Domestic Violence – 10 Terms You need to Know if Charged

Domestic Violence - 10 Terms You need to Know if Charged

Do you know someone who has been charged with domestic violence?

Have you yourself been charged with domestic violence?

If you or someone you know is being charged with domestic violence, the best step you can take is to contact an experienced criminal defense attorney. This type of charge should be taken seriously and you will want answers to any questions you have.

Another important step is to be knowledgeable about the legal process concerning your charges. One way to do that is by understanding the terms your lawyer, the judge and the prosecutor will be using.

In addition to the terms below, I will also be providing you with what type of punishment you will face if convicted.

  1. Domestic Violence
    Domestic violence is when an assault (emotional, physical, and sexual) is committed against someone who is in a domestic relationship with.

  2. Domestic Relationship
    According to Michigan law, the following is considered a domestic relationship:

    • A former spouse or current spouse.
    • Current dating relationship or former dating relationship.
    • Another resident of your household or a former resident of your household.
    • Elders and children.
  3. Assault
    Assault is an attempt at battery.

  4. Battery
    Battery is whenever there is physical contact with another person that has not given consent.

  5. Physical Abuse
    What does the State of Michigan mean by physical abuse? While the list below certainly doesn’t cover all the ways to physically abuse another person, it is being given as an example of common ploys used that constitutes physical abuse.

    • Pushing
    • Shoving
    • Kicking
    • Locking you out of your home,
    • Denying help when ill or pregnant
    • Abandoning someone while they are in a dangerous situation
    • Not allowing someone to leave
    • Strangling someone
    • Slapping someone
    • Biting someone
  6. Emotional Abuse
    While you might think that emotional abuse is hard to prove, the Michigan State Police offered examples to help define this term out outlined below:

    • Threatening to harm someone or their family
    • Mocking someone’s religion, beliefs, race, or sexual orientation
    • Stalking
    • Convincing the victim they are the reason for the abuse
  7. Sexual Abuse
    Michigan law is clear in providing examples of what this type of abuse looks like as well. Again this list is intended to provide examples and in no way includes all possible examples of sexual abuse.

    • Forcing another person in a domestic relationship to have sex or watch sexual acts.
    • Forcing to perform sexual acts.
    • Forcing another person in a domestic relationship to dress more provocatively than they would choose themselves.
  8. Economic Abuse
    The State Police also acknowledge economic abuse as a domestic violence abuse. Below are examples:

    • Denying someone access to their bank accounts.
    • Preventing someone from getting or keep a job.
    • Preventing someone from going to school.
  9. Personal Protection Orders (PPOs)
    A personal protection order may be filed by a person who is seeking protection for a domestic relationship where domestic violence has occurred. This is filed by the circuit court or the family division of the circuit court.

  10. No-Contact Orders
    During the proceedings, often times the Judge will issue a no-contact order. This means that the defendant cannot contact the victim in any way. If this is not followed, the Judge could revoke the bond and the defendant would return to jail.

Domestic Violence Penalties

1st Time Offenders: The conviction of a domestic violence case would result in a misdemeanor punishable by 93 days in jail and/or a fine of $500.

2nd Time Offenders: If convicted of domestic violence a second time, there is a misdemeanor charge with penalties up to a year in jail and/or $1000 fine.

3rd Time Offenders: Being convicted of domestic violence a third time results in a felony charge with penalties of up to 2 years in jail and/or $2,500 fine.


A domestic violence charge is serious, but you or your loved one do not have to face it alone. Having an experienced criminal defense attorney by your side is critical. Please contact my office.

248-348-7400 or 586-530-1000