Legal Question in Criminal Law in Michigan

I am currently 7 months pregnant. Recently my partner and I had an argument that ended pretty physical. He went to jail that night and is now waiting for his trial on October 29th however he has already given a guilty plea. I was wondering if since I am pregnant does that make his crime a misdemeanor or a felony??? Does me being pregnant effect his sentencing?? He was underage and drinking does that effect his time too? Would this effect him being there for his child??? If I decided I wanted to have the charges dropped, could I???

Asked on 10/03/13, 3:48 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Neil O'Brien Eaton County Chief Assistant Prosecuting Attorney

You being pregnant does not change the charge ... unless he was assaulting you with an intent to injure the fetus, and injury to the fetus / embryo resulted from this assault. If that happened, then the charge would be much more serious. But there is no separate crime in Michigan for assaulting a person who happens to be pregnant. The fact that you were pregnant when he assaulted you could affect what the judge decides to do at sentencing, but you don't tell us enough about his prior record, about prior fights / assaults between the two of you, if you were injured, etc. to even begin to guess whether your pregnancy would likely affect the sentence. Further, not knowing who the judge is and that judge's sentencing tendencies makes any answer to that question a total guess. The fact that he was drinking underage could very likely affect the sentence: not in the severity of it (ie, more jail time) but in the probation terms imposed; the judge would be more likely to order alcohol/drug counseling and testing as a probation condition in addition to the likely requirement that he complete a batterer's intervention program. ("Anger management" is an oxymoron. He manages his anger just fine 99% of the time and with 99% of the people.) Yes, his sentence could affect him "being there for his child". Him being the (alleged) father of a soon-to-be baby out of wedlock is not a good reason for the judge to cut him some slack. Being present at the birth doesn't benefit the baby because he/she won't know it; rather, it's all for his own needs, or to support you (which is good, no doubt). And if he has to miss an event like this because he is paying the price for his own bad acts against the mother of his child, maybe as he sits in his jail cell (or, more importantly, in the months and years to come if he's ever tempted to repeat his violence against you or another person) he will think about future important moments he'll miss with his child if he doesn't shape up (first steps; holidays; birthdays; first words; etc.). Finally, YOU do not issue the charges, the prosecutor does, so YOU do not "drop" the charges, the prosecutor does. However, as the victim, you may tell the prosecutor's office handling the case what you want to see happen with the case. Your wishes will be factored in to the prosecutor's management of the case, but the prosecutor might still go forward even if you don't want that. Too often, victims' motivations in asking charges to be dropped are based on pressure by the defendant, by economic blackmail ("he'll lose his job and we'll get evicted"), etc. But the prosecutor has to look objectively at why / whether the community needs this event prosecuted.

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Answered on 10/04/13, 6:19 am

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