There’s no question that domestic violence is one of the most common tragedies in the United States. Every year, police respond to thousands of domestic violence calls, though not all of those calls actually make it into the court system. If you’re searching for a criminal defense lawyer in Michigan due to a domestic violence charge, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the statistics related to this particular bracket of crime.
According to this report from the Michigan State Police (http://www.michigan.gov/documents/msp/2007DomesticViolence_277451_7.pdf), in 2007 98,436 individuals were charged with domestic violence offenses. Strangely, in the majority of cases no injury was reported, with minor or unknown injuries making up the next two brackets. Lacerations were the most common major injury. The age of victims also tells a story, with the great majority falling between the ages of 20-29 or 30-39. Domestic violence is least common in the elderly population.
It’s not just about the core domestic violence charges. Many crimes are connected to domestic violence, including assault, murder, and sexual abuse. For example, 93 murder/non-negligent homicides were reported in association with domestic violence in 2007, as were nearly 56,000 non-aggravated assaults.
Sentencing for domestic violence charges depends on the exact charge, as you may imagine. Domestic assault carries a penalty of up to 93 days in jail and/or a $500 fine, but only on the first conviction. Penalties increase with repeated offenses; the third conviction, for example, carries a penalty of up to two years in prison and/or a $2,500 fine.
Domestic violence that ends in serious injury (aggravated domestic violence) carries penalties of up to two years in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. Hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Michigan is a strong first step toward ensuring the court doesn’t just slap you with the maximum penalty and in making sure your rights are respected.