What is a domestic violence?

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Domestic violence is a criminal charge. In Michigan, it requires the prosecutor to prove two elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

First, that the defendant assaulted or assaulted and battered the victim.

A battery is the forceful, violent, or offensive touching of a person or something closely connected with him or her. The touching must be intended. In other words, an accident won’t cut it. It must be against the victim’s will. That said, however, it doesn’t matter whether the touching actually caused the victim an injury to suffice.

An assault is different from a battery in that it’s only an attempt to commit a battery or an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear or apprehend an immediate battery. For example, have you ever seen the schoolyard situation where someone suddenly flinches like they’re going to hit the other person, but doesn’t? That’s an assault. As such, an assault cannot happen by accident. The defendant must have had the ability to commit a battery, or must have appeared to have the ability, or must have thought he or she had the ability, and actually intended to cause fear in the victim.

Second, the victim must fall into a specialized, protected class:

(a) was the defendant’s spouse; or

(b) was the defendant’s former spouse; or

(c) had a child in common with the defendant; or

(d) was a resident or former resident of the same household as the defendant; or

(e) was a person with whom the defendant had or previously had a dating relationship.

For many individuals, a domestic violence conviction is simply not an option. A conviction for domestic violence has significant and permanent collateral consequences. You need quality representation from an experienced attorney who will aggressively defend your rights*

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