Getting a second chance

04 Feb 2019 - Purna Krishnamoorthy

Getting a Second Chance…

First-time offenders often fear that their name will be forever tarnished once they get their first criminal charge. In many cases this will affect their futures significantly in terms of future employment, ability to rent property, ability to vote, etc.

However, for first time offenders, all hope is not yet lost! For instance, in Michigan there is a statute MCL 769.4 (A) which allows for a first-time offender of domestic violence to be relieved of their record if in fact they complete the proper probationary steps.

Crimes involving domestic violence are commonly defined as assaults or batteries committed against a party related to you, a party you have a child with, a party you live with, or someone whom you are dating or have previously dated. In Michigan, domestic violence is a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to 93 days in jail and/or fines resulting in costs of $500 or more.

Michigan statute 769.4 (A) allows for this first-time offender to keep this offense off of their record so long as the victim, prosecutor and judge agree to allow it. In order to execute this statute properly the offender must first plead guilty to the charge of domestic violence, following this the judge will hold the offender’s file until the probation period is over. The period of probation usually lasts one-year and consists of counseling in the form of anger management and/or drug/alcohol rehabilitation, additionally, there cannot be any contact between the offender and the victim during the period of probation. If the offender can strictly adhere to these terms, after the one-year period of probation is over, his/her record will be expunged of the offense. If however the offender is unable to strictly adhere to the terms of the probation, a judgment of guilt will be entered against the offender and they will be sentenced according to the terms of the charge.

It is always best to seek the advice of experienced counsel when facing matters as serious as domestic violence charges. If you, or someone you know is a first-time offender and is seeking a second chance, please give Krishnamoorthy & Associates, PLLC., a call at: (248) 358-6995.