Michigan Domestic Abuse Laws
In Michigan, domestic abuse refers to a pattern of behavior wherein a person uses emotional, sexual, and physical abuse for controlling another individual against a family or household member. A person does not necessarily have to be married to anyone else for suffering from domestic violence.
Domestic abuse laws in Michigan
In Michigan, any criminal offense may be regarded as domestic violence if the act is committed as a way of controlling an individual who is a household or family member. These members include:
- Obstruction of justice
- Unlawful imprisonment or kidnapping
- Attempted murder or homicide
- Prohibited act against a woman who is expecting causing miscarriage, death, physical injury caused to fetus or embryo, or stillbirth.
What does domestic abuse law prohibit?
- Attempting to cause or causing mental or physical harm to a household or family member.
- Attempting to cause or causing a household or family member to indulge in involuntary sexual intercourse or other activity by duress, the threat of force, or force.
- Placing a household or family member in the apprehension of mental or physical harm.
- Indulging in activity toward household or family members, which would lead to a reasonable individual to feel frightened, terrorized, threatened, intimidated, molested, or harassed.
Punishments for committing domestic abuse in Michigan
While many other states in the United States of America have different degrees of domestic abuse, the state of Michigan is not included in them. The state has defined two different categories of domestic violence, which are as follows:
- Domestic assault
- Aggravated domestic assault
Domestic assault charges in Michigan and punishments
When a domestic abuser commits the offense for the first time, it is regarded as a misdemeanor. The convicted can be penalized by a maximum fine of 500 USD and a jail term of 93 days.
If a person commits an act of domestic violence for the second time, the guilty can have a maximum fine of 1,000 USD and a maximum jail term of one year.
In case a person commits the offense for the third time, the law considers it a felony. The convicted can have to pay a maximum fine of 5,000 USD and a maximum prison term of 5 years.
Household or family member
In Michigan, the state law safeguards people who are abused by former or present spouses, children, and parents, the same child’s parents, stepchildren and stepparents, foster kids and foster parents, or other people residing or who stayed in the same house. The law can be also cited for getting financial support, temporary custody, as well as, other kinds of assistance for any abused individual. Also, the prosecution can slap charges under the stalking laws of Michigan.
Protections made available to abused persons
Here are some of the legal protections and remedies, which can be availed by a victim in Michigan, are as follows:
TRO or Temporary Restraining Order
A judge issues these orders, which are effective for a temporary period. Such an order may direct the abuser to change the house or stay away from the victim.
It is possible for the victim to file a civil petition for recovering expenses and losses like pain, suffering damages, or medical bills.
Permanent Restraining Order
Such orders are issued by the court after a final hearing and can even be included in sentencing for the offender. These orders can be effective for an indefinite time. The court may also direct the defendant to stay away from the victim and contact them.
Spousal support or child custody orders
The orders can be changed for preventing any further occurrence of violence between kids, spouses, or other people.
How to get help for domestic abuse in Michigan?
A victim of sexual violence can get help by calling up the National Domestic Violence Hotline.