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What is the Difference Between Felonious Assault and Aggravated Assault Charges in Michigan?

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Michigan law has several classifications of assault and many grounds for enhancement. Facts like the use of a weapon or the alleged victim’s injuries can lead to different charges with different punishments. An assault attorney from our award-winning firm can advocate for you so you aren’t overcharged based on the facts of your case. In this article, you’ll learn the difference between aggravated assault charges in Michigan and felonious assault charges.

Facing an assault charge? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Comparison of Felonious Assault and Aggravated Assault Charges in Michigan

Assault is not defined in Michigan’s criminal statutes. Briefly, assault is an act that a victim reasonably fears will result in battery. For example, throwing an object at someone during an argument is assault, even if you miss.

Battery is also not defined in the criminal statutes. Battery occurs when you deliberately make physical contact with the victim in a violent, forceful, or offensive way. Thus, pushing, kicking, or punching someone would constitute battery.

Felonious assault and aggravated assault are charges available to a prosecutor when the circumstances go beyond simple assault and battery.

Aggravated Assault Under Michigan Law

Aggravated assault in Michigan is defined by the alleged victim’s injuries. If those injuries are “serious or aggravated,” a prosecutor can charge the aggressor with aggravated assault rather than simple assault. Under Michigan’s model jury instructions, a serious or aggravated injury is one that:

“requires immediate medical treatment or that causes disfigurement, impairment of health, or impairment of a part of the body.”

Felonious Assault Under Michigan Law

Felonious assault is an assault with “a gun, revolver, pistol, knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles, or other dangerous weapons.” Note that a felonious assault doesn’t require the use of the weapon. Thus, threatening someone with an iron bar constitutes felonious assault even if you never hit the victim with it.

Key Differences Between Felonious Assault and Aggravated Assault Charges in Michigan

There are many differences between felonious assault and aggravated assault:

  1. Aggravated assault occurs without a weapon while felonious assault requires a weapon.
  2. Aggravated assault requires a battery that results in a serious or aggravated injury. Felonious assault doesn’t require a battery and can just constitute a threat of battery.
  3. A domestic aggravated assault can be enhanced if the aggressor is a repeat offender.
  4. A felonious assault can be enhanced if the assault occurs in a weapons-free school zone.

Is Aggravated Assault a Felony in Michigan?

No, and this is a critical difference between aggravated assault and felonious assault. Aggravated assault is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine for a first offense. Felonious assault is a felony punishable by up to four years in prison and a $2,000 fine.

An Assault Attorney Can Help You Fight Aggravated Assault Charges

Talking to an aggravated assault lawyer to make sure you are not overcharged can be critical for your future. A felony conviction for felonious assault might result in substantial jail time and a criminal record that can be used to deny you job opportunities, professional licenses, and rental homes. A misdemeanor conviction for aggravated assault, on the other hand, might result in a fine, minimal or no jail time, and a record that could be expunged after a few years.

Facing an assault charge? Unhappy with your current attorney? Request a free consultation now.

Barton Morris
Barton Morris has been providing high-quality legal representation in the area of state and federal criminal defense for more than 20 years.
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