Fighting couple

Keeping A Domestic Violence Charge Off Your Record With A 769.4a Diversion

The unlawful touching upon a spouse, former spouse, person with whom you have a child in common, or person residing in the same household is called a Domestic Violence.

If you have been charged with domestic violence and it is your first offense, you may be eligible to have the charge dismissed, and thus keep your record clean pursuant to Michigan Law Criminal Code 769.4a.  It seems pretty cut and dry, but there are requirements.

  • The “victim” must be someone you have had a personal relationship with, such as your spouse or former spouse, or a person living or having lived in the same home as you, or someone you have or had a dating relationship with.
  • You cannot have been convicted of an assaultive crime in the past.  An assaultive crime is usually any sort of violent crime or crime that puts another person in fear of being hurt by you.
  • You have to accept responsibility for what happened and plead guilty.
  • The prosecuting attorney must give their stamp of approval after discussing the program with the “victim.”

Once the requirements are satisfied, the court may defer any further proceedings against you and just put you on probation instead. Your guilty plea with the court will not be officially entered and it is not public information, so there will be no record of you being charged with the crime in the first place.

What Does Probation Mean?

It can mean any number of different things. It really depends on the specific facts of your case:

  1. The court can order you to participate in a counseling program and to pay the reasonable costs of such programs.
  2. If drugs or alcohol played a role in the incident, the court can order you to submit to random drug and alcohol testing.
  3. Additionally, the court can also order jail time not to exceed 12 months. However, with the right attorney, a work or school release program from jail can be negotiated.
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After you successfully complete all the terms of your probation, the court will dismiss the charges. The good thing about taking a deal under this program, is that once your probation is done you can legitimately say that you have never been convicted of a crime – because you haven’t!

If you or a loved one needs the help of an experienced domestic violence attorney in Southeast Michigan, call the Law Offices of Barton Morris at (248) 541-2600.