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Aggravated Domestic Assault

Aggravated Domestic Assault

Domestic violence, also known as intimate partner violence, is a pattern of abusive behaviors used by one person to gain and maintain power and control over another person in a domestic or intimate relationship. It can occur between spouses or partners, former spouses or partners, people who are dating, or family members. Domestic violence can manifest in various forms, including physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, or economic abuse.

This article will talk about aggravated domestic assault, which are particular subsections of domestic violence law that include physically striking a spouse, dating partner, or close family member and inflicting serious bodily harm.

Oakland County Aggravated Domestic Assault Defense Lawyer

Domestic violence charges are serious. A sentence of “guilty” can result in the loss of custody, difficulty in finding employment and housing, and serious social stigma in establishing future relationships.

Don’t face the judge alone. An experienced domestic assault attorney in Oakland County, MI, can help you fight the charges at each stage of the case.  J. Dallo understands the processes used by local law enforcement and will fight to protect you every step of the way.

Call for a confidential consultation to learn more about the charge and important defenses that can be used to fight for an outright dismissal.

Call (248) 283-7000.

Understanding Aggravated Domestic Assault

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What is Domestic Assault?

Domestic assault is defined by whether or not a person committed “battery;” that is, whether or not a person violently, forcefully or offensively touched a person who is the accused’s:

  • Spouse
  • Former spouse
  • Co-parent
  • Sibling
  • (Ex-)Significant other (person in a dating relationship)

This touching can be a violent shove, smashing something close or connected to the alleged victim, or a similar action – under Michigan law, the assault must be intentional.

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Aggravated Domestic Assault

While domestic assault does not have to result in any bodily injury, the introduction of such will result in the elevation of charges to “aggravated.”
Michigan Penal Code 750.81a defines aggravated domestic assault as having the following conditions:

  • The action must be intentional OR the alleged victim must have reasonable fear of consequence
  • The defendant must inflict serious or great bodily harm on the alleged victim
  • The alleged victim must be in a current or former dating relationship, be a family member, or be a current or former spouse

Aggravated domestic assault charges track across state lines. Meaning that an aggravated domestic assault charge committed in one state may be used to demonstrate a repeated offense in another state.

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Penalties for Aggravated Domestic Assault Charges

Generally, Michigan Penal Law defines domestic assault as a misdemeanor, though repeat offenses may result in a felony conviction. MPL defines the following sentencing requirements for general and aggravated domestic assault charges:
Domestic Assault:

  • Imprisonment for up to 93 days and/or
  • $500 fine

Aggravated Domestic Assault:

  • Imprisonment for up to 1 year and/or
  • $1,000 fine

For repeat aggravated domestic assault offenders, the conviction may be increased to a felony. This means that the following sentencing possibilities apply:

  • Imprisonment for up to 5 years and/or
  • $5,000 fine

In addition to the above penalties, someone convicted of domestic assault or aggravated domestic assault will likely be placed on a protective order and find it difficult to retain any custody rights for their children.

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Common Defenses for Aggravated Domestic Assault Charges

Self-Defense – If the accused can demonstrate that they reasonably believed they were in imminent danger of harm and used force to protect themselves, a self-defense argument may be raised. The key is establishing that the use of force was necessary and proportionate to the perceived threat.

Defense of Others – Similar to self-defense, a person may claim they were protecting someone else from harm. This defense relies on demonstrating a genuine belief that another person was in danger and that the force used was reasonable under the circumstances.

False Accusations – The defense may argue that the allegations are false or exaggerated. This could involve presenting evidence that contradicts the accuser’s version of events, such as witness statements, surveillance footage, or communication records. This argument is likely to be effective in the case of aggravated domestic assault as the requirement for charges are that the victim is severely injured.

Lack of Intent – In some cases, the defense may argue that the accused did not have the requisite intent to commit aggravated domestic assault. This could involve showing that the actions were accidental, mistaken, or lacked the necessary intent to meet the legal definition of the offense.

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Additional Resources

Michigan’s Domestic Assault Statute – Visit the Michigan Legislature Website, a free service of the Legislative Service Bureau, to find Section 750.81 of the Michigan Penal Code in Act 328 of 1931, Sec. 81. The statute defines assault or assault and battery and lists the penalties that might be imposed after a conviction.

Michigan State Police on Domestic Assault – Visit the website of the Michigan State Police to find information on dating violence, personal protection orders, and stalking. Find the legal definition of the term “domestic violence” as defined in Michigan. The Michigan State Police estimate that there were 91,004 reported victims and 105 reported murders related to domestic violence in 2017. Find information on physical violence, sexual violence, and economic abuse from the Michigan Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence.

Haven Support Groups – Visit Haven, an Oakland County-based domestic violence education, prevention and support group. Haven’s website provides resources on spotting domestic violence and what to do if you see or experience it. In addition, the attached link will take you to Haven’s support groups, which help provide group assistance.

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Hire an Aggravated Domestic Assault Defense Lawyer in Oakland County

If you have been arrested for aggravated domestic assault, your future and family are at stake. Domestic violence charges in the State of Michigan are taken seriously and if convicted, you may face years loss of custody and potential jail time. In a situation such as this, you need a competent criminal defense attorney who can fight for the justice you deserve. Turn to Dallo Law, P.C. for skilled legal guidance.

With our firm representing you, you will have the best possible chance at minimizing the penalties if not beating the criminal charges altogether. Call us now at (561) 557-8686 to set up your first consultation free.

Dallo Law, P.C. has offices located in Bloomfield Hills, and accepts clients throughout the greater Oakland County and Macomb County area.

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