Domestic violence accusations are serious in every circumstance. If you believe you are facing allegations of domestic violence, you need to get in contact with an experienced attorney straight away. Defending yourself from the onset gives you the best opportunity to win your case or reduce your sentence.
At O’Keefe Law, we understand how seriously the Michigan state courts take domestic violence. We’ll work tirelessly to ensure your case receives the attention it deserves. Now, let’s explore the legal specifics of domestic violence charges in Michigan.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is an assault or incident of violence that occurs in a domestic setting. This means that the act of violence was committed against someone in your family, typically a significant other or a child’s parent. Spousal abuse is one of the most common forms of domestic violence.
In many cases, an accuser does not need to show any injuries to bring a domestic violence case against you. The burden of proof in a domestic violence case is actually quite low.
Keep in mind the state may also decide to levy different charges against you to heighten your potential sentence. If you’re worried about this, it’s a good idea to use a legal team that has broad criminal law experience. We can help you fight almost any type of state or federal criminal charge.
Again, in many cases, the accuser will not need to show any evidence of an injury, and, for regular domestic assault, you’ll most likely receive a misdemeanor charge and a jail term of up to 93 days. If it’s a third-time offense, you’ll be charged with a felony and spend up to two years in jail –a $2,500 fine may also be on the table.
For aggravated domestic assault, which requires the victim to receive aggregated injuries, a first-time offense may result in a jail sentence of up to a year and a $1,000 fine. A second conviction is a felony, with a penalty of up to two years and a $2,500 fine.
If you are convicted of a felony, you will not be allowed to vote while you are in prison. Also, you will not be allowed to own a firearm, unless the state decides to reinstate your rights.
If the allegations of your domestic violence are severe, you may be facing further assault and battery charges. Being charged with grievous bodily harm or other heavy assault charges can result in much worse sentencing.
Consider Your Reputation
As you may expect, suffering a domestic violence charge is extremely detrimental to your reputation. Living in a small community like East Lansing means that news travels fast. If you are facing allegations of domestic violence, there’s a significant chance your friends and neighbors know about it.
If you do end up with domestic violence charges, the best way to restore your reputation is a ‘not guilty’ verdict. If you want to put a definitive end to the rumors about you, it’s essential that you fight for your innocence in court. Not only do we help our clients avoid criminal prosecution, but we also help them restore their names.
This may be a bigger advantage than you realize. If you are convicted of domestic violence, you’ll probably lose access to your children if you have any. Don’t underestimate the weight of your trial.
O’Keefe Law: A Legal Team with Considerable Experience
At the end of the day, choosing an under-experienced lawyer is gambling with your future. If you want your best chance of coming out on top of your case, you need to select a legal team that understands the complexities of domestic violence law. You also need a legal team that has time to put your case to work.
Our team is spearheaded by Patrick O’Keefe, a former prosecutor for the state of Michigan. Using a former prosecutor to represent you in court is an excellent way to ensure your legal team understands the state’s strategies.
If you need to speak to an attorney about your domestic violence case, contact a criminal defense attorney at O’Keefe Law today. The sooner you begin planning your defense, the better chance you have at a favorable outcome!