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Domestic Violence

Family matters can be complicated. When a police officer investigates an accusation of domestic violence, the facts might be interpreted the wrong way. Unfortunately, if the police are called out for a domestic violence investigation, the investigation almost always leads to an arrest and the filing of domestic violence charges.

The police officers rarely get the full story. The alleged victim might make false statements in an act of “revenge” or to shift the blame. In the end, law enforcement must follow the Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Act by arresting whoever they deem to be the “primary aggressor.”

If you or someone you know has been charged with domestic violence in Oakland County, MI, or the surrounding areas, seek out the services of an experienced criminal defense attorney in Bloomfield Hills.

Don’t be idle when it comes to your future, and secure experienced legal representation today.

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney in Bloomfield Hills, MI

Fighting back against allegations from your own family member(s) can be challenging. Especially if most of the evidence gathered by law enforcement is all hearsay. Be at ease knowing you have the best defense possible by hiring Attorney J. Dallo from Dallo Law, P.C..

Attorney J. Dallo has defended numerous people charged with domestic violence throughout Oakland County, MI, and the surrounding areas. He uses his in-depth knowledge and skills to get their charges reduced or the case dismissed.

Attorney J. Dallo defends clients of all types of domestic violence crimes including:

With Attorney J. Dallo on your side, you can trust that every legal avenue for your defense will be utilized until you receive the best possible result for your case. Set up your first free consultation by calling Dallo Law, P.C..

Dallo Law, P.C. practices criminal defense throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Bloomsfield Hills, Pontiac, Troy, Rochester, West Bloomfield Township, Warren, Sterling Heights, and Utica.

Call (248) 283-7000.


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What is Domestic Violence?

Committing an assaultive or otherwise violent crime against a family member is known as domestic violence. For purposes of the Domestic Violence Prevention and Treatment Act, domestic violence is defined as follows:

  • Domestic violence is defined as the occurrence of any of the following acts by a person that is not an act of self-defense:
    • Causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to a family or household member;
    • Placing a family or household member in fear of physical or mental harm;
    • Causing or attempting to cause a family or household member to engage in involuntary sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress;
    • Engaging in activity toward a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed, or molested

A family or household member is defined as any of the following:

  • A spouse or former spouse.
  • An individual with whom the person resides or has resided.
  • An individual with whom the person has or has had a dating relationship.
  • An individual with whom the person is or has engaged in a sexual relationship.
  • An individual to whom the person is related or was formerly related by marriage.
  • An individual with whom the person has a child in common.
  • The minor child of a former spouse or individual with whom the person has a child in common

For purposes of a police officer investigating or intervening in a domestic violence incident under the Code of Criminal Procedure, an incident must include allegations of one or both of the following:

  • A violation of a personal protection order (PPO) or a violation of a valid foreign protection order; or
  • A crime committed by an individual against his or her spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship,[3] or an individual who resides or has resided in the same household

Under Michigan law, other types of criminal offenses might be classified as “domestic violence” if they were perpetrated as a means of controlling another person who is a family or household.


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What Are the Penalties for Domestic Assault in Michigan?

Michigan law classifies the crime of domestic assault as a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00 or both.

For a person convicted of a first-time offense, the court may sentence the person to deferred proceedings under MCL 769.4a if eligible. To be eligible, Michigan law requires the consent of the “prosecuting attorney in consultation with the victim” in order to defer sentencing in domestic assault cases.

If the defendant has a prior conviction, the penalties are enhanced to imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.  Having two or more prior convictions, the crime can be charged as a felony with penalties that include up to 5 years in prison and a fine of not more than $5,000.00.

The types of prior convictions that count as prior convictions for enhanced penalties under MCL 750.81(4)-(5) include:

  • Violations of MCL 750.81 for assault;
  • Violations of local ordinance substantially corresponding to MCL 750.81;
  • Violations of MCL 750.81a for assault and infliction of serious injury;
  • Violation of MCL 750.82 for felonious assault;
  • Violations of MCL 750.83 for assault with intent to commit murder;
  • Violations of MCL 750.84 for assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder or assault by strangulation or suffocation;
  • Violations of MCL 750.86 for assault with intent to maim;
  • Violations of a law of another state or a local ordinance of another state that substantially corresponds to MCL 750.81a, MCL 750.82, MCL 750.83, MCL 750.84, or MCL 750.86.

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Domestic Assault with Serious or Aggravated Injury in Michigan

The penalty for a domestic assault involving serious or aggravated injury without a weapon and without intending to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00. MCL 750.81a(2).

