Assault charges can apply to a variety of situations ranging from domestic violence disputes to assault with the intent to commit murder. Typically assault is considered a misdemeanor charge unless it involves a dangerous weapon–creating felony assault. If you are facing a felony assault charge in the State of Michigan, you could be looking at some serious consequences including fines, penalties, a criminal conviction and jail time. With over 20 years of experience, The Law Offices of Barton Morris has handled a variety of criminal defense cases–including felony assault–helping individuals just like you. Keep reading to learn more about the penalties for felony assault and how to fight them with your Michigan felony assault defense attorney.
What Defines a Felonious Assault?
“Felonious assault” in Michigan is defined by the law as a criminal crime describing a violent attack or threat of attack upon another individual that intends to cause severe harm to the individual but stops just short of death. More definitively a felony assault charge is in which the crime was a combination of assault and battery upon another individual committed with the intention to commit another felonious activity (ex. robbery), but also involves a dangerous or deadly weapon.
Deadly Weapons-What You Need to Know
One of the most confusing parts about a felony assault charge revolves around the use of a dangerous or deadly weapon. In the state of Michigan, while an assault includes firing a weapon or showing a weapon, it does not require that the weapon must commit harm. Many felony assault charges are based on the fear that the presence of a deadly weapon has on a reasonable individual. Also even though guns and knives are typically the most common types of weapons used in felony assault cases, the term “dangerous” or “deadly” weapon is not restricted to these two items only within the Michigan law. Other types of dangerous or deadly weapons include:
- Broken Glass
- Or any item that could be used to harm another individual or used to threaten another person potentially causing harm or their death.
Penalties for Assault
Unfortunately, there is not a one-size-fits-all penalty to assault in the state of Michigan. Many of the penalties for assault depend greatly on the severity of injuries to the victim, the status of the relationship (such as a domestic relationship) between the defendant and victim, whether or not a deadly weapon was used during the assault, the number of assault offenses the defendant has had prior if the defendant was in the process of committing another crime (ex. robbery), and the extent to which the victim was harmed during the assault.
- Assault without a dangerous weapon: misdemeanor charge, up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine.
- Aggravated assault and battery: felony assault charge, up to one year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, two years probation, restitution payment.
- Domestic assault and battery: First-time conviction-misdemeanor, up to 93 days in jail, up to a $500 fine, up to two years probation, restitution payment. Second offense- felony assault, up to one year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, two years probation, restitution payment.
- Aggravated domestic assault or assault and battery: First offense-felony assault charge, up to one year in jail, up to a $1,000 fine, two years probation, restitution payment. Prior domestic assault or assault and battery charge-two years in prison, up to a $5,000 fine, two years probation, restitution payment.
- Assault with the intent to murder: felony assault charge, punishable with a life sentence or 10 years in prison depending on the severity, up to a $5,000 fine.
- If an assault was committed during another felony (ex. burglary, rape, kidnapping, etc.): felony assault charge, up to 10 years in prison, up to a $5,000 fine.
The Michigan court system takes assault charges very seriously. It is critical for your case to consult with a top felony defense attorney to ensure you fully understand the extent of your circumstances and what you could be facing if convicted, especially if the assault was committed with a dangerous or deadly weapon.
Defenses for Felonious Assault
Possible defenses for your aggravated assault charge include:
- Defense of others
- Defense of property
- Lack of mental state
For a felony assault conviction, a prosecutor must prove without a reasonable doubt every aspect of the offender’s intent and actions. Our highly qualified felony assault defense attorneys will go over every aspect of your unique circumstances to formulate a defense on your behalf.
Fight Your Felony Assault Charge With The Law Offices of Barton Morris
Our team is dedicated to providing you with the highest level of defense services. The Law Offices of Barton Morris has over 20 years of experience dealing with the Michigan courts and working within the limitations of the law to help countless individuals facing felonious assault charges, reduce their charges or get the charges dismissed completely. If you need a felony assault defense attorney in Michigan, contact our offices for a free consultation.