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Michigan Domestic Violence 3rd Offense

What is the Definition of Domestic Violence Third Offense in Michigan? Is Domestic Violence Third Offense a Felony or Misdemeanor?

MCL 750.81(4)

At Prain Law, PLLC we specifically concentrate on defending those accused of Assault crimes, including Domestic Assault, more commonly referred to as Domestic Violence. A Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense is when things get really serious. Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense is no longer a Misdemeanor, it's a FELONY, and you can go to Prison for up to 5 years (more for a Habitual Offender). Call Prain Law, PLLC anytime at (248) 731-4543 to AVOID JAIL - we have NEVER had a client go to Jail for Domestic Violence.

A Michigan Domestic Violence 3rd Offense occurs when a person who has already been “convicted” of Domestic Violence in the past two or more times allegedly commits another act of Domestic Violence.

CLICK HERE for the Definition of Domestic Violence in Michigan.

The penalties for Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense in Michigan are extreme, including up to 5 years in Prison and/or a fine of up to $5000.00.

The exact wording of the Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense law, MCL 750.81(4) is:

An individual who commits an assault or an assault and battery in violation of subsection (2), and who has 2 or more previous convictions for 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, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both...

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

No, the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral, MCL 769.4a, does not apply to a Third Offense.

CLICK HERE for an in-depth explanation: "What is MCL 769.4a?"

The MCL 769.4a says “[t]here shall be only 1 discharge and dismissal under this section with respect to any individual.” You can only receive the deferral under MCL 769.4a once in your entire lifetime.

You might think this means 769.4a should be available for someone who never received it on their first or second Domestic Violence case. But the Michigan Domestic Violence laws also say MCL 769.4a is only available to a person who “not been convicted previously of an assaultive crime.” Domestic Violence is an assaultive crime, also called “Domestic Assault” in the actual law, MCL 750.81(2).

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. This is why you cannot get MCL 769.4a for Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense.

I got the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral, MCL 769.4a, on my 1st Michigan Domestic Violence charge. My lawyer said that wasn’t a “conviction.” So how am I being charged with Domestic Violence Third Offense instead of Second Offense?

The Michigan Domestic Violence laws were changed in 2013. The Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral, MCL 769.4a, now says if you got “769” before, it counts as a prior Domestic Violence conviction for purposes of a Michigan Domestic Violence 3rd Offense charge.

I am being charged with Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense, but I've never been charged with any Domestic Violence before. How is this possible?

Even though a past crime or crimes you were convicted of did not have the words “Domestic Violence” or "Domestic Assault," 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.

If you were convicted of any combination of two or more of the charges below and the alleged victims meet the above definition, you are eligible for a charge of Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense:

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

If you are convicted of Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense, there's no sugarcoating it - it's a serious felony offense carrying up to 5 years in State Prison and/or a $5,000 fine - and even more if you're charged as a Habitual Offender.

With an aggressive and hardworking Michigan Domestic Violence Lawyer who will stop at nothing to protect you, a person charged with Domestic Violence Third Offense in Michigan may take their case to Jury Trial and be found NOT GUILTY. When you're found NOT GUILTY, that's it - the nightmare is over. Don't get convicted of Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense!

Contact Our Michigan Domestic Violence Lawyer Today

At Prain Law, PLLC, we refuse to back down from the challenge of advocating on your behalf. Our Michigan domestic violence attorney wants to ensure you and your rights are protected to the best of our firm’s ability.

If you would like to speak to a member of our firm, please call us at (248) 731-4543. If you prefer not to communicate over the phone, click here to reach a Contact Form for an electronic response to your question.

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