Domestic Abuse or Assault? How The Difference Can Affect Your Children (Pt 1)

December 27, 2017 Abuse and Neglect Attorney
Man walking toward child holding stick
The difference between assault and domestic violence is the family that’s affected!

This is a question we get asked a lot: What is the difference between Domestic Abuse and Assault? Is there even a difference in Michigan? And if so, how could it affect me and my children? We understand that this can be a confusing subject, with a huge impact on a family, so we’ve decided to break it down for you in the hopes of making things a little easier to understand. Here goes…

First and foremost, you need to understand that there is a difference – a big one – but the primary thing that makes them different is the family involved! That’s right! The fact that it involves the family is what makes Assault different from Domestic Abuse. And so for that reason, from a parent’s perspective, it’s critical to understand how the law categorizes the two charges.

Domestic Abuse has a very specific definition in Michigan law

Under Michigan law, Domestic Abuse, which is also known as Domestic Violence and Domestic Assault, is defined as any form of domestic violence done to any person who is in a domestic relationship with you. This could include a wife or husband, a girlfriend or boyfriend, a life partner, and even an adult child living in your home. Harming a young child would be classified as child abuse, not domestic abuse.

Domestic Abuse is any kind of assault or battery. In fact, the victim doesn’t even need to be injured for prosecutors to bring a domestic assault charge against you. The relationship between the alleged assailant and the alleged victim is what defines this charge.

Domestic Abuse charges fall into two categories in Michigan:

Domestic Assault and Aggravated Domestic Assault. The difference is that domestic assault is any form of assault or battery of the victim and could result in misdemeanor charges punishable by up to 93 days in jail and a $500 fine. Aggravated Domestic Assault is the charge used when the victim is harmed badly enough to need medical attention, but the violence didn’t involve a weapon. This would be charged also as a misdemeanor but the jail time would be increased to 1 year and the fines would be $1,000.

Join us next time, for further break down on the differences between the two charges. Until then, if you or a loved one have been charged with Domestic Violence in Michigan, or are facing a CPS investigation as a result of Domestic Abuse, contact us immediately at 866-766-5245. The highly skilled child abuse and neglect defense attorneys at The Kronzek Firm have decades of experience successfully defending clients battling for their right to parent in the face of abusive home situations. Call us today. We are here to help you.