Michigan Domestic Violence Sentencing - And How Its Changed

undefinedMichigan Domestic Violence Sentencing Gets Tougher!

An Indication of How Our Government and Communities Feel About this Crime!

Prain Law, PLLC is a Criminal Defense Law Office concentrating on defending those who face Michigan Domestic Violence (or Domestic Assault) charges, throughout the State. Being a Michigan Domestic Violence Attorney provides many unique challenges, one of which includes the new law, effective April 2013, requiring tougher punishment for certain people facing Domestic Violence Charges.

The State of Michigan has a law where, under MCL 769.4a a person who is facing a Michigan Domestic Violence or Aggravated Domestic Violence charge, can enter a plea of 'guilty' without an "adjudication of guilt" by the court. Even where the evidence may be damaging or where a reduced charge may not be possible, a good Defense Attorney will still always attempt to get this Deferral for their client.

If a MCL 769.4a Deferral is possible, the defendant will be placed on probation (which, in itself, can be tough) in addition to any anger management or counseling classes that the court may determine necessary. It is also possible, under the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral, for the court to sentence up to 93 days in jail - although this has been effectively avoided for our clients. Once you have successfully completed all the sentencing elements, your permanent private (LEIN) and public (CCH) records are cleared of the arrest and conviction; only the State Police and original District Court know that you were arrested on a Michigan Domestic Violence charge.

1. Under the old MCL 769.4a Law, Deferrals were treated individually and a defendant could potentially qualify for multiple Deferral's consecutively. Each incident would mean harsher sentencing guidelines i.e. jail going from 93 days to 12 months (worse if they have more than 2 'priors'), but the arrest(s) /conviction(s) would not be part of their permanent public record.

Under the new MCL 769.4a Law, you can only qualify for a Deferral on yourfirst offense. If this is not your first offense, any previous Deferralwill now be treated as a prior conviction if you are arrested and convicted again on a Michigan Domestic Violence, or Aggravated Domestic Violence charge.

2. Under the old MCL 769.4a Law, if you had 1 prior Michigan Domestic Violence charge under this Deferral, but appeared again before the court with an Aggravated Domestic Violence charge, you would face up to 1 yr. in jail (because the previous Deferral had 'gone away').

Under the new MCL 769.4a Law, your previous Deferral now counts as a "prior conviction" and under the new MCL 750.81a Law, Aggravated Domestic Assault is now considered a Felony Offense and punishable by up to 5 yrs in prison, as opposed to the old guideline of up to 2 yrs.

3. Under the old law, if you had 2 or more prior Michigan Domestic Violence or Aggravated Domestic Violence convictions (or any combination of the two), a third offense would be considered a Felony Offense, punishable by up to 2 yrs in prison.

Under the new law, this Felony Offense is now punishable by up to 5 yrs in prison.

All-in-all quite confusing.

Don't be caught unprepared for what you could be facing. Don't jeopardize your future or your freedom. Call Prain Law, PLLC and let's talk. First consultation is always free, and quite frankly... you have nothing to lose - and perhaps your freedom to gain!

Call Michigan Domestic Violence Attorney, Brian J. Prain at (248) 731-4543.


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Prain Law, PLLC is focused only on the types charges featured on our website. This helps us deliver the decisive, effective advocacy for which our clients know us. We only serve individuals currently under investigation or who have a current case pending in court. Our firm does not represent injury victims, defendants who have already taken a plea or have been sentenced, or those seeking to expunge a criminal record. We do not respond to anyone who is not involved in a pending investigation or who has a court case for a type of charge we do not handle, but we wish you the very best of luck.