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Penalties for Domestic Assault Charges

Domestic assault charges in Michigan can have serious consequences, even beyond the social stigma which can affect your relationships with your loved ones, employers, and your community. If you are facing a claim, an experienced lawyer can help you understand and fight to mitigate the potential penalties for Michigan domestic assault charges.

Elements of the Charge

Domestic violence and simple assault are effectively the same thing and the only time there would be a difference in the penalties is when the underlying facts and circumstances suggest that a person in one instance should be punished more than the person in the other instance.

In other words, if the amount of harm is greater, or there is a prior record, these serve as aggravating factors. But otherwise, the charges are essentially the same.

Aggravating Factors

The charge of domestic violence only covers simple assault. Once the person has crossed the line and has done something in the felonious assault category, then things change quite a bit. Instead of facing a potential misdemeanor or probation as a real possibility where there is advisement period and dismissals are possible in domestic violence cases, a conviction would lead to long periods of incarceration and significant fines.

If there is a felonious assault scenario, then there is a real possibility that the person can end up going to jail or even prison depending on the degree of harm and the type of assault that happened. For example, rather than being charged with a simple domestic violence where a person may have slapped their spouse, the charge would be that of felonious assault if a weapon was used in committing that assault, such as a gun or a knife.

Once the factual content and the degree of threatened harm or the degree of actual harm that is possible are made clear, then someone may be facing a possible felony with up to four years in prison or more. For clarification, there is also a felony domestic violence and that is based on prior record and degree of harm as well. Depending on the circumstances, the prosecutor and the police might go in one direction versus other based on a degree harm that is caused or the amount of injury, and the offender's prior record, so what might otherwise be a misdemeanor can be a serious felony.

Long Term Consequences

It is not just what happens immediately when the judge passes a person's sentence but it is what will happen in the long term as this record continues to harm the person. If a person ends up with a conviction on their record, that conviction, unless they have it expunged in some later point in time, is going to follow them for the rest of their life.

It can complicate many different areas including future relationships. Future dating partners would have access to that prior record, which might cause them to view someone differently, perhaps making a different decision as to whether or not they want to continue the relationship.

In addition, as it relates to future employment opportunities, penalties for domestic assault charges in Michigan when there is a prior criminal offense can have an impact on someone's ability to gain employment or to be advanced in their current position. The conviction can also keep someone from getting certain types of licenses.

How an Attorney Can Help

Having an attorney with extensive experience in Michigan and these types of cases can help you understand and prepare to mitigate the penalties for domestic assault charges in Michigan you face. The consequences can be long lasting, and the prosecution is unforgiving. Therefore, it is essential to have a strong Michigan domestic violence lawyer by your side as you build a defense to mitigate penalties and tell your side of the story.

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