Michigan Assault Defenses
Depending on the specific circumstances, assault can be a very serious charge. Under Michigan assault laws, assault can be classified as a misdemeanor or a felony. Fortunately, you do have some recourse in the event that you are charged with assault. These are known as assault defenses.
Types of Assault in Michigan
Each state devises its own criminal code. This means that assault in one state might be different from assault in another state. This is also true of sentencing. A basic incident of assault in one state might entail a stiffer sentence than the same crime in another state.
Under Michigan assault laws, the most basic form of assault is known as simple assault. Simple assault occurs when someone intentionally threatens or causes injury to someone else.
Michigan assault law considers simple assault a misdemeanor. At most, a court may choose to punish you with up to 93 days in jail and $500 in fines.
A more serious assault crime is known as aggravated assault. There are a number of ways to commit aggravated assault. For instance, if you intentionally injure someone and their injuries require them to seek immediate medical attention, you may be charged with aggravated assault. In addition, if a weapon is involved in the assault, you may be charged with aggravated assault.
Aggravated assault is also a misdemeanor. However, its punishment is more severe. A court may sentence you to up to one year in prison and fine you up to $1,000.
There are also even more severe assault charges. These charges are felonies and can entail a considerable amount of jail time. Examples of felony Michigan assault charges include:
- Assault with intent to maim: This is when you intentionally attempt to or successfully disfigure someone or render a part of their body unusable.
- Assault with intent to do great bodily harm: This is when you attempt to injure or successfully injure someone severely, possibly almost to the point of death.
- Assault with the intent to rob or steal: This is when you attack someone with the intention of taking their possessions. If it involves a deadly weapon, it can warrant a life sentence.
- Assault with intent to commit murder: This is when you attack someone with the intention of killing him or her.
Michigan Assault Defense Options
There are several defense options available to you if you are charged with assault.
First, you may dispute the charges by disputing the facts of the case. For example, if someone alleges that you assaulted them in a bar fight, you may want to prove that you were not at the bar at the time of the incident. To do this, you will likely have to rely on witness testimony and produce an alibi witness. An alibi witness is someone who can attest to your whereabouts while the crime was taking place.
Another type of defense you may want to consider is self-defense. This defense asserts that you were defending yourself from an imminent attack. For this defense to work, however, you will have to show you used a reasonable amount of force to ward off the attacker.
You can also try to show that you and the alleged victim both consented to the actions that resulted in the alleged assault. If you can show that the victim agreed to engage you in a fight or agreed to an activity that could foreseeably result in injury, the jury may choose to not convict you.
Michigan Assault Lawyers
When you are arrested for assault, it is important that you try to set up meetings with Michigan criminal lawyers. By letting an attorney review the facts of your case, he or she will be able to create a customized defense strategy to help successfully defend you in court.
You will also want to educate yourself as much as possible on Michigan criminal law. By understanding Michigan assault laws, you will have more knowledge of what defenses are available to you.