Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Attorney
In Michigan, assault is an attempt to cause physical injury to another person. For example, attempting to hit someone with a bat and missing is assault, even though there was no physical contact. In addition, intentionally threatening to physically harm another individual and being able to carry out that threat is also assault if an individual reasonably believes he or she is about to be injured. Battery, on the other hand, is the actual physical contact or injury to another person, i.e. striking a person with a bat. Assault and battery can be charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony. Felony assault and battery carries a greater penalty than a simple or misdemeanor assault and battery. If you face an assault or assault and battery charge, it is important to speak to a Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney to understand your rights.
Felony Assault and Battery
Simple or misdemeanor assault or assault and battery may become a felony assault or assault and battery in the following circumstances:
– An individual intends to murder another individual. A person could be charged with assault or assault and battery with intent to murder even if the other person survives. It is the person’s actions and intent that matter, not the end result.
– An individual intends to cause great bodily harm on another individual. Michigan law defines great bodily harm as a physical injury that could seriously harm the health or function of the body. Like with assault or assault and battery with the intent to murder, if the individuals action could result in great bodily harm, that person could be charged with a felony assault even if there is only a minor injury to another person or no injury to that person.
– An individual intends to maim another individual. This occurs when a person intends to disfigure another individual by cutting off or disabling a limb and/or organ. Attempting to cut off a person’s ear is assault with the intent to maim.
– The assault or assault and battery is committed with a dangerous weapon. Michigan courts determined the following items are dangerous weapons: Firearms, automobiles, beer bottles, shoes, unloaded guns, tear gas spray, high heels, lighter fluid, flashlights, broomsticks, booted feet, aerosol spray cans, and frying pans. This is not a conclusive list of dangerous items. If you are charged with assault or assault and battery and it includes a dangerous weapon it is important to speak to a Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney who can analyze the alleged dangerous weapon.
– The assault or assault and battery is committed with the intent to commit another felony. For example, if a person burglarizes a home, and during the commission, commits an assault or an assault and battery on a person in the home.
– The assault or assault and battery is committed while robbing or stealing from another person.
– The assault or assault and battery is committed against certain employees acting in the course of their employment. Michigan law states that an individual must know or should have known of these employees’ employment. These employees include: Human services employees, emergency medical personnel, i.e. police officers or firefighters, and public utility employees.
– The assault or assault and battery is committed against a pregnant person. An assault or an assault and battery could be elevated to a felony charge if an individual intended to cause a miscarriage or still birth. The assault or assault and battery could also be charged as a felony even if an individual did not intend to cause a miscarriage or stillbirth but a miscarriage or stillbirth occurred as a result of the assault.
Contact A Grand Rapids Criminal Defense Attorney
A felony conviction can seriously affect your life. Felony convictions affect your right to vote, hold public office, serve on a jury, and carry or own firearms, and can possibly result in the loss of a professional license. A Grand Rapids criminal defense attorney can help protect your rights and help you make important decisions about your case. If you have been charged with a felony assault or a felony assault and battery, call Miel & Carr PLC at (616) 773-2945. We are an experienced Grand Rapids criminal defense law firm and are ready to help you with your case.