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Charged with Domestic Violence – Michigan

If you have been charged with Domestic Violence then you probably have a lot of questions like: What happens when I go to court? What is an arraignment? What are bond conditions? Should I plea Guilty or Not Guilty? What is the possible penalty for domestic violence? What are the defenses to domestic violence?

Domestic violence defense lawyer, Aaron J. Boria has the answers you have when being charged with domestic violence. (734)453-7806

If you are charged with domestic violence your matter will be heard at the local District Court. If you are facing a misdemeanor domestic violence charge your case will stay with the district court. If you are facing a felony the matter could ultimately be bound over to the circuit court in the county it occurred.

What happens when you go to court for Domestic Violence?

Court is broken down into multiple hearings on different days. The arraignment is the first hearing you will have. There are three different scenarios as to how you will get arraigned on criminal charges:

One, if you were arrested for domestic violence and taken to the police station the police may hold you until they can get you in front of a judge or magistrate to be arraigned.

Two, police may hold you and let you out after posting a bond and give you a court date to come back for your arraignment.

Three: Police may simply let you go with a ticket or nothing at all and it is on you to contact the court regarding your arraignment date.

What is an arraignment for Domestic Violence?

The purpose of arraignment is two fold. First, the judge will tell you what the police and prosecution are accusing you of, and what the maximum possible penalty is; this is usually done by the judge reading a document to the accused called the complaint. The judge will ask you if you understand the charges, not if you agree with them (this isn’t the time to present your case).

The second purpose of arraignment is to address bond. Bond is a promise that you will come back to court and face the charges against you. Even if you paid a bond to leave the police station the judge may raise, lower, or keep the bond where it is. If the police never released you the judge will order a bond at this time.

Bond can be a personal bond where you don’t pay any money upfront but you will owe money if you don’t show up to court or you violate your bond conditions. Another common bond is a 10% bond. An example of this type of bond is where a judge orders $10,000.00 at 10% where you pay $1,000.00 to get out of jail but you will owe the court $10,000.00 if you violate your bond. Finally, there are bonds where a judge orders an amount and that is the amount you owe to stay out of jail, no %10.

What are bond conditions?

Above I mentioned Bond Conditions in connection with posting money to stay out of jail while your matter is pending. Bond conditions are things the court orders you to do or things not to while you are accused of domestic violence. For many people this is very frustrating because the judge has just read them their rights and told them that they are presumed innocent, yet the judge is making them pay money to leave the court and forcing them to do things they don’t want to do which makes people feel like they are being treated as if they were already found guilty.

Common bond conditions when you are accused of domestic violence are that you do not have any contact with the person you supposedly assaulted, that you do not possess any firearms or weapons, that you do not drink alcohol or do drugs and that you submit to random testing for the same. If you have firearms you will be ordered to get them out of your possession, so you will have to find someone you trust to hold onto your guns while the case is resolved.

Should I plea Guilty or Not Guilty to Domestic Violence?

Every case is different, but rarely would I advise someone to plead guilty at their arraignment. You may believe you are guilty, but many cases can still be dismissed because the police violated your rights or a witness is unreliable, or your attorney can simply workout a better deal for you. Bottom line – don’t plead guilty to domestic violence unless your lawyer recommends it.

What is the possible penalty?

Domestic violence first offense is a misdemeanor. The maximum possible penalty is up to 93 days in jail and a fine of $500 plus costs.

Domestic violence second offense is a misdemeanor. A second offense is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.00 plus costs.

Domestic violence third offense is a felony. A third offense is punishable by up to 5 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.00.

Aside from the potential jail time, fines, and costs, the misdemeanor offenses also carry the possibility of up to 2 years on probation with probation (up to 5 years with the felony) conditions like anger management, drug and alcohol testing, drug and alcohol education, counseling, community service and work program.

What are domestic violence defenses?

Every case is different. The facts of a person’s case will determine what defenses are available to them. Some DV cases will have very strong defenses and some DV cases will have very weak defenses.

Common defenses for domestic violence include the following:

Your accuser is lying

The witness is either lying or is mistaken about what they saw

You were acting in self-defense

You were acting in the defense of another person (defense of others)

You were not the person that committed the crime

You were given consent (mutual combatants)

It was an accident

Domestic violence lawyer, Aaron J. Boria has represented people accused of domestic assault all over the state of Michigan including all over Oakland County, Wayne County, and Washtenaw County.

To date, Boria has won all of the domestic violence cases he has taken to trial. In many of his cases where his client was truly guilty he was able to create a plea deal with the attorney representing the government and police that resulted in the client having a dismissal of the charges.

Boria takes on a limited number of cases every month to make sure that the cases he does take get the absolute best possible representation available. We fight for our clients and we get results.

Call (734) 453-7806 or email Attorney Boria directly at