Domestic Violence: What to Know
Important Information about Domestic Violence Charges:
In domestic violence cases, it is crucial to be aware of MCL 769.4a. This statute allows a court, with the consent of the accused, prosecuting attorney, and victim, to defer further proceedings in assault and battery cases. The deferral applies when the accused, without any prior assaultive convictions, pleads guilty or is found guilty of assault and battery under MCL 750.81 AND 81A. The victim must be the offender's spouse/former spouse, someone with whom they have a child, someone they have or had a dating relationship with, or someone residing in the same household.
It is important to note that this deferral can only be used if the accused does not have a previous assaultive conviction. Although a judgment of guilt is not entered, the arrest and deferral will still appear on the defendant's criminal record.
Prosecutors may be hesitant to offer this plea to self-represented defendants. It is crucial to have proper representation to maximize the chances of receiving the benefits of MCL 769.4a.
Important Information about Domestic Violence Punishments and Case Law:
Domestic assault carries stricter punishments compared to other assaults. If convicted of domestic violence, the penalties are as follows:
Assault and Battery (first offense): Up to 93 days in jail and $500 in fines
Assault and Battery (second offense): Up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines
Assault and Battery (third and subsequent offenses): Up to 2 years in prison and $2,500 in fines
Assault with infliction of serious injury (first offense): Up to 1 year in jail and $1,000 in fines
Assault with infliction of serious injury (second offense and beyond): Up to two years in prison and $2,500 in fines
Regarding a recent case law update, in the State of Michigan vs. Stanley Wayne Cameron, a ruling was made on January 4, 2011. The appellate court decided that prior bad acts can be presented as evidence under MCL 768.27b in domestic violence trials.
What does this mean?
It means that if you have previous charges for domestic violence, the prosecutor has the ability to introduce evidence of those prior incidents and victims during your trial. This can make it challenging to present a fair trial, as the evidence may be more prejudicial than probative. To protect your interests, it is crucial to have the expertise and experience of a legal professional when facing domestic violence charges.