Skip To Content
AVVO Reviews Best Law Firms - Standard Badge

Domestic Violence Charges in Saline, Michigan

By Daniel T. Geherin

Domestic violence involves threatening or violent behaviors directed towards members of a person's household or someone you have an intimate relationship with. In many cases, domestic violence involves criminal misconduct - and the consequences of a conviction are serious. If you've been accused of domestic abuse, bringing your strongest defense is critical – reach out for the skilled legal guidance of an experienced Saline domestic violence defense attorney today. 

Domestic Abuse 

For the charge of domestic abuse or domestic violence to apply, the accused must engage in one of the following:

●      Domestic assault, which refers to intentionally making someone else credibly fear being battered or struck imminently

●      Domestic battery, which refers to the intentional infliction of force or violence on another person

For the act to qualify as domestic violence, the victim must be included in one of the following classifications:

●      The spouse or former spouse of the accused

●      A current or former member of the accused’s household

●      Someone who co-parents with the accused

●      Someone who is currently dating the accused or who dated them in the past

The Two Levels of Domestic Violence 

Domestic violence charges break down into two primary categories in the State of Michigan. 

Domestic Assault 

For the charge of domestic assault to apply, the victim doesn’t have to be physically injured. The criminal penalties that apply to a conviction include:

●      Up to 93 days in jail and up to $500 in fines for a first conviction, which is a misdemeanor

●      Up to 1 year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines for a second conviction, which is also a misdemeanor 

●      Up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000 for a third conviction, which is a felony 

There is also the potential for community service, probation, and required counseling. 

Aggravated Domestic Assault 

For the charge of aggravated domestic assault to apply, the victim must sustain serious or aggravated injuries, which generally means injuries that require medical attention. The fines and penalties for a conviction are even more severe and include:

●      Up to 1 year in jail and fines of up to $1,000 for a first conviction, which is a misdemeanor

●      Up to 5 years in prison and fines of up to $5,000 for a second conviction, which is a felony

Charges that commonly apply in domestic violence cases include all the following:

●      Assault with intent to commit great bodily harm

●      Assault with intent to commit murder

●      Assault with a dangerous weapon

Domestic Violence Can Take Many Forms 

The Michigan State Police share that domestic violence is a pattern of behaviors that are employed to control the other person, and it can take many different forms. 

Physical Abuse 

All the following are examples of domestic violence that takes the form of physical violence:

●      Being pushed, kicked, shoved, hit, or punched

●      Being strangled

●      Being slapped or bitten

●      Being denied help when pregnant, injured, or ill

●      Having weapons used against you

●      Having objects thrown at you

●      Being locked out of your home or being kept in your home by force  

●      Being abandoned in a dangerous situation

Sexual Abuse

The following are examples of domestic violence that takes the form of sexual abuse:

●      Being forced to dress more provocatively than you care to

●      Being forced to have sex or to watch others engage in sexual acts

●      Being forced to have sex as a condition of the relationship, when you are ill, or after a physical assault

●      Being forced to perform sexual acts or to have them performed on you

Economic Abuse 

Domestic abuse can also be economic in nature. Consider the following:

●      Having your finances controlled by the accused

●      Being denied access to your own or joint bank accounts or credit cards

●      Being denied access to a vehicle

●      Being prevented from getting a job, keeping a job, or going to school

●      Limitations on your access to healthcare

Domestic abuse – also called spousal abuse and intimate partner violence – is a criminal matter that leads to criminal charges. While spousal abuse can play a significant role in the outcome of a divorce or a family law case, it is a criminal concern. As such, if you’re facing a domestic violence charge, having a seasoned criminal defense attorney in your corner is always in your best interest.    

Victim Advocacy 

The Michigan Coalition to End Domestic & Sexual Violence (MCEDSV) is dedicated to championing the rights of domestic violence survivors throughout the state – and empowering them – through victim advocacy. Their mission includes implementing comprehensive efforts that are designed to end domestic and sexual violence, including human trafficking. Toward this end, they focus on prevention and survivor law as well as offering a domestic violence and sexual violence hotline that is available 24/7. 

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services also addresses advocacy through the administration of state and federal funding for domestic violence shelters, safe houses, and other advocacy services – in addition to developing and recommending policy. 

Protective Orders

Protective orders – or domestic relationship personal protection orders – is the term used in the State of Michigan for restraining orders in the domestic violence context. These orders are issued by the court for those who have been assaulted by someone else or for those who have been made to fear being assaulted by someone else. 

Protective orders are domestic violence concerns that generally require the person named not to approach, follow, or contact the person in need of protection. If you’re the person named, making it your policy to carefully adhere to each of the provisions included in the order is the right approach.

Domestic Violence Charges

If the Saline Police Department has been called and you’ve been arrested for domestic violence, your case will proceed through the Washtenaw County Prosecutor's Office. If this is the juncture you find yourself at, you need the skilled legal representation of a trusted domestic violence defense attorney. 

The legal charges you face carry serious consequences that can include time behind bars, steep fines, and a steep decline in your social standing. One of the most important steps you can take toward protecting your rights and supporting your brightest future is consulting with a practiced domestic violence defense lawyer from the outset. 

Contact a Saline Criminal Defense Attorney Today

Have you been charged with a crime in Ann Arbor, Saline, Dexter, Chelsea, or elsewhere in Washtenaw County? If so, you must get in touch with the right local law firm immediately. At Geherin Law Group, our experienced and specialized team is led by Daniel T. Geherin, a board-certified criminal defense attorney with over 25 years of experience. Dan and his team are eager to help you overcome your charge(s) and get your life back on track. We start by offering free consultations on the phone at (734) 263-2780 or in the office. We can be reached by email at, or you can fill out a contact form.