Domestic Violence Diversion Program
There is a domestic violence diversion program in Michigan that is available to eligible individuals who enter a guilty plea.
Am I eligible?
The statutory diversion program, which can be found in Michigan Compiled Laws 769.4a, is available to individuals who plead guilty to domestic violence. To qualify, the “victim” must be either:
- A spouse
- A former spouse
- A person living or has lived in the same house as you
- Someone you have or had a dating relationship with
- Someone you have a child in common with
To be eligible, you must plead guilty to committing the domestic violence. The prosecutor must consent to you receiving the program, after discussing it with the complainant. If you’ve ever been convicted of an assaultive crime in the past, you would not be eligible.
What are the benefits?
The number one benefit is that you will not have a criminal conviction on your public record. While you must plead guilty, the court does not officially enter the plea as a conviction, and it is kept non-public. If you successfully complete probation, you will never have been convicted of a crime. You can indicate to employers that you have never been “convicted” of a crime.
It is important to note, however, that the courts and law enforcement still have records of the offense. While it is not public, a plea under MCL 769.4a can still be used against you. For instance, should you ever be accused of Domestic Violence in the future, it will count as a prior conviction. The second offense would be punishable by up to a year in jail.
A domestic violence conviction will prohibit you from possessing firearms, but participation and successful completion of the program will allow you to legally possess firearms.
What will happen after I plea?
After pleading guilty to Domestic Violence, you will be placed on probation which is intended to be rehabilitative. The court can order counseling, typically for 26 or 52 weeks. You may be required to serve some jail time as well.
What can happen if I am unsuccessful in completing the program?
If you violate probation, the court can revoke the probation and incarcerate you. If the court decides to revoke your probation, a conviction will enter on your record and will be public.