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Domestic Assault

One of the most common types of domestic violence crimes in Michigan is “domestic assault” charged under MCL 750.81(2).

The elements of domestic assault charges are explained in M Crim JI 17.2a. The jury instruction was formally listed as CJI2d 17.2a. The jury instructions for domestic assault under MCL 750.81(2) currently provides:

  1. The defendant is charged with the crime of domestic assault. To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
  2. First, that the defendant [assaulted / assaulted and battered] the [name complainant].
  3.  Second, that at the time [name complainant]:
    • was the defendant’s spouse
    • was the defendant’s former spouse
    • had a child in common with the defendant
    • was a resident or former resident of the same household as the defendant
    • was a person with whom the defendant had or previously had a dating relationship.

In domestic assault cases in which the victim’s consent or nature of the touching is at issue, the court might instruct the jury on M Crim JI 17.14, Definition of Force and Violence, or M Crim JI 17.15, Definition of Touching.

The model jury instruction for domestic assault was adopted by the committee in September, 2001, to reflect the elements of the offense found at MCL 750.81(2). The jury instructions were later amended in October of 2002, May of 2008, and September of 2008.

Defining Terms in Michigan’s Domestic Assault Statute

For purposes of a domestic assault charge in Michigan, the term “battery” means a forceful, violent, or offensive touching of a person or something closely connected with him or her.

The touching must have been intended by the defendant, that is, not accidental, and it must have been against the will of the alleged victim.

For purposes of a domestic assault charge in Michigan, the term “assault” is an attempt to commit a battery or an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear or apprehend an immediate battery.

The defendant must have intended either to commit a battery or to make the alleged victim reasonably fear an immediate battery.

Michigan law recognizes that an assault cannot happen by accident. Furthermore, at the time of an assault, the defendant must have had the ability to commit a battery, or must have appeared to have the ability, or must have thought that the defendant had the ability.

For purposes of the domestic assault charges, the term “dating relationship” means frequent, intimate association primarily characterized by the expectation of affectional involvement. The term “dating relationship” does not include a casual relationship or an ordinary fraternization between two individuals in a business or social context.

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.

Domestic Assault Bloomfield Hills Attorney | Michigan Lawyer

If you were arrested for domestic assault in Oakland County, MI, then contact J. Dallo. With offices conveniently located in Bloomfield Hills, MI.

J. Dallo understands the tactics used by local law enforcement agencies when investigating domestic assault charges. Those law enforcement agencies in Oakland County, MI, include the police departments in Milford, Novi, South Lyon, Walled Lake, Wixom,
Wolverine Lake, and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office.

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.

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.

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