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Michigan courts are very tough on domestic violence. Local prosecutors treat claims against alleged domestic abusers very seriously. Convicted offenders face harsh penalties, including hefty fines, community service obligations, and prison sentences. Even an accusation of domestic abuse can have a damaging impact on a person’s life.

If you are under investigation, you should work with an experienced Marquette domestic violence lawyer. A skilled local attorney could help you build a case against your charges.

The Damaging Effects of Domestic Abuse Allegations

When family members get together, tempers flare, and actions escalate. In these tense situations, people can misinterpret each other’s actions, words, or intentions. Other times, people can be tempted to make false accusations in the heat of the moment. They might even want to gain a legal advantage in a divorce or custody battle, which could prevent the accused from having visitation or custody rights of their children.

Regardless of the reason behind the claim, any allegation of domestic abuse could hurt the accused’s life in many ways. If a spouse or former spouse tells a police officer that there was an incident of domestic violence, the police could immediately and forcibly remove the accused from their home, even if there is no evidence of abuse. A local domestic abuse attorney could devise an effective defense strategy that best protects the defendant’s rights and future.

What is Domestic Violence in Marquette?

State legislature addresses domestic violence in more than one statute.

Domestic Assault and Battery Statute

Under Michigan Penal Code § 750.81, a person can be charged with assault and battery of their spouse, former spouse, someone in a dating relationship with the accused, the other parent of the accused’s child, and someone who lives or used to live with the accused.

To be convicted under this statute, prosecutors would need to prove that the accused threatened to harm the other person and then made some form of unwanted or aggressive physical contact. Penalties for convictions under this statute vary from misdemeanors to felonies, depending on whether it was the accused’s first offense or if they are a repeat offender.

Domestic Violence Statute

Michigan Compiled Laws § 400.1501 also addresses the issue of domestic and sexual violence. The statute prohibits any actions that:

  • Cause or attempt to cause a household or family member mental or physical harm
  • Cause a household or family member to be afraid of harm
  • Cause or attempt to cause a household or family member to engage in involuntary sex acts
  • Cause a household or family member to feel molested, harassed, threatened, or frightened

In addition to the categories of people included in the domestic assault and battery statute, this statute also prohibits violence against the accused’s minor children. Seasoned attorneys have extensive experience preparing successful defense strategies.

A lawyer could look for procedural errors in the state’s case to see if the arresting or investigating police officers made any mistakes that violated the accused’s constitutional rights. They could also search for flaws in the prosecution’s case, such as misidentifications or inconsistent stories by eyewitnesses.

Let a Marquette Domestic Violence Attorney Help You

Domestic abuse cases are legally and emotionally complex. Our Marquette domestic violence lawyers know how to review the evidence and use the correct legal avenues to obtain the best possible outcome.

If you are facing criminal charges, an experienced attorney could work with you to handle the matter quickly, efficiently, and sensitively. Reach out to our firm as soon as possible to arrange a consultation.