Felonious Assault in Michigan

Is Assault and Battery a Felony in Michigan?

Assault in Michigan occurs when someone tries to hit another person with a hand or object and misses. Assault can also mean any intentional act or threat of action that is made with the intention of causing an individual to reasonably fear being struck or injured, if the assailant seems capable of carrying out the threat. Under Michigan law, a “battery” crime is executing an actual physical attack, not merely by threatening to strike. On the other hand, an “assault” can refer to either a simple assault or an assault and battery.

In Michigan, a felonious assault charge occurs when an assault in Michigan is committed with the intent to murder or cause great bodily harm, or if it is committed with the intent to commit another felony, such as robbery or arson. 

Aggravated Assault or Assault with a Deadly Weapon in Michigan

Felonious assault – assault committed with a deadly weapon – is an assault that is committed: 1) with an object that can inflict serious injury; and 2) with the intent to injure the victim or make the victim fear attack or injury. Objects can be considered deadly weapons if they are inherently dangerous (for example, guns, knives, or brass knuckles) or if they are used as weapons in a manner that can cause serious injury.

Based on this definition, anything can be a weapon. For example, a baseball bat, aerosol can, or dog can all be dangerous weapons because they can cause serious injury if used in an intentional way. Offenders who commit assault with a dangerous weapon are subject to a four-year prison sentence, up to a $2,000 fine, or both.

The injuries sustained from an assault do not have to be severe for the courts to consider an aggravated assault charge. Aggravated assault is defined as an injury that requires immediate medical treatment or an assault that causes physical injury or disfigurement, health impairment, or an impairment to bodily function.

Any assault that occurs in a weapon-free zone, such as on school property or in school-operated vehicles, carries a penalty of up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $6,000, 150 hours of community service, or any combination of these three penalties.

(Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 750.82.)

Possession of Firearm in Commission of a Felony

In Michigan, a person who attempts or commits a crime while in possession of a firearm is considered guilty of a felony. A first offense felonious assault conviction in Michigan carries a sentence of up to two years in prison, the second up to five years, and the third up to ten years. A habitual offender will face further criminal charges. The sentence for felonious assault must be served consecutively to any sentence for the underlying felony. For instance, a sentence for assault with a deadly weapon must be followed by the sentence for the commission of the felony while in possession of said firearm. Furthermore, the defendant is ineligible for probation or parole and the sentence cannot be suspended.

(Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 750.227b.)

Assault with Intent to Rob or Steal

If the assailant is attempting to rob or steal an individual or business and is armed with a dangerous weapon or is holding an object intended to resemble a dangerous weapon, like a toy gun, they are punishable for any prison sentence up to life in jail.

(Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 750.89.)

Probation

The Michigan state courts can permit an offender to serve part of or all of their prison sentence on probation. Individuals on probation must meet regularly with a probation officer and adhere to conditions set by the court, such as no further arrests or convictions, attending counseling, and/or performing community service. The violation of probation can result in an arrest, re-sentence, and mandatory prison time, without credit for the time served while on probation.

Restitution

Assault or battery offenders in Michigan must pay restitution, which is the payment of compensation for any expenses that the victim endured as a result of the crime, including medical treatment or psychotherapy.

(Mich. Comp. Laws Ann. § 769.1a.)

Michigan Felonious Assault Sentencing

If you have been charged with felonious assault, you should consider consulting an attorney to determine if you were wrongfully charged or if there is another reason the case should be dismissed before trial. If the charges cannot be dismissed, an attorney may be able to negotiate a plea bargain with the prosecutor on your behalf or, if no reasonable plea option is available, they can prepare a defense and represent you at trial. It is common for prosecutors to negotiate and agree to let the defendant plead guilty to a less serious crime. The prosecutor may agree to a lighter sentence, such as probation, in exchange for a guilty plea, whether or not the defendant committed a felony.

The Value of Good Representation

Getting a felony conviction, no matter the type of felony, seriously impacts your life. An individual convicted of a felony is disqualified from voting, holding public office, serving on juries, and carrying or owning firearms. If you are convicted of a felony, you may lose your professional license as well. Furthermore, a felon who is convicted of an additional crime may face a harsher punishment due to their prior convictions. Convictions for felony crimes, especially violent crimes, can be harmful to you when looking for a job or renting an apartment.

Final Thoughts

Your chances for a favorable outcome in court or at the negotiating table should be handled by an expert familiar with the local criminal court system and cases. Having a qualified criminal defense lawyer on your side will assist you in protecting your legal rights.

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