Domestic violence is a serious crime. Known as domestic assault in Michigan, it’s a crime that is incredibly common.
Usually, two adults who reside together get into a heated argument. Wanting to deescalate the situation, one of the adults often calls the police. He or she think if police officers arrive at the scene, the officers will be able to facilitate a resolution or at the very least help the adults cool down and then be on their way.
Little do these individuals know about the unwritten rule whereby officers, when dispatched to domestic violence disputes, nearly always arrest one of the parties.
Nearly every time, one of the parties will volunteer information to the officer in order to help the situation when in reality, that party is offering incriminating evidence to the officer not knowing the officer is about to arrest someone. This is an unattended consequence our law firm commonly sees in domestic assault cases.
What Michigan Law Says About Domestic Violence
Under Michigan law, assuming the person charged does not have any prior domestic assault convictions on his or her record, domestic assault is typically charged as a misdemeanor.
Both domestic assault (when the victim is not injured) and aggravated domestic assault (when the victim receives serious or aggravated injuries) are misdemeanors.
Domestic assault is a 93-day misdemeanor and aggravated domestic assault is a 1-year misdemeanor.
The Right to Possess a Firearm Under Michigan and Federal Laws
Domestic assault charges are especially concerning for individuals who want to possess a firearm. These include hunters, police officers, military personnel, or CCW holders. State and federal laws differ regarding gun possession and ownership.
For instance, you must be at least 18 to purchase a gun in Michigan. To purchase a handgun from a federally licensed dealer, you must be at least 21. Anyone convicted of a felony is barred from possessing a firearm under federal law.
However, in Michigan, a convicted felon is usually only restricted from possessing a firearm for a period of 3 to 5 years.
As to domestic violence, federal law prohibits the possession of gun if an individual has a misdemeanor domestic violence conviction, and Michigan does not. The federal rule is known as the “Brady Disqualifier.” Federal law defines the term “misdemeanor crime of domestic violence” as a misdemeanor that:
“has, as an element, the use or attempted use of physical force, or the threatened use of a deadly weapon…”
Domestic Violence and The Use of a Firearm
Michigan’s domestic assault and aggravated domestic assault charges do not include the use of weapon. Instead, Michigan has a separate offense, assault with a deadly weapon, which is a felony. As you can see, Michigan and federal laws greatly differ and the need for an attorney to navigate these areas is a must.
Attorney Morris has enjoyed a very successful and distinguished career as a trial lawyer providing high quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for 20 years. He is known for his trial preparation by fellow attorneys, judges and clients alike. As a trial attorney, he is dedicated to attaining justice in every case, and is prepared to take on complex legal issues with success. Barton and his law firm pride themselves on obtaining results for their clients that other attorneys cannot.
Not only does Barton Morris have extensive experience, he also engages in continuing legal education to provide the highest quality legal services. Barton has received specialized scientific training through the American Chemical Society. He attended the prestigious Trial Lawyers College and serves on its Alumni Association Board of Directors. Barton Morris is also a board member of several distinguished legal associations including the Michigan Association of OWI Attorneys, and the DUI Defense Lawyer’s Association Justice Foundation. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Attorneys and has also graduated from their National Criminal Defense Trial College in Macon, Georgia.
Barton Morris was chosen as a Top Lawyer of Metro Detroit for 2012, 2013, 2014, 2019 and 2020 for DUI/DWI and criminal defense by DBusiness Magazine and Hour Magazine. Barton Morris was also chosen as a Super Lawyer in Criminal Defense for 2014-2020 and Barton Morris is the only Lawyer in Michigan designated by the American Chemical Society as a “Forensic Lawyer-Scientist”