Things to Know if Charged with Assault in Detroit
There many different types of Detroit assault charges. General categories of assault in Detroit include simple assault, aggravated assault, domestic assault and felonious assault. An assault charge is a serious allegation. If you have been charged with assault, whether you live in West Canfield, Boston-Edison, Rivertown or elswhere in Detroit, you will want to seek out the assistance of a criminal defense attorney.
This article discusses some of the things you should know if you are charged with violating Detroit assault laws. It will also provide you with information you can use to hire a criminal defense lawyer.
What Is Detroit Assault?
In Detroit, assault occurs when someone intentionally causes someone else to fear that they are in imminent physical danger. Physical contact does not have to occur for an assault to take place. For example, if you threaten someone with a knife, you can still be charged with assault even if there is no actual contact between you and the other person.
Assault can also occur if there is physical contact. There are different kinds of assault, each with different punishments based on the severity of the crime. The following is a small list of some of the types of assault charges you may face in Detroit:
- Simple assault: This is the most basic form of assault. Usually no one is harmed or physical violence is minimal. Simple assault is considered a misdemeanor and is punishable by several months in jail and a small fine.
- Aggravated assault: This assault charge is more serious than simple assault. You will be charged with aggravated assault if your incident involved a weapon that caused injury. If the injury was not serious, this crime is also usually a misdemeanor and is punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine.
- Felonious assault: Certain types of assault are considered a felony in Detroit. For example, if you assault a police officer, you will be charged with felonious assault and may face a couple of years in prison. If your assault incident causes someone great bodily harm, you may also face felonious assault charges.
- Domestic assault: This type of assault is also considered to be more serious than simple assault. Domestic assault occurs when you commit assault against someone you live with, particularly a spouse, an ex or a significant other.
The Detroit Assault Process
The Detroit assault process begins once you have been arrested for assault. At this time, you will have the right to remain silent, which means you can refuse to answer questions from police or investigators. You will also have the right to an attorney. You should take advantage of this right. If you cannot afford an attorney, you can have one appointed to represent you.
A few days after your arrest, you will make an appearance in court. This is called the arraignment, and it is your opportunity to enter your plea. You have several plea options in Detroit:
- Guilty: This means you agree with the assault charges against you. After you make this plea, you will be sentenced.
- Not guilty: This means that you deny the charges against you. After you make this plea, a court date will be set.
- No contest: A guilty plea will be entered, and the court will sentence you
- Mute: A not guilty plea will be entered, a trial date will be set and you will be free to criticize the criminal process up to that point
Prior to your trial, your criminal defense attorney may try to speak with the prosecutor to enter a plea agreement. A plea agreement is when you plead guilty to lesser charges in order to get a lighter sentence. If this occurs, you can bypass the trial process. Otherwise, you will go to trial, where a jury will hear your case and determine whether you are guilty.
Hiring a Detroit Criminal Defense Lawyer
Either you or someone you trust should take the necessary steps to investigate Detroit criminal defense lawyers for you. First, ask friends and family members if they can recommend any Detroit criminal defense lawyers. Another option is to use a site like Attorneys.com. With Attorneys.com, you can connect with Detroit-area criminal defense attorneys by answering a brief online questionnaire.
Once you have found at least one attorney you are interested in hiring, set up a meeting with each one. This is called the consultation. During the consultation you should ask each attorney questions and take notes on their answers. Important topics to hit include their experience, their defense strategy, their fee arrangement and how responsive they are at responding to calls and answering questions.
Once you have had a chance to speak with each attorney, you should be able to make an informed decision of who would be the best fit for your case.