Keeping A Clean Record: Domestic Violence and 769.4a

As discussed in our HYTA and Michigan 7411 posts, the legal system does give some second chances, and it’s important you know what they are! Michigan has a law that allows first time domestic violence offenders the opportunity to still keep their record clean.

Domestic violence crimes are assaults or batteries committed against someone related to you, someone you live with, someone you have a child with, someone you are dating, or someone you have previously had a relationship with.

The Michigan law, MCL 769.4a, is usually just called 769, or pleading “under the statute.” The law allows a person who has no prior history of assaultive behavior a chance to keep their record clean. In order to get 769’s protection, you, the judge and the prosecutor (in consultation with the victim) all must agree to it.

Like HYTA and 7411 the second chance at a clean record is meant to be rehabilitative. If you plead guilty or are found guilty, the court will hold your guilt and put you on probation. If you successfully complete your probation the judgment of guilt will never be entered and the charge will be dismissed.

Probation under 769 is usually one year long, involves counseling, anger management and/or drug treatment, and having no contact or no assaultive contact with the victim. If you violate any of the terms of your probation the court will enter your judgment of guilt and sentence you for the crime of domestic violence. You can only get 769’s protection once, so be careful not to lose this “get out of jail free” card. Domestic violence is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 93 days in jail, and/or up to $500 in fines.

Still have a question about 769 or domestic violence defense? Call Attorney Daniel Ambrose at 248-624-5500.



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