When people hear that a person has been charged with a domestic assault charge, they tend to imagine a fight between spouses or significant others. However, it is important to realize that under Michigan law, anyone in a domestic relationship can be involved in a domestic assault. This can include roommates, former spouses and family members.
Recently, a 17-year-old Michigan boy was charged with domestic assault after he and his father got into an argument. What started as a father confronting his son about some jewelry that had gone missing ended up with broken dishes and the arrest of the son.
The altercation happened on Father's Day, unfortunately. The father and son got into an argument after the father voiced suspicions that the son had stolen and pawned some jewelry. The argument escalated and the son got very defensive. He started breaking dishes and then threatened his dad with a kitchen knife.
The police were called and arrived to find the dad restraining his son. While he had been bitten on the arm by his son, the father was not injured. The son was charged with felonious assault and domestic assault. He must also be examined for mental health problems and tested for drug use. Further, the teen can have no contact with his father. This may be very difficult if the two live in the same house.
In situations like this, a young person may be suffering from drug addiction or a mental disorder such as depression. Reacting in this way towards a family member, especially a parent, may suggest underlying problems. Parents and their teenage kids fight all the time, but when it reaches these levels where a person's safety is in jeopardy, it may be necessary to explore what the root of the problem is.
Not everyone who is involved in a domestic assault has intentions of seriously harming the other person. Many times, an argument spirals out of control and a person reacts in an unusually violent or aggressive way. There are no reports that the son in the case has ever been involved in a similar situation, so it may be more helpful for him to seek treatment or counseling than to spend time in jail.
Source: The Detroit News, "Commerce Township teen charged in Father's Day assault on dad," Mike Martindale, June 18, 2012