Is there a typical demographic for domestic violence cases?
More often than not it’s men that get accused of the crime, however, a lot of women also get accused. Beyond that, I would say typically you are dealing with people that are 50 years old or younger but not always.
Do senior citizens ever engage in this sort of activity?
We definitely get some cases where people are over 50 and the thing that’s important to know about it is, domestic violence is basically an assault and battery, on someone with whom you have or have had a domestic relationship, and so, an assault is placing someone in fear of an imminent battery. That’s the legal definition. Battery is legally defined as a harmful or offensive touching. So if you strictly apply the legal definitions of assault and battery, it doesn’t take very much for there to be a domestic violence. For example, grabbing someone’s arm and stopping them from leaving during an argument is a common thing that happens and gets people charged with domestic violence.
Pushing Someone Away from Yourself During An Argument Can Potentially Result in a Domestic Violence Charge
Pushing someone away from you during an argument can be a domestic violence and we see people get arrested for it. A single slap in the face is a domestic assault and people arrested for that. A scratch, a bite, any single incident, technically you could even be guilty of it if you just charged at somebody and raised your fist at them without even touching them because you placed them in imminent fear that you were about to touch them. The way the law is written, it’s very easy to be guilty of domestic violence and if you run into police officers who are literally enforcing it through the strictest letter, it’s not that uncommon for people to get arrested on what most would consider relatively minor incidents.
Different Degrees of Assault Charges in the State of Michigan
The minimum, when it comes to domestic things is a first offense domestic violence. That’s a misdemeanor, it is punishable by up to 93 days in jail. That’s your run-of-the-mill domestic violence charge that occurs the majority of the time. Beyond that you have a second offense which is a misdemeanor but is punishable by additional jail time and a third or subsequent offense can be charged as a felony which, it’s the same crime, it’s just because of the priors it has now become a felony, and that can end up with years in prison. If you add a weapon in, then it becomes felonious assault and a weapon could be a broom handle, it could be driving your car at somebody in a manner to scare them, it could be a gun or a knife obviously but it doesn’t have to be something that people automatically think of as a weapon, it could be a hammer, screwdriver, any kind of tool that could be used as a weapon.
An Assault With Intent to Commit Great Bodily Harm is the Highest Degree of Assault
That’s also a felony. Then the next highest up is a type of assault where someone really gets beat up or really gets injured seriously and that could be an assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder. Probably the highest two levels would be attempted murder or murder if they thought that there was actually an intent to try and kill somebody or someone actually got killed during the assault. That’s pretty much the ladder of trouble when it comes to assault and battery or domestic violence type crimes.