Assault And Domestic Violence
Anyone can lose their temper in the heat of a moment, or accidentally strike or shove someone and have that action misinterpreted as intentional. It’s not uncommon for people who have no history of violence and no criminal background to suddenly find themselves charged with assault because a situation spun out of control when emotions were heated. In these situations, you may require the help of a Lansing assault lawyer and domestic violence defense attorney. Maybe you did something that you wouldn’t ordinarily have done, or that you didn’t intend or that someone else just misread because they were angry or frustrated. Or maybe you didn’t do anything at all and have been falsely accused.
An assault charge can be stressful and frightening and can rip apart families and relationships. In addition to the prospect of possibly going to jail, the consequences of a conviction can affect the rest of your life in ways you may not foresee. If you’re convicted of an assault charge in Michigan, the potential consequences you face may include:
- Jail or prison time – possibly years
- Fines ranging from hundreds of dollars to thousands of dollars
- A permanent criminal history that potential employers or landlords will see when they run background checks
- The stigma of having committed a violent offense
- Possible denial or suspension of a professional license, resulting in an inability to work as a teacher, lawyer, doctor, nurse, pharmacist or other licensed professional
- Possible immigration consequences, including denial or revocation of your immigration visa or green card, denial of a citizenship application or deportation to your home country
- Possible effects on custody of your children
- Becoming the subject of a restraining order that restricts where you can go and who you can contact
When you or a family member faces an assault charge in Michigan, you need for your side of the story to be heard and for someone to fight for your rights as you go through the legal process. You need someone who will be both compassionate and tough and help preserve your family and your future.
The penalties reflected on this page were set by the Michigan State Legislature. However, a recent decision by the Michigan Supreme Court gave judges more power to determine sentences for all criminal convictions, including assault charges. An experienced Michigan criminal defense lawyer can explain the potential outcomes of your assault charge.
Common Types Of Assault Charges
We often hear the terms “assault and battery” together, but it’s important to understand that they’re not the same, and you can be charged with assault even when there is no battery. In simplified legal terms, assault and battery are:
- Assault – While many people think of an assault as the act of hitting or shoving someone, in legal terms, an assault is actually an attempt or threat to cause someone injury. If you get involved in an argument and shout at the other person, “I’m going to punch you!” that may be considered an assault if you have the ability to follow through with that threat, and the threat causes the other person fear.
- Battery – Battery is the intentional and forceful, violent or offensive touching of the other person. When you throw the punch you threatened, that’s battery, even if it doesn’t result in injury.
Michigan recognizes several types of criminal assault and battery. Some of the most common types of assault charges we see include:
- Simple Assault – A simple assault without aggravating factors is a misdemeanor in Michigan. The possible punishment includes up to 93 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.
- Aggravated Assault – When an assault results in the victim suffering serious or aggravated physical injury, you may be charged with aggravated assault in Michigan. This offense is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000.
However, if you use a weapon or commit the assault with the intent to inflict great bodily harm or to commit murder, you may face a more serious type of assault charge in Michigan.
When you are suspected of assaulting someone with a weapon including a gun, revolver, pistol, knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles or any other dangerous weapon – but without the intent to murder or inflict great bodily harm – you may be charged with the offense of felonious assault in Michigan. If you’re convicted of felonious assault, you may be sentenced to up to four years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000.
However, if you are convicted of committing a felonious assault in a weapon-free school zone, you face enhanced felony penalties. The possible sentence for felonious assault in a weapon-free school zone includes up to four years in prison, a fine of up to $6,000 and up to 150 hours of community service.
If you or a family member has been charged with felonious assault, call DeBruin Law, PLLC for a consultation about your case.
Assault With Intent To Maim
You may be charged with assault with intent to maim when you are suspected of:
- Cutting out or maiming his or her tongue
- Putting out or destroying an eye
- Cutting or tearing off an ear
- Cutting, slitting or mutilating the nose or lips
- Cutting off or disabling a limb, organ or member
Assault with intent to maim is a felony offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Assault With Intent To Commit A Felony
When you assault someone with the intent to commit a burglary or any other felony, you face felony punishments if convicted. The possible sentence for this offense includes up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Assault With Intent To Do Great Bodily Harm
It’s a felony in Michigan to assault someone with the intent to cause serious physical injury, but stopping short of the intent to murder them. You also may be charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm if you strangle or suffocate someone.
If you’re convicted, assault with intent to do great bodily harm is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Assault With Intent To Murder
It’s a felony offense in Michigan to assault someone with the intent to commit murder. If you’re convicted, you may be sentenced to life in prison or any number of years.
Domestic violence isn’t a separate charge in Michigan but rather falls under the state’s assault statutes. You may be charged with this form of assault when you are suspected of assaulting or battering:
- A spouse
- A former spouse
- Someone with whom you have a child
- Someone with whom you have a dating relationship
- A resident or former resident of your household
Domestic violence assault can be a misdemeanor or a felony. The punishments for a domestic violence assault vary depending on the nature of the assault and whether you have prior convictions for domestic violence assault. For more information on this form of assault and the possible consequences, call DeBruin Law, PLLC for a consultation about the specifics of your domestic violence charge case.
Experienced Defense For Your Michigan Assault Charge
The crime of assault typically requires intent, and it’s up to a prosecutor to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you had the intent to assault or batter someone. Because intent is about what was in your mind at the time of the alleged offense, it’s fairly subjective and the prosecutor may have to rely on evidence that is open to interpretation in order to try to establish your intent. If the assault or battery was an accident, for example, that may present a defense to the assault charge.
Because the evidence in assault and battery cases can be so subjective, it’s important to have an experienced Lansing criminal defense lawyer who understands the nature of assault charges, how they’re prosecuted in Lansing courts, and how to best interpret and challenge the evidence presented by prosecutors.
Key Topics Related To Lansing Assault, Battery And Domestic Violence Charges
An assault, battery or domestic violence charge can seem overwhelming given the complex system of offenses and penalties in Lansing. It’s natural to have many questions about your charge, the possible outcomes of your case, and how you can defend yourself. We offer some relevant information on these pages, but also invite you to call us to discuss the individual circumstances of your case and what you can do about your Lansing assault, battery or domestic violence charge.
- Aggravated Assault – Being accused of aggravated assault can be very troubling for you and your family. Often times such charges are a result of a simple argument gone wrong. It is important to have a lawyer on your side from the beginning, as aggravated assault charges in Michigan can lead to both serious criminal and civil consequences.
- Domestic Violence – When you get arrested, remain calm, cooperate with the officer’s instructions and state that you will exercise your right to remain silent. As in any criminal case, talking to the police – even if you’re innocent – cannot in any way help your situation. As soon as you can, call an experienced Lansing criminal defense attorney to represent you.
- Simple Assault – While many victims will ignore threats or may opt instead for civil penalties, the reality is that there are many individuals in Michigan faced with criminal simple assault charges. At DeBruin Law, we are experienced criminal defense attorneys who have dedicated years to providing reliable and high-quality legal representation to our clients.
How A Lansing Assault And Domestic Violence Lawyer Can Help
At DeBruin Law, PLLC, our Lansing criminal defense lawyers have experience providing strong defense strategies for people charged with Michigan assault and battery offenses. We understand that assault cases often are not clear-cut, and we’ll make sure that your side of the story is heard by a judge or jury and that your rights are protected.
We also have experience working on behalf of families and keeping them together through difficult circumstances, such as when one member is accused of assault. It is our goal to help you find a way to move past your charge and keep your family intact. Call us for a consultation about your assault or domestic violence case today at 517-731-0353.