Domestic Violence

Delivering Outstanding Results Since 1987

Kalamazoo Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys

Defense Against Domestic Violence Accusations in Michigan

Domestic violence cases are extremely emotional, and they often turn into a battle of he-said/she-said. Being accused of domestic violence can be devastating, and a conviction can destroy your life. In addition to ruining your reputation and your standing in the community, you may also lose custody of your children, and face jail time. If you are accused of this crime, you must seek legal representation from a trusted Kalamazoo domestic violence defense lawyer.

Since 1987, Levine & Levine has brought clients aggressive yet compassionate domestic violence defense services in Michigan. Our Kalamazoo criminal defense attorneys are highly regarded within the legal community. Over the decades, we have developed a reputation for delivering strong defense strategies. With a high rate of acquittals, our success record is self-evident.

Our firm also serves residents in the following Michigan counties:

  • Calhoun
  • St. Joseph
  • Van Buren
  • Berrien
  • Cass
  • Kalamazoo
  • Branch
  • Eaton
  • Ingham
  • Barry
  • Allegan
  • Ottawa

To speak with a Kalamazoo domestic violence defense lawyer, reach out to us online or call us at (269) 218-8880 to discuss your case.

What Is Considered Domestic Violence in Michigan?

Domestic violence occurs when someone attempts to or causes physical or mental harm to a family or household member. Terrorizing, intimidating, harassing, or causing a household or family member to fear for their physical or psychological safety is also considered domestic violence. Furthermore, sexual violence against a family or household member is classified as a type of domestic violence.

Domestic relationships can exist between:

  • Spouses, partners, dating couples
  • Former spouses, partners, and couples
  • Children, siblings, and parents
  • Those who share a residence
  • Other immediate and extended relatives

Domestic violence can take many forms, including:

  • Economic abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Physical abuse
  • Psychological abuse
  • Sexual abuse

Depending on the circumstances, a domestic violence case may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony. Typically, a first offense is charged as a misdemeanor, while subsequent offenses may be elevated to felony charges. Additionally, not only adults can be charged with domestic violence. Juveniles are also subject to domestic violence investigation and arrest.

Levine & Levine has a deep understanding of the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and Michigan laws. Our domestic violence defense lawyers in Kalamazoo are highly qualified and prepared to help you fight your charges.

Domestic Assault & Aggravated Domestic Assault in Michigan

Domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault classifications are covered in Michigan’s Penal Code and are very similar to regular assault charges. A first offense of domestic assault is classified as a misdemeanor while committing domestic assault with two or more previous convictions is a felony.

Penalties of a domestic assault conviction may include:

  • First domestic assault offense: Punishable by a maximum jail sentence of 93 days and/or a fine of up to $500
  • Second domestic assault offense: Punishable by a jail term of up to 1 year and/or a maximum fine of $1,000
  • Third domestic assault offense: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 5 years and/or a maximum fine of $2,500

Aggravated domestic assault is also classified as a misdemeanor on a first offense, provided there is no weapon or intent to murder or inflict great bodily harm. A first offense is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum jail term of 1 year and/or a fine of up to $1,000, while a second offense is a felony that can result in a prison sentence of up to 5 years and/or $2,500.

However, if a first offense involves the following factors, a first aggravated domestic assault offense can charged as a felony:

  • Aggravated domestic assault involving the use of a dangerous weapon: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 4 years
  • Aggravated domestic assault with the intent to do great bodily harm: Punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years
  • Aggravated domestic assault involving strangulation or suffocation: Punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years

In Michigan, law enforcement is allowed to make a domestic violence arrest without a warrant. According to the Michigan Code of Criminal Procedure, a police officer may make an arrest if they have reasonable cause to believe that a domestic violence crime has been committed or if they have received positive information from another law enforcement agent that a domestic violence crime has been committed. The police officer does not have to be present when the incident happened to make the arrest.

Common Types of Legal Defenses Against Domestic Violence Charges

A legal defense in the context of a criminal case, such as domestic violence, refers to the strategies and arguments used by the defendant to challenge the prosecution's case and avoid being found guilty. These defenses aim to raise doubts about the defendant's guilt, undermine the evidence presented by the prosecution, or justify the defendant's actions under the law.

Legal defenses can vary depending on the specific circumstances of each case, but there are some common types often employed in domestic violence cases:

  • Self-defense: This defense asserts that the defendant acted in self-defense to protect themselves from harm. The defendant must demonstrate that their actions were necessary to prevent imminent harm or danger from the alleged victim. Evidence such as prior threats or a history of violence from the alleged victim may support this defense.
  • Defense of others: Similar to self-defense, this defense argues that the defendant acted to protect another person from harm. The defendant must show that they reasonably believed the other person was in danger of being harmed and that their actions were necessary to prevent that harm.
  • False allegations: This defense asserts that the allegations of domestic violence are entirely fabricated by the accuser. The defendant may present evidence to challenge the credibility of the accuser or provide an alternative explanation for the injuries or incidents alleged.
  • Accident or mistake: This defense claims that the alleged act of domestic violence was unintentional and occurred as a result of an accident or misunderstanding. The defendant may argue that they did not intend to cause harm or that their actions were misinterpreted by the alleged victim.
  • Lack of evidence: This defense challenges the prosecution's evidence by arguing that there is insufficient proof to establish the defendant's guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense may point to inconsistencies or gaps in the evidence presented by the prosecution.
  • Alibi: An alibi defense asserts that the defendant was elsewhere at the time the alleged domestic violence occurred and therefore could not have committed the crime. The defense may present witnesses or documentary evidence to corroborate the defendant's whereabouts.
  • Diminished capacity: This defense claims that the defendant lacked the mental capacity to understand the nature and consequences of their actions at the time of the alleged domestic violence. Factors such as intoxication, mental illness, or temporary insanity may be used to support this defense.

Domestic Violence Lawyers in Kalamazoo

The courts in Michigan are very aggressive when it comes to prosecuting domestic violence cases. There is also significant bias against those accused of domestic violence, and many will assume they are guilty. However, countless people are wrongfully accused of domestic violence every year. Whether the result of malicious intent or a misunderstanding, the wrongfully accused deserve justice and to be exonerated.

At Levine & Levine, we believe that you are innocent until proven guilty and we will fight tirelessly to protect your rights. We have 130 years of combined experience fighting domestic violence charges. Let our Kalamazoo criminal defense attorneys put our extensive experience to work for you.

If you were charged with domestic violence, you are not alone. Look to our trusted defense law firm for support. Call us at (269) 218-8880 or connect with us online.

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  • Turned a scary situation into a breeze.

    Carolyn C.
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