In the courts of Michigan, assault is defined in a variety of ways. The charge you face doesn’t only depend on the result of the alleged offense but also your intent and motivation at the time of the incident.
Generally, assault is defined as an attempt to commit battery (unwanted physical touching or harm) or a believable threat of battery.
Assault and Battery Laws
The most basic criminal assault offense in Michigan is called assault and battery. You may be facing this charge if you assault or assault and batter someone and the situation doesn’t fall under any of the other assault offenses as listed below.
The charge of assault and battery is typically considered a misdemeanor charge and is punishable by up to 93 days in jail and fines reaching $500.
Aggravated Assault – Laws & Penalties
Another misdemeanor assault crime, aggravated assault is slightly more serious than assault and battery. This is because the act in this situation resulted in serious or aggravated injury. Again, this charge applies only if a more serious assault charge isn’t applicable.
Generally, this misdemeanor offense can carry up to one year in jail and $1,000 in fines. However, if you have prior assault convictions on your record, the prosecution may pursue a harsher, enhanced sentence.
Ref: MCL 750.81a
Your assault charge could be a felony if you commit an assault with the use of a weapon and it doesn’t qualify as one of the more serious felony charges. If you face felony assault charges, you could be spending up to 4 years in prison and fined with up to $2,000.
Ref: MCL 750.82
Assault with Intent to Maim or Intent to do Great Bodily Harm
If you commit an assault with the intent to “maim” or intent to do great bodily harm, you can face felony charges.
In order for a charge like this to be applicable, the prosecution must believe you intended (or tried) to permanently damage or even remove a portion of another person’s body, or that you acted with intent to do great bodily harm.
This is a serious felony offense that carries up to 10 years behind bars and fines reaching up to $5,000.
Ref: MCL 750.86
Assault with Intent to Commit a Felony
This assault charge applies when you have the intent to commit a felony of any kind and commit an assault in the process. For instance, assault with intent to commit a felony could apply to certain burglary offenses
This is a felony offense and punishable by up to 10 years in prison and fines reaching $5,000.
Ref: MCL 750.87
Michigan assault laws can get confusing. Particularly if you’re not sure how the prosecution is viewing your alleged offense.
In many circumstances, particularly when you don’t have an extensive criminal record, an assault charge can often be pled down to a less serious offense. Consulting with a criminal defense attorney in the area can give you a good idea if your case might be eligible for such a plea agreement.
If you’re facing charges like these in Michigan, contact us to speak with a local defense attorney for help.