Is an Assault & Battery a Felony in Michigan?Jan 02, 2021, by Assault in
Whether an assault and battery charge is a misdemeanor or a felony depends on the case’s facts and if you have a prior criminal record. Your criminal defense attorney can get an assault or battery charge minimized or thrown out altogether in many cases.
Assault & Battery Can Be a Misdemeanor or a Felony
Assault has many sides to it. In Michigan, the crime is:
- An attempt to cause physical injury to the alleged victim
- An intentionally unlawful act or threat of action
- When the accused appears to have the ability to execute the threat, and the action involved by the accused causes a person to fear impending violence
Under Michigan law, battery is the infliction of force or violence against another. It’s the result of the threat or the attempt to injure another, ending in physical contact. What starts as an assault can end with a battery, resulting in an assault and battery charge. Those involved in a fight might both face the same charge.
These crimes are charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the situation. Potential jail time varies from 93 days to life in prison, based on several issues, including the victims involved, whether a weapon or object was used, and the type of injury incurred.
An assault and battery committed without a dangerous weapon are usually charged as a misdemeanor – unless it’s a domestic violence case or involves a law enforcement officer, emergency medical personnel, or another specific type of victim. Aggravated assault and battery that causes serious injury to another are also misdemeanors, though the possible jail time is longer.
Assault can be a felony if it’s made with the intent of causing great bodily harm, committing murder, or another felony. Assault and battery can be a felony if perpetrated against law enforcement, a human services worker, or a pregnant woman. Both assault and battery is a felony if it involves a dangerous weapon.
Another reason these crimes can be felonies is your past criminal record. If you have two or more prior convictions for domestic assault or assault and battery, you’ll be charged with a felony for the new offense.
Defending Yourself Against an Assault & Battery Charge
Defenses to these charges depend on the facts of the situation. A common one is self-defense. You may not deny what you said or did. You would assert you were justified in protecting yourself or others.
Under Michigan law, you do not need to retreat and can defend yourself if you’re not committing a crime and you’re in a place you have a legal right to be and:
- You may use deadly force if you honestly and reasonably believe it’s necessary to prevent the imminent death, great bodily harm, or a sexual assault on yourself or another
- You can use less than deadly force if you honestly and reasonably believe it’s needed to defend yourself or another from the imminent unlawful use of force
You could also defend yourself by claiming the incident never happened or, if it did, another person committed the crime. If you have evidence, you could claim you were somewhere else at the time. If witnesses are claiming you were involved, their credibility might be questioned.
Contact an Experienced Michigan Assault & Battery Attorney
A misdemeanor or felony assault and battery charge can profoundly impact your life and the lives of your family. You could spend time in jail and pay a hefty fine. To avoid or reduce these consequences, get skilled and experienced legal help to protect your legal rights and freedom. There’s too much at stake to try to do it alone.
Attorney Maurice Davis is experienced with criminal law, negotiating plea bargain agreements, and representing clients at trials as a prosecutor and defense attorney. He will vigorously defend your rights and use the most effective strategies to fight for an outcome that minimizes the penalties you face.