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Michigan Assault Lawyer
Being charged with assault in Michigan is a serious offense, with the potential to result in considerable jail time and fines. Due to the social climate surrounding violent crimes and domestic abuse and violence, prosecutors and judges are under pressure to deal with assault cases harshly. This makes defense against these charges significantly more difficult, leaving little wiggle room or leeway for understanding from the justice system.
Working with an experienced criminal defense attorney specializing in assault charges is critical to protect your future and your freedom. The team of expert defense attorneys at George Law have decades of combined experience successfully defending clients against assault charges. If you are facing assault charges in Michigan, please contact us today to find out we can help you achieve the best possible outcome.
Elements of Assault Charges
There is often confusion between assault and battery charges. While commonly grouped together or referred to interchangeably, they are in fact two different charges and two different crimes. Being charged with assault does not require actual physical injury to occur to a victim, although if it does then a battery charge will be included as well. Often, the threat of violence or giving a reasonable fear of violence is enough to be charged with assault.
This can create a grey area in which accusations are a result of misunderstandings, exaggerations, or a matter of someone’s word against another’s. Normally, this would be sorted out by the courts and each party would be treated fairly. However, due to widening public views on violent and non-violent crimes, this is often not the case.
Non-violent crimes have continued to be viewed by the public as less serious, resulting in generally lighter sentencing and punishment. Instead, the focus has shifted to violent crimes, with pressure put on prosecutors to aggressively pursue every violent crime accusation regardless of their validity. This is especially true of domestic violence cases, where prosecutors do not hesitate to bring charges upon an accusation, even if the victim later decides not to press charges.
Punishments for assault charges depend on the circumstances surrounding the offense, as well as any prior criminal history the defendant may have had. Generally speaking, first time assault charges begin as misdemeanors, carrying up to a 93 day jail sentence and two years of probation. However, as the seriousness of the assault increases, so do the sentencing guidelines and potential jail time.
Aggravated assault is one of the most common offenses that fall into this category of increased seriousness. This is a type of assault that results in serious bodily injury to the victim. In the case of aggravated assault, the defendant will be looking at up to a year in jail and fines of up to $1,000. When a deadly weapon is involved, such as a gun, knife or club, then the charge is upgraded to assault with a deadly weapon, also commonly known as felonious assault. The punishment for this is up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.
Michigan Assault And Battery Laws
There are several different kinds of assault and battery charges in Michigan, with varying levels of punishment. Covered under MCL 750.81, these charges are broken up specifically into assault and assault and battery, depending on whether actual physical harm was inflicted. It should be noted that assault is defined as the threat of inflicting harm or giving one a reasonable fear of physical harm, whereas battery is when actual bodily harm is inflicted upon another. Below is a comprehensive list of all assault and battery charges in Michigan.
First Offense – The lowest level of assault and battery charges, this misdemeanor level offense applies to first time offenders who have assaulted or assaulted and battered another individual. The punishment for this includes up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
Second Offense – This second level assault and battery charge is a misdemeanor level offense that applies to those who have assaulted or assaulted and battered another individual and have a prior conviction for the same offense. Punishment for this offense is up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
Third Offense – The highest level of assault and battery charges, this felony level offense occurs when an offender assaults or assaults and batters another individual and has two or more prior convictions for the same offense. The punishment for this is imprisonment for up to five years and a fine of up to $5,000.
Assault Defense Lawyer
It should be clear that being charged with assault is a very serious situation to find yourself in. When charged with assault in Michigan, the first thing you should do before speaking to the police, investigators or prosecutors is to contact a licensed criminal defense attorney who has experience with assault and battery cases. Our team of criminal defense lawyers have the knowledge and experience required to ensure your assault charge does not have a permanent negative effect on the rest of your life.
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