Michigan's Domestic Violence Third Offense Charge Explained

domestic violence

In Michigan, a third charge, or offense of Domestic Violence, is no longer a Misdemeanor, as a first or second offense is. A third offense Domestic Violence charge is a felony, and you can go to prison for up to five years (or more if you are a habitual offender).

A third offense Domestic Violence charge occurs when someone has already been convicted of Domestic Violence two or more times in the past. The penalties for a Domestic Violence third offense in Michigan are extreme and include up to five years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.00.

MCL 750.81(4) governs a third offense of Domestic Violence and states:

An individual who commits an assault or an assault and battery in violation of subsection (2), and who has 2 or more previous convictions for assaulting or assaulting and battering his or her spouse or former spouse, an individual with whom he or she has or has had a dating relationship, an individual with whom he or she has had a child in common, or a resident or former resident of his or her household, under any of the following, is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 5 years or a fine of not more than $5,000.00, or both.

Can My Prior Record Affect My Current Charge?

Many people wonder about their prior record and how it can affect their charge. Specifically, many wonder if they previously received the Michigan Domestic Violence Deferral program, commonly known as 769.4a on their first offense if it can be used to enhance a new charge to a third offense. As of 2013, it can be used against you. In 2013, the Michigan Domestic Violence laws were changed and MCL 769.4a now states that if you received the deferral program previously it now counts as a conviction that can be used to enhance any future charges.

Additionally, many people wonder if an enhancement can be made even if they were not convicted of Domestic Violence or Domestic Assault. The simple answer is yes. If you were convicted of a crime and the alleged victim was your spouse or former spouse, an individual you had a dating relationship with, an individual with whom you have a child in common, or a resident or former resident of your household, then it can still be considered a crime involving domestic violence.

What Constitutes a Charge Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense?

If you were convicted of any combination of two or more of the charges below and the alleged victims meet the above definition, you are eligible for a charge of Michigan Domestic Violence Third Offense:

  1. Domestic Violence 1st Offense.
  2. Aggravated Domestic Violence.
  3. Felonious Assault.
  4. Assault with Intent to Murder.
  5. Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less than Murder
  6. Assault by Strangulation.
  7. Assault with intent to Maim.
  8. Domestic Violence by a different name under the law of another state.

If you or a loved one have been charged with Domestic Violence third offense, contact our office today for a free confidential consultation to discuss your case and your options.

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