Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

Michigan has very strict laws about domestic violence.  Something as simple as a push or a shove can, in certain circumstances, be enough for a domestic violence conviction.

The most common form of domestic violence is when someone assaults or batters a family or household member.  But what is battery?  This is an old legal word that has a very specific meaning.  In Michigan, a battery is defined as any harmful or offensive touching of a person, or touching something closely connected with the person of another.  This means an assault happens even when a person did not even touch the body, head, hair, arms, or legs of the victim.  For example, a person could simply pull on the clothes of another or knock off their hat. This could still be domestic violence.  Although, the “harmful or offensive contact” element of domestic violence also requires that the contact be intentional.  Whatever contact takes place cannot be an accident.  

Visible Injury

Domestic violence does not require any visible injury.  Even if there is no redness or bruising or cuts or any other marks, it does not matter.  In certain circumstances, a person can be found guilty of domestic violence even if he or she merely frightens a person to think that he or she is about to be harmed.

Also, very importantly, after a victim complains to the police, it usually does not matter if the victim decides later to take back his or her statements, or does not want the case to go forward.  After the police have the first statement about the incident, the case can continue even if the victim does not want it to continue.  In my practice, I have seen many men and women call the police complaining of domestic violence out of anger, and later try to change his or her mind when they realize the consequences.  

If you have been accused of domestic violence, you should contact our office immediately to discuss the case.  It is especially important in these types of cases to take action early.

Lessons from the Past

But all the high rhetoric . . . about the noble mansions of the law, all the high sounding speeches about liberty and justice are meaningless unless people such as you and I breathe meaning and force into it. For our liberties depend upon our respect for the law.

Bobby Kennedy

Law Day Address at the University of Georgia Law School, delivered 6 May 1961, Athens, Georgia

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