Detroit Assault & Battery Lawyer
The definition of assault and battery applies to a wide range of criminal conduct. Accordingly, Michigan law provides specific punishments for conduct ranging from pushing or threatening to dismembering or tormenting another person. Whether you’re facing a misdemeanor assault charge involving a $500 fine and a few months in jail, or a felony battery charge that carries a life sentence, a skilled Michigan criminal defense attorney working by your side can make a significant difference.
As you’ll see below, the fines and jail sentences for assault and battery can be harsh. A conviction will also result in an entry on your permanent criminal record that can keep you from getting a job, owning a firearm, or getting a loan for college. You may also need to pay criminal restitution penalties if your conduct caused financial loss to the victim, which is likely if he or she needed medical treatment for the wounds you caused.
Assault and Battery Charges in Michigan
An assault occurs when you do or say something that puts another person in reasonable fear of injury. A verbal assault consists in making a threat of force that you are capable of carrying out immediately. For example, if you threaten to punch someone and you are close enough to actually hit that person, you could get charged with assault.
A battery is what happens when you carry through with the assault by making physical contact with the victim. This physical contact does not need to cause injury or even pain to the victim. In the eyes of the law, any unwanted or aggressive physical contact consists in a battery. You could get charged with battery if you hit, slap, poke, or spit on another person.
Michigan Penal Code section 750.81 states that the penalty for simple assault and battery is 93 days in jail along with an optional fine of $500.
Aggravated Assault and Battery
According to section 750.81a of the Michigan Penal Code, aggravated assault and battery consists in an assault and battery (as defined above) that results in a serious or aggravated injury. An injury is aggravated or serious when it:
- Requires immediate medical attention
- Results in disfigurement
- Causes medical impairment
- Results in impaired bodily function
The penalty for committing aggravated assault and battery is 1 year in county jail along with a possible fine of up to $1,000.
Assault with a Weapon, or with the Intent to Cause Great Bodily Harm or Death
When a person commits an assault and battery with a gun, knife, club, brass knuckles, or other dangerous weapon but does not act with the intent to kill the victim, the prosecutor may bring charges under Michigan Penal Code section 750.82. This is a felony involving a penalty of 4 years imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $2,000. When the crime is committed within a weapon free school zone, the fines may increase to $6,000.
According to Michigan Penal Code section 750.84, a person who commits a battery by strangling, or who intends to cause great bodily harm to the victim—but not death—may face a felony conviction involving 10 years of prison time and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
A person who commits an assault and battery with the intent to murder the victim may be sentenced to life imprisonment under Michigan Penal Code section 750.83.
Torture and Assault with the Intent to Maim
Under Michigan Penal Code section 750.85, torture consists in the infliction of great bodily harm or severe mental suffering upon a restrained victim through any of the following methods:
- Causing or threatening great bodily injury
- Administering or threatening to administer a mind altering substance
- Threatening death
- Threatening to do any of the above to a person other than the victim
The penalty for torture in Michigan is life imprisonment.
Michigan Penal Code section 750.86 defines assault with intent to maim as an assault or battery committed with the intent to:
- Cut out or maim the tongue
- Destroy an eye
- Cut off an ear
- Cut or slit the nose
- Mutilate or remove the lips
- Cut off or disabling a limb, organ, or member
The penalty for committing assault with the intent to maim is ten years imprisonment along with a possible fine of up to $5,000.
Assault and Battery While Committing a Felony
When the perpetrator commits a felony such as rape, burglary, or kidnapping while committing assault and battery, Michigan Penal Code section 750.87 provides a punishment of 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
When an unarmed assailant commits assault and battery during the course of a robbery, he or she may face up to 15 years in prison under Michigan Penal Code section 750.88. And when the assailant is armed with a dangerous weapon such as a gun, knife, or brass knuckles, Michigan penal Code section 750.89 states that the penalty may be life in prison.
Assault on a Family or Social Services Worker
According to Michigan Penal Code section 750.81c, assaulting an employee of a so-called family independence agency will result in misdemeanor charges involving 1 year in prison and fines of up to $1,000.
If the assault and battery results in any physical injury to the social services worker, the charge becomes a felony punishable by 2 years in prison. When the social worker experiences an impairment of bodily function as a result of the attack, the penalties increase to 5 years imprisonment and possible fines reaching $5,000.
Assault on a Person Engaged in Official Duties
Michigan Penal Code section 750.81d provides severe penalties for a person who assaults, batters, resists, or obstructs the activities of a police officer, firefighter, or an emergency responder while he or she is performing official duties. This is a felony punishable by up to 2 years in prison along with a possible fine reaching $2,000. When the battery causes an injury requiring medical care, the sentence may increase to 4 years incarceration and/or a $5,000 fine.
If the battery causes an impairment of bodily function to the victim, the penalty increases further to a possible 15 years of prison time along with optional fines of $10,000. Finally, if the assault causes the death of the victim, the perpetrator may face a sentence of up to 20 years in prison along with a possible fine of up to $20,000.
Assault on a Utilities Employee
Under Michigan Penal Code 750.81e, assaulting or battering a person who is performing duties as a contractor or employee of a public utilities company, or because he or she is working for a utilities company, is a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in prison and/or a fine of $1,000.
When the battery results in an injury requiring medical care, the penalties increase to 2 years imprisonment. If the injury results in a serious impairment of the utility worker’s bodily functions, the perpetrator may face a sentence of 5 years in jail along with possible fines reaching $5,000.
Defending Against Assault and Battery Charges
Your Detroit assault and battery lawyer may employ several strategies to overcome your assault and battery charges. One of the most common and effective defensive tactics is to argue that you acted in self-defense. To claim self-defense, your lawyer must demonstrate the following:
- You reasonably believed that the person you assaulted or battered was about to hurt, attack, or unlawfully touch you or another person
- You reasonably believed that you needed to use force to defend yourself or the other person
- You used no more than the amount of force necessary to neutralize the attacker
When self-defense isn’t an option, your lawyer can show that you did not act with the intent to harm the victim. If successful, this strategy could result in you receiving an acquittal or a conviction for a lesser charge. The prosecution must prove every part of their case beyond a reasonable doubt, and an experienced lawyer may be able to find the weaknesses in their case.
Attorney Maurice Davis began his legal career as a prosecutor. Now he puts this experience to use in defending the rights of the accused. If you’ve been charged with assault or battery and need a Michigan criminal defense attorney, call Davis Law Group today and we’ll give you a confidential consultation of your case, free of charge.
At Davis Law Group PLLC, we’re committed to representing you every step of the way — from arrest to trial — and making sure you have all of the information you need to make decisions about your case. Call us for a consultation about your case today.
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