Grand Rapids Criminal Lawyer
In Michigan, assault and battery charges range from misdemeanor verbal threats to felony physical attacks. Depending upon the facts and circumstances, the penalties and punishment vary widely from probation to significant fines and prison time. Because the consequences are serious—even if you are innocent—you need a skilled Grand Rapids Criminal Lawyer to protect your interests.
What exactly is “Assault” or “Assault and Battery”? These are two distinct offenses under Michigan law. Assault is a threat of violence toward someone that does NOT involve actual physical contact. The assailant must appear to have the ability to carry out the threat, however. “Assault and Battery,” on the other hand, requires physical contact. In either case, the accused must have had the intent to assault or batter the person. (MCL 750.81).
Are you facing a Misdemeanor Assault and Battery Charge?
Simple Assault, Assault and Battery, and Aggravated Assault and Battery are charged as misdemeanors. How do these offenses differ?
When there is not an injury involved, the charge is simple Assault or Assault and Battery and if convicted your potential penalties and punishment are jail time up to 93 days and/or a fine up to $500. However, if an injury is sustained, but a weapon was not used in the incident, then the charge is Aggravated Assault and Battery and if convicted, the penalties and punishment are more serious: jail time up to one year and/or a fine not to exceed $1,000. (MCL 750.81, .81a).
The Michigan statutes pertaining to both Simple Assault/Assault and Battery and Aggravated Assault and Battery include domestic assaults and the potential punishment and penalties are the same, unless it is NOT the first offense. Once someone is convicted of domestic assault, any subsequent convictions trigger enhanced sentencing.
Reach out to a criminal attorney as early in the process as possible. If this is your first conviction, then an experienced Grand Rapids Criminal Lawyer often can obtain probation for you.
What actions give rise to a Felony Assault and Battery Charge?
Assault and Battery rises to a felony charge under certain circumstances—the more serious the intent and injury, then the more serious the charge. Some victims’ status alone prompts a felony charge. The prosecutor will usually seek the highest charge possible and a felony conviction carries harsher punishment than a misdemeanor.
What are the Michigan felony assault charges and how do they differ? Several felony Assault charges carry possible life sentences: Assault with Intent to Commit Murder; to Torture; or to Rob or Steal with a Dangerous Weapon. A lesser but very serious offense is Assault with Intent to Rob or Steal but unarmed. If convicted, you will face up to 15 years in prison, not life. (MCL 750.83, .85, .89).
If you commit Assault with a Weapon without intent to commit murder or cause great bodily harm, then you face up to 4 years in prison and/or fines up to $2000. (MCL 750.82). The remaining felony assault charges carry a sentence up to 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $5000: Assault with Intent to Commit Great Bodily Harm; to Maim; or to Commit a Felony, such as kidnapping or robbery. (MCL 750.84, .86, .87).
What should you do if you are facing an Assault and Battery charge?
We strongly recommend you seek counsel of a Grand Rapids Criminal Lawyer. You may have a viable defense to your actions, including self-defense; consent by the victim (i.e., injured while playing a rough sport); and/or defense of another.
Contact A Grand Rapids Criminal Lawyer
Because any conviction seriously impacts your future, even your employment and housing choices, you need a dedicated Grand Rapids Criminal Lawyer to safeguard your interests. At Miel & Carr, PLC, we are ready to fight right alongside you and work together to develop a strategy–whether it is complete dismissal of the charges or defending you aggressively at trial. Contact one of our professional Criminal Defense Lawyers at (616) 773-2945.