence 2nd Offense law is:

An individual who commits an assault or an assault and battery in violation of subsection (2), and who has previously been convicted of assaulting or assaulting and battering his or her 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, under any of the following, may be punished by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both…

Can I get MCL 769.4a, the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral (“Spouse Abuse Act”) for a Domestic Violence Second Offense?

No, a person who is charged with Domestic Violence, 2nd Offense in Michigan cannot receive the deferral deal under MCL 769.4a. Here is why…

The Michigan Domestic Violence law says “[t]here shall be only 1 discharge and dismissal under this section with respect to any individual.” In other words, a person can only get 769.4a once in their lifetime.

This would seem to leave open the possibility of 769.4a for someone who never received it the first time around, but the Michigan DV laws also say that a person can only get 769.4a if they have “not been convicted previously of an assaultive crime.” Remember, Domestic Violence is technically called “Domestic Assault” in the actual law, MCL 750.81(2). Therefore, it is considered an “assaultive crime.”

If you plead to or were found guilty of Domestic Violence before but never got MCL 769.4a, then you have been “convicted” of an “assaultive crime” in the past.

CLICK HERE for an in-depth review of MCL 769.4a...

I received the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral (“Spouse Abuse Act”), MCL 769.4a on my 1st Domestic Violence charge. My lawyer said that wasn’t a “conviction.” Will a new Domestic Violence charge be counted as a “2nd Offense?

The answer to this question used to be “no,” but the Michigan Domestic Violence laws got tougher in 2013. In 2013, the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral under MCL 769.4a was changed so that if you received this “769” deal before, that does count as a “conviction” for purposes of a 2nd Domestic Violence charge. Consequently, even if you got 769.4a on your First Domestic Violence, you can still be charged with Domestic Violence Second Offense in Michigan. [See MCL 769.4a(5)]

What types of past convictions and charges can cause me to be charged with a Michigan Domestic Violence Second Offense?

Of course, having a prior Domestic Violence “conviction” on your record means that a new Michigan Domestic Violence charge could be treated as a Second Offense with up to 1 year in Jail. But it is important to know that there are other types of past crimes that don’t necessarily use the term “Domestic Violence” or “Domestic Assault,” but if you were convicted, can still cause a new Michigan Domestic Violence charge to be treated as a Second Offense. Here is why…

Even though the name of the offense did not say “Domestic,” if the alleged victim was 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

…it is still considered a “crime involving Domestic Violence” under Michigan law.

In all, if you have been convicted of any of the following crimes where the alleged victim meets the definition above, you can be charged with Domestic Violence Second Offense in Michigan:

What is the Sentence for a Michigan Domestic Violence Second Offense? Will I go to Jail?

An individual who is convicted of Domestic Violence Second Offense in Michigan is still guilty of a misdemeanor, but the maximum possible Jail time increases FOUR TIMES to 1 year in Jail. The fine is up to $1,000.00.

It is true, you can get locked-up in Jail for an entire year for a Michigan Domestic Violence Second Offense. You could also be ordered to participate in “Work Release,” where you are allowed to go to work or school, but must spend the nights and weekends in the County Jail.

Contact Our Michigan Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

However, when you have a trusted and dedicated Michigan Domestic Violence Lawyer, your chances are not as slim as you may worry. Even if you are convicted of Domestic Violence Second Offense in Michigan may receive NO JAIL at all, and instead, receive a Sentence of Probation from 6-18 months (24 months max). Common terms of Domestic Violence Second Offense Probation include monthly reporting, community service, and one or more forms of anger management or “batterer’s awareness” counseling or classes.

If you are seeking a criminal defense firm to rely on, look no further than Prain Law, PLLC. Our Michigan domestic violence lawyer concentrates exclusively on assaultive crimes, including those regarding domestic violence. We have NEVER had a client go to Jail for Domestic Violence Second Offense. Do you think we’d let you be our first? Of course not.

Call us anytime at (248) 731-4543. No time to talk? Fill-out the Contact Form for an electronic response to your question and we will get back to you as soon as we can.

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