What are the possible penalties and consequences for domestic violence in Michigan - Am I going to jail?
In Michigan there are two types of misdemeanor domestic violence with different penalties. The most common is domestic assault/violence, which is to assault or batter any person in a domestic relationship with you. The victim need not be injured for the prosecutors to bring a domestic assault charge.
A first offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, or both. A second offense is also a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, or both.
Along with the misdemeanors, you could be charged with a felony if this is your third offense. A third offense is punishable by up to 2 years in prison, up to a $2,500 fine, or both.
The next domestic violence misdemeanor is aggravated domestic assault would result from an assault on someone in a domestic relationship without the use of a weapon. Such an assault would cause a serious or aggravated injury requiring medical attention for the victim. If a weapon was used to cause the injury, that would elevate the crime to felonious assault, a felony regardless of whether it was a first or subsequent offense.
An aggravated assault first offense is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 1 year in jail, a $1,000 fine, or both. A second offense is a felony, punishable by 2 years in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
Jail and prison are worst case scenarios and not common for first offenses, what is more common is probation from 12 to 24 months with community service, counseling, anger management, a special domestic violence program, fines, costs, alcohol and drug testing etc.
The good news is that my clients avoid many of these sentencing parts because they are proactive from day one, which helps eliminate requirements of probation, including the length, and usually allows my client more flexibility while on probation for travel requests etc.
Generally speaking, judges in Michigan are more likely to grant travel requests if the client is traveling for work, as the court has an interest in a defendant maintaining their job to pay fines and costs and to stay out of trouble. In addition to this general mindset, my clients are extremely proactive from day one, and establish some early currency in the case where a judge begins to give my client the benefit of the doubt. Changing the first impression to a true impression.
If my client is already alcohol and drug testing, in counseling and complying with bond, there would be no reason that a judge would not allow my client to travel as long as they return from court and fulfill all bond requirements.
The situation is a bit different when asking for permission to travel for non-work purposes - a judge will want more specifics if terms of where my client is going, who are they going to see, and who may be traveling with them. Generally, traveling for family events is preferred over traveling to Las Vegas for guys or ladies weekend. Court is not going to get in the way of a prepaid travel plan or an important family moment, but may consider denying a golf trip with the guys if the judge thinks there's a chance the client my consume alcohol or get themselves into trouble. Some judges may allow this travel because my client is innocent until proven otherwise, so why punish them, but other judges will favor the idea that being charged with a crime alone is serious enough to limit my client's daily life to the essentials: work, family, faith and health.