Domestic Violence UNIT
Our mission is to eliminate domestic assault in our community and to educate those affected by aggressively prosecuting criminal offenders while providing support to survivors throughout the criminal justice process.
What is domestic violence?
The Domestic Violence Unit concentrates on difficult and sensitive cases involving violence in the home. Domestic violence is defined as physical violence between spouses, former spouses, residents or former residents of the household, or individuals who have a child in common. The DV Unit handles cases ranging from 93 day misdemeanors to murder cases, and may also include child abuse cases.
Assistant Prosecutors in the unit are specially trained in the domestic violence cycle, and follow felony DV cases through the prosecution process from initiation to conclusion. This system of vertical prosecution enables the prosecutor to establish a rapport with the victim throughout the prosecution of the case, and ensures a consistent, fair, and aggressive approach. Victim advocacy services are also available to victims of domestic violence as they are to all victims of crimes in Macomb County.
Domestic violence statutes have changed dramatically in recent years. Unlike most other misdemeanors in which a police officer must observe the actual criminal act before he can arrest without a warrant, the law provides that an officer may make an arrest as long as he has probable cause to believe that the assault occurred. In 1994 new penalties were enacted for this class of crimes. The first conviction for a domestic violence assault is punishable by up to 93 days in jail, plus fines and costs. A second conviction, which is also a misdemeanor, is punishable by up to one year in jail. A third conviction becomes a felony, with up to 5 years incarceration.
Victims of domestic violence may also contact Turning Point for counseling and shelter: (586) 463-6990.
Chief APA Victoria Policicchio
APA Dana Chiamp-Litz
APA Melissa Simmons
What does “domestic violence” mean?
Domestic violence is a learned pattern of assaultive, 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 term “relationship” includes a current or former spouse, a family member, the other parent of your child, a current or former roommate, a current or former individual in a dating relationship, a domestic partner.
The domestic partner 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.
- 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 the victims earned money, giving the victim an allowance, and or making them ask for money, etc.
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 and 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.
Michigan’s domestic violence statute
Michigan laws define “domestic violence” as an assault or an assault & battery by a:
- 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
Michigan uses two classifications of domestic violence:
DOMESTIC ASSAULT [MCL 750.81]
- Victim need not be injured!
- Criminal penalties (including 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 5 years in prison and/or $2,500 fine
AGGRAVATED DOMESTIC ASSAULT [MCL 750.81A]
- Victim must receive serious or aggravated injuries (such as injuries requiring immediate medical attention)
- Criminal penalties (including 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 5 years in prison and/or $2,500 fine
As of 04/01/2002, a person arrested for Domestic Violence cannot be released from jail on an interim bond set by the jail. The person must be held until he or she can be arraigned, or has an interim bond set by a judge or district court magistrate. The judge or magistrate’s interim bond can include conditions, such as having no contact with the victim. (See 2001 PA 198.)
Personal Protection Order
PPO Assistance Center Information
Personal Protection Order Assistance Center
40 North Main, 1st Floor
Mount Clemens, MI 48043
Phone: (586) 469-7494
In a Personal Protection Order (PPO), the court orders an individual to stop threats or violence against you. According to the court rules, the proceeding to obtain an order is called a “personal protection action.”
The following describes the three types of PPOs:
(1) Domestic PPO – when the person you want protection from is:
- Your spouse or former spouse
- Someone with whom you have a child in common
- Someone you are dating or used to date
- Someone who lives now or has ever lived in the same household as you
You must demonstrate to the Court that this person is interfering with your personal liberty or has threatened to or has committed violence against you.
(2) Non-Domestic Stalking PPO – when the person you want protection from has engaged in a pattern of two or more non-continuous acts, without your consent, that make you feel threatened, harassed, frightened, or molested.
(3) Non-Domestic Sexual Assault PPO – when the person you want protection from has been convicted of sexual assault against you or subjected you to, threatened you with, or placed you in reasonable apprehension of sexual assault, or if you are a minor child furnished you with obscene material.
Note: You may not get a PPO against your minor child. Likewise, a minor child cannot obtain a PPO against a biological parent (unless emancipated). In these cases, contact the Juvenile Division of the Macomb County Circuit Court at 586-469-5195.
How to Get a Personal Protection Order in Macomb County Circuit Court:
Resources for domestic violence victims
If your situation is an emergency, call 911!
Otherwise, call the nearest Macomb County police department.
Macomb County Sheriff’s Office – (586) 469-5151
Armada Police Department – (586) 784-9152
Centerline Police Department – (586) 757-2200
Clinton Township Police Department – (586) 493-7800
Eastpointe Police Department – (586) 445-5100
Fraser Police Department – (586) 293-1425
Memphis Police Department – (810) 392-2144
New Baltimore Police Department – (586) 725-2192
Richmond Police Department – (586) 727-4000
Romeo Police Department – (586) 752-3587
Roseville Police Department – (586) 775-2100
St. Clair Shores Police Department – (586) 445-5300
Shelby Township Police Department – (586) 731-2121 x312
Sterling Heights Police Department – (586) 446-2800
Utica Police Department – (586) 731-2345
Warren Police Department – (586) 574-4700
McLaren Macomb General Hospital
1000 Harrington Blvd.
Mt. Clemens, MI 48043
Ascension Macomb-Oakland Hospital, Warren Campus
11800 Twelve Mile Road
Warren, MI 48093
Henry Ford Macomb Hospital
15855 19 Mile Road
Clinton Township, MI 48038
Harbor Oaks Hospital
35031 23 Mile Road
New Baltimore, MI 48047
Henry Ford Medical Center – Lakeside
14500 Hall Rd
Sterling Heights, MI 48313
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 child care
- Individual counseling and support groups
- Assistance in developing a safety plan
Turning Point, Inc.
P.O. Box 1123
Mt. Clemens, MI 48046
24 Hour Crisis Line: (586) 463-6990
Fax: (586) 463-1771