Assault and Battery
Assault and battery may be charged as misdemeanors or felonies in Michigan, depending on the facts associated with them. In general, it is important to secure the legal counsel and representation of an experienced criminal attorney even if you are facing misdemeanor charges. If you simply plead guilty, you might ultimately face much greater penalties down the road for another assault and battery charge. It is better to guard against this risk from the outset. At the Neumann Law Group, our Grand Rapids and Traverse City criminal defense attorneys can provide a vigorous defense to your charges.Facing Prosecution for Assault and Battery
In Michigan, assault is defined as an attempt to cause physical injuries to someone else or to make an intentional and feasible threat of action that causes someone else to fear impending violence. For example, if you wave a gun in a bar during a brawl, assault may be charged. Battery is an intentional use of force or violence against someone else. For example, if you actually hit a person with a weapon during a barroom brawl, this is likely to be charged as battery.
If you commit assault and battery without a weapon, it is usually charged as a misdemeanor. However, assault is charged as a felony if it is committed with the intent of causing serious bodily harm, the intent of killing, or the intent to commit a different felony like robbery. When assault is committed with the intent to murder, it is a felony that may be punished with life imprisonment. When it is committed in order to cause great bodily harm, such as when the defendant repeatedly kicks the victim in the stomach or strangles them, it may be punished with a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $5,000. Similarly, when assault is committed with the intent of maiming the victim, it may also be punished with a maximum of 10 years’ imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.
When an assault is armed and committed with the intent of stealing from the victim, such as if you are charged with burglarizing a home while using a gun, you face the possibility of life imprisonment. When certain people, such as police officers, are victims, other specific penalties may be imposed.
You should not simply plead guilty to assault and battery charges. You might end up with a criminal record that will haunt you far into the future, affecting your ability to secure jobs, get housing, obtain professional licenses, or attend colleges or graduate schools. There are often defenses available.
For example, we may be able to show self-defense in an assault and battery case involving non-deadly force if we can prove that there was a threat of imminent unlawful force against you, and you had an honest and reasonable belief that you would suffer a bodily injury or sexual assault if you did not defend yourself.Retain an Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney in Grand Rapids or Traverse City
If you are facing a charge of assault and battery, you should consult an aggressive Traverse City or Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyer who is not afraid to go to trial and fight for your rights with all of the tools that may be available. At the Neumann Law Group, we also represent defendants in Ann Arbor, Flint, Lansing, Kalamazoo, Detroit, Wyoming, Saginaw, Midland, Muskegon, Holland, Warren, and Petoskey, as well as throughout the Upper Peninsula. Contact us at 800-525-NEUMANN or through our online form for a free consultation with a domestic violence attorney or guidance in another type of assault case.