Iron County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office
Domestic Violence

2 S. Sixth Street, Suite 1
Crystal Falls, MI  49920-1413
906-875-6628 ~ Fax: 906-875-0646

Michigan’s Domestic Violence Statute

Michigan laws define “domestic violence” as an assault or an assault & battery by a

  • spouse
  • former spouse
  • person residing or having resided in the same household as the victim
  • person having a child in common with the victim
  • person with whom he/she has or has had a dating relationship [eff. after 04/01/2002]

Michigan uses two classifications of domestic violence:

Domestic Assault [MCL 750.81]

Victim need not be injured!

Criminal penalties (+ possible probation, counseling, community service, etc.):

  • 1st conviction (misdemeanor)-. up to 93 days in jail and/or $500 fine
  • 2nd conviction (misdemeanor): up to 1 year in jail and/or $1,000 fine 3rd or more conviction (felony): up to 2 years in prison and/or $2,500 fine

Aggravated Domestic Assault [MCL750.81a]

Victim must receive serious or aggravated injuries (such as injuries requiring immediate medical attention)
Criminal penalties (+ possible probation, counseling, community service, etc.)

  • 1st conviction (misdemeanor): up to 1 year in jail and/or $1,000 fine
  • 2nd conviction (felony): up to 2 years in prison and/or $2,500 fine

What Does “Domestic Violence” Mean?

Domestic violence is a learned pattern of physical, verbal, sexual and/or emotional behaviors in which one person in a relationship uses force and intimidation to dominate or control the other person. The partners may be married or not married; heterosexual, gay or lesbian; living together, separated or dating. Domestic violence occurs in all ages, races, genders and social classes.

The violence takes many forms and can happen all the time or once in a while. Examples of domestic violence are:

  • physical assault or abuse — hitting, pushing, shoving, slapping, choking, punching, kicking, grabbing, beating, throwing her down, tripping, twisting arms, biting, using a weapon
  • threatened physical harm
  • sexual assault or abuse
    — unwanted, forced sexual activity, making her do sexual things against her will, physically attacking the sexual parts of her body, etc.
  • stalking intimidation emotional abuse — mind games, name-calling, put-downs, making the victim feel bad about herself jealousy — a sign of possessiveness and lack of trust
  • controlling behavior and forced isolation (from family or friends) — controlling what the victim does, who the victim sees or talks to, where the victim goes, relocating to a remote area, etc.
  • economic abuse — preventing the victim from getting or holding a job, and controlling the purse-strings by withholding money, taking her earned money, giving her an allowance, making her ask for money, etc.

An important step to help yourself or someone you know prevent or stop violence is recognizing the warning signs listed on the “Violence Wheel”.

If you are in an abusive relationship …

You are not alone!
You are not to blame!
You can get help!

  • Get medical attention if you have been physically injured. Save evidence to document the abuse (medical records, photographs of injuries and damage to your property, etc.).
  • Make a safety plan, which may include figuring out the “warning signs” that come before abuse:
    • work out signals with neighbors to call the police ask a friend or relative to stay with you
    • decide where you can go and what to take with you if you must leave (money, important documents, spare clothes, car keys, etc.) protect your children
  • Report domestic violence and stalking to the police! They can & will:
    • protect you from immediate danger, and help you and your children get out of the house safely;  arrest the abuser without a warrant when there is reasonable cause to believe that an assault has taken place or that the abuser has violated a Personal Protection Order or a restraining order;
    • advise you of available shelter programs and other services in your area;
    • write out a police report which can be used to help prove the abuse occurred and show good cause for a judge to grant a personal protection order or a restraining order.


Domestic violence shelters can provide safe, short-term housing, information, and assistance in considering all the options available to victims. They can also help break down the isolation victims have experienced in their abusive relationships and provide support from others who have been through similar experiences. Shelters provide a variety of supportive services which are confidential and free of charge:

  • 24 hour confidential crisis hotline shelter for victims and their children crisis intervention information and referrals legal advocacy housing assistance transportation childcare individual counseling and support groups
  • assistance in developing a safety plan

The Caring House ~ 1-800-392-783

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