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Domestic Violence Charges in Dexter, Michigan

By Daniel T. Geherin

Domestic violence addresses assault and battery against a member of one's household, a member of one's family, or a romantic partner, and for this reason, the charges are especially serious. If you’re facing a family violence charge, the best course of action is to work closely with an experienced Dexter domestic violence attorney from the start.  

Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a more serious offense than assault or assault and battery on their own. The fact that an alleged perpetrator has an intimate or close relationship with the alleged victim acts as an aggravating factor, meaning that the potential penalties are more serious.

Which Relationships Qualify as Domestic Violence?

For the charge to be classified as domestic violence, there must be a relationship like those that follow between the victim and the accused:

●      They are married, or they were married in the past.

●      They are in a romantic relationship, or they were in the past.

●      They share children. 

●      They live in the same household, or they did in the past. 

Domestic Assault and Domestic Assault and Battery

To bring domestic violence charges, one of the following must apply:

●      The accused caused the victim to credibly fear being imminently harmed, which is domestic assault.

●      The accused intentionally harmed the victim through the use of violence or force, which is domestic battery. 

Domestic violence is considered a pattern of abuse in which the accused uses physical, sexual, or emotional tactics to control the victim, and crimes that can be classified in this category are wide-ranging, including:

●      Assault, assault with intent to commit great bodily harm, assault with intent to commit murder, and assault with a dangerous weapon

●      Arson

●      Kidnapping or unlawful imprisonment

●      Prohibited conduct against a pregnant woman, which can include causing miscarriage, stillbirth, or injury to the unborn child

●      Extortion

●      Murder or attempted murder

●      Obstruction of justice

This list could go on. If someone close to you has accused you of domestic violence, it’s time to consult with a formidable domestic violence defense attorney.  

Domestic Violence Penalties 

For domestic violence charges to apply, domestic violence victims don’t have to be physically harmed. As mentioned, the credible threat of imminent harm suffices. The penalties that apply to domestic assault or domestic assault and battery charges include:

●      For a first conviction, the sentence includes up to 93 days in jail and up to $500 in fines, and the charge is a misdemeanor. 

●      For a second conviction, the sentence is up to a year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines, and the charge is a felony.

●      For a third conviction, which is a felony, the sentence is up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000. 

Both probation and financial restitution can apply to any of the above. 

The charge of aggravated domestic assault is more serious still, and it involves the victim sustaining serious injuries in the course of the assault. This level of injury typically requires medical attention, and the associated penalties include:

●      A first conviction is a misdemeanor that carries up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. 

●      A second conviction is a felony that carries up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000.

The Category of Abuse 

The Michigan State Police report on the categories of abuse that are considered domestic violence. 

Physical Abuse

While physical abuse is the most obvious form of domestic abuse, it is by no means the only one. This category of abuse includes:

●      Shoving, pushing, kicking, hitting, or punching the victim

●      Slapping or biting the victim

●      Strangling the victim or otherwise interfering with their breathing

●      Using a weapon of any kind against the victim

●      Denying the victim the aid they need in relation to pregnancy, illness, or injury

●      Throwing things at the victim

●      Abandoning the victim in a dangerous situation

●      Locking the victim out of their home or keeping them out by force

●      Not allowing the victim to leave their home or keeping them there by force

Sexual Abuse

Domestic abuse can also take a sexual form, including:

●      Raping the victim

●      Groping the victim

●      Using degrading sexual names against the victim

●      Injuring the victim’s private areas 

●      Threatening or coercing the victim into having sex

●      Forcing the victim to engage in sexual acts in front of children or anyone else

●      Refusing to use protection for STDs or pregnancy

Emotional Abuse

Emotional abuse can cause serious harm, and it is also addressed in terms of domestic violence. Consider the following primary examples of emotional abuse:

●      Calling the victim cruel names

●      Being extremely jealous in relation to the victim

●      Manipulating the victim

●      Trivializing the abuse the victim is forced to endure or blaming them for it

●      Degrading or humiliating the victim

●      Attempting to commit suicide in the victim’s presence or threatening to do so

●      Monitoring the victim’s activities 

●      Threatening the victim, their children, their family members, their friends, or their pets

●      Going into angry tirades at the victim

Financial Abuse

Domestic abuse can also take an economic turn, including:

●      Denying the victim access to money or credit

●      Controlling the victim’s finances

●      Preventing the victim from taking a job, keeping a job, or furthering their education

●      Limiting the victim’s access to health insurance 

●      Denying the victim access to a vehicle

If you’re facing domestic violence allegations, turn to a Dexter criminal defense lawyer today. 

Domestic Violence Restraining Order

A domestic violence restraining order – or personal protection order (PPO) – is a court order that is designed to stop the accused from threatening, harming, stalking, or harassing the victim. A PPO can include orders that require the accused to halt all activity related to any of the following:

●      Contacting the victim

●      Entering a place where the victim lives

●      Following the victim

●      Approaching the victim

●      Either purchasing or possessing a gun

●      Threatening to harm, kill, or sexually assault the victim or anyone close to the victim

●      Interfering with the victim at their job or school

●      Contacting the victim by phone, letter, or electronic means

●      Doing anything else that interferes with the victim’s ability to live their life normally or that causes them to fear being harmed 

Don’t wait to reach out for a focused criminal defense attorney’s skilled guidance in the face of a domestic violence charge. 

Facing Domestic Violence Charges? Contact a Dexter Domestic Violence Attorney Today

If you’re looking for a Dexter domestic violence attorney that will listen, provide personal attention, and fight aggressively for you, look no further than Geherin Law Group. Attorney Daniel T. Geherin is a board-certified attorney with over 25 years of experience. Mr. Geherin handles criminal defense, license restoration, and certain civil law cases such as wrongful death. He has helped thousands of clients throughout his career and is ready to do the same for you. Mr. Geherin offers free consultations and will give you candid advice on your situation. Don’t hesitate to give Mr. Geherin and his team a call at (734) 263-2780 or email at