First-time offenders who are in violation of MCL 750.81a(2) may also be eligible for deferred proceedings under MCL 769.4a.

Repeat offenders who commit a domestic assault and battery who have one or more previous convictions may face enhanced penalties. The second offense of domestic assault s charged as a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00.


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Deferred Sentencing for Domestic Assault in Michigan

If a person is found guilty or pleads guilty to a violation of domestic assault or domestic assault involving serious or aggravated injury, the person may be eligible for deferred proceedings under MCL 769.4a. MCL 769.4a allows the court to place the defendant on probation after a finding of guilt, without entering judgment.

If a person is accused of violating any term or condition of probation, then MCL 769.4a(2) provides that the court may enter an adjudication of guilt and proceed to sentencing. If the court must enter an adjudication of guilt and proceeds to sentencing if:

  • The accused commits an assaultive crime during the period of probation;
  • The accused violates an order of the court that he or she receive counseling regarding his or her violent behavior; or
  • The accused violates an order of the court that he or she have no contact with a named individual.

Domestic Personal Protection Order (PPO)

A Personal Protection Order (PPO) can be issued in a case in which the alleged victim requests protection from future acts of domestic assault. The PPO prevents the respondent from hitting, threatening, harassing, or stalking the petitioner.

The PPO can prevent the respondent from buying a firearm. Michigan law provides for different types of PPOs including:

  • Domestic PPO Against a Minor and Non-Domestic Stalking PPO Against a Minor
  • Non-Domestic Sexual Assault PPO Against a Minor
  • Non-Domestic Sexual Assault PPO
  • Non-Domestic Stalking PPO
  • Domestic PPOs

Jury Instruction for the Defense of “Reasonable Response” to Domestic Violence

The model jury instructions in Michigan in M Crim JI 17.24a, explain an important defense that can be raised in a domestic violence case. M Crim JI 17.24a (formerly CJI2d 17.24a) was adopted by the committee in September, 2009.

The defense can be raised if the defendant shows some evidence that his or her “conduct was a reasonable response to an act of domestic violence.”

At trial, the defendant has the burden of proving this defense in a domestic violence case. To satisfy this burden, the evidence must persuade the jury that it is “more likely than not that the conduct was a reasonable response to an act of domestic violence, given all of the facts and circumstances known to the defendant at the time.”

As explained in the model jury instruction, the term “domestic violence” means the occurrence of any of the following acts by a person that is not an act of self-defense:

  • Engaging in activity toward a family or household member that would cause a reasonable person to feel molested, harassed, threatened, intimidated, frightened, or terrorized;
  • Causing or attempting to cause a family or household member to engage in involuntary sexual activity by force, threat of force, or duress;
  • Placing a family or household member in fear of physical or mental harm; or
  • Causing or attempting to cause physical or mental harm to a family or household member.

The jury is instructed that if the defendant has proved that the conduct was a reasonable response to an act of domestic violence in light of the facts and circumstances known to the defendant at the time, then the jury must find the defendant not guilty of the crime alleged.


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Additional Resources

National Domestic Violence Hotline – Visit the official website for the National Domestic Violence Hotline to get in contact with a representative who can lend you support. Access the site to get help, identify what type of abuse you’re experiencing and start a plan for safety.

Michigan Domestic Violence Laws – Visit the official website for the Michigan Legislature to learn more about their laws regarding domestic and sexual violence. Access the site to learn more about their definitions for domestic violence, sexual violence, and the penalties for committing those crimes.

Domestic Violence Prosecutions in Oakland County, MI –


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Domestic Assault Attorney in Oakland County, Michigan

Are you facing allegations of domestic violence? If so, we highly encourage you to get in contact with the aggressive legal professionals at Dallo Law, P.C.. J. Dallo at Dallo Law, P.C. treats every case as his utmost priority and ensures all his clients receive the best legal representation possible at every step of the way.

You can trust him to formulate a strong defense that is both efficient and effective, so you can feel at ease when you enter that courtroom. Don’t wait another moment to protect your rights and freedoms and contact J. Dallo as soon as possible.

Dallo Law, P.C. practices throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area including Pontiac, Bloomsfield Hills, Troy, Rochester Hills, Auburn Hills, Royal Oak, Southfield, Warren, Clinton Township, Mount Clemens, St. Clair Shores, and Roseville.

Call (248) 283-7000 today.


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This article was last updated on Wednesday, December 30, 2020.