What is Assault?
Assault is an offense usually referred to as assault and battery (A&B). Michigan has multiple different charges which fall under this broad term. Although they’re all related they carry different definitions and thus different penalties and consequences. Simple assault, aggravated assault, strangulation, and domestic violence, are all different terms. Each has its own unique level of scrutiny and severity. Because of these charges having different levels of nuance, working with a criminal defense attorney, like Ashlee Duplessis, is highly recommended. Ashlee has years of experience dealing with criminal defense cases from simple misdemeanors to murder trials. Her success helping clients overcome these issues is due to her tenacity and drive. If you are being investigated or have been charged for any of these assault offenses you need someone on your team like Ashlee.
Misdemeanor vs Felony Assault in Michigan
Michigan has both misdemeanor and felony assault charges. Even misdemeanor assault charges can have serious consequences. We do not recommend representing yourself or retaining inadequate legal services to defend against these charges. Even misdemeanors can lead to jail time, fines, and probation. Simple assault in Michigan is the act of threatening to hurt someone. The action does not need to have been completed. If it was a threat and the act was carried out then it is simple battery. If the threat was carried out and the alleged victim had ‘serious bodily injury’ then it is Aggravated Assault and Battery (for a first-time offense).
Felony assault charges carry much more serious consequences because of their severe nature. Assault while committing a felony, assault with intent to maim, assault with intent to murder or seriously injure, assault of a pregnant woman, police officer, public servant, or emergency personnel, and assault with a deadly weapon are all felony charges. Punishments for these felony crimes can mean over a decade in prison to life in prison.
What is Strangulation?
To be found guilty of Assault by Strangulation a person must have committed the following:
(a) Assaults another person with intent to do great bodily harm, less than the crime of murder.
(b) Assaults another person by strangulation or suffocation.
(2) As used in this section, “strangulation or suffocation” means intentionally impeding normal breathing or circulation of the blood by applying pressure on the throat or neck or by blocking the nose or mouth of another person.“
A case will not be automatically dropped if there are a lack of injuries present. If a victim claims they were strangulated and the prosecution decides to press charges then you could be in serious trouble. This is a felony charge. Specifically a Class D Felony. This class of felony can lead to up to 10 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
Do you need a lawyer for an assault charge?
Defending yourself against criminal accusations, misdemeanors or felonies, is extremely risky. You could run the risk of perjuring yourself (telling a lie in court) and you can also be lost as to the best legal strategy to take. Legal proceedings are also complex. Before and after a trial there are numerous steps that only a criminal defense attorney is equipped to handle. Retaining the counsel of a criminal defense attorney is the best course of action. With professional legal help you can maximize your chances at keeping your record clean and avoiding the worst consequences.