Traverse City Assault Lawyer
Former Prosecutor – Proven Trial Lawyer
Michigan criminal defense lawyer Patrick S. Fragel is qualified to defend you on all assault charges. Unknown to many people, Michigan has its own “stand your ground” law which allows a person to use reasonable force to defend himself. Patrick Fragel will evaluate all defenses to your assault charges and build a solid strategy. With 25 years experience, Attorney Fragel knows how to defend you when facing an assault charge.
Assault Charges Have Common Elements
All assault charges in Michigan have two common elements. First, the prosecutor must prove that a “battery” occurred. A battery is a forceful, violent, or offensive touching of the person or something closely connected with the person according to the Michigan Jury Instructions. The touching must have been intended by the defendant, that is, not accidental, and it must have been against victim’s will; a non-consensual touching. There is no need for an injury. The second element to every assault is intent. The defendant must have intended to touch the other person, or to make them reasonably fearful of an immediate battery.
Common Assault Charges in Michigan
As a Michigan criminal defense lawyer, Patrick Fragel has experience handling the common assault charges listed below. Murder, criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, and other serious felonies are considered assaultive crimes as well. If you are charged with assault, contact Patrick S. Fragel, Attorney at Law, P.C. to design a specific defense strategy.
Common assault charges include:
- Simple assault or assault and battery
- Resisting and obstructing a police officer
- Domestic assault and domestic violence
- Aggravated assault requiring a need for immediate medical attention
- Assault with a dangerous weapon aka felonious assault
- Assault with intent to commit murder
- Assault with intent to do great bodily harm requires less than murder
- Assault with intent to maim
- Assault with intent to rob or steal
Michigan Assault Penalties
A conviction for simple assault or assault and battery without a dangerous weapon is a misdemeanor in Michigan, punishable by a maximum 93-day jail sentence and a fine of up to $500. A conviction for aggravated assault—which is assault and battery that causes serious injury—is also a misdemeanor but carries a maximum one-year jail term and a fine no more than $1,000.
Assault or assault and battery against a pregnant woman—with the intention to cause miscarriage or stillbirth—is a felony that results in a life sentence upon conviction. If the intent wasn’t to cause miscarriage or stillbirth, but the crime led to injury or harm to the embryo or fetus, the felony is punishable by a maximum 15-year prison term and a fine not exceeding $7,500.
Assault or assault and battery against an on-duty human services employee is also a felony, which carries a maximum two-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $1,000. If the crime caused serious injury, a conviction results in a maximum five-year prison term and a fine no more than $5,000.
Assault or assault and battery to an on-duty police officer, firefighter, emergency medical personnel, or search and rescue personnel is a felony, punishable by a maximum two-year prison term and a fine of up to $2,000. If the crime led to an injury that needs medical treatment, a conviction carries a maximum four-year prison sentence and a fine not exceeding $5,000. If the crime resulted in serious injury, a conviction leads to a maximum 15-year prison term and a fine of up to $10,000. If the crime caused death, a conviction is punishable by a maximum 20-year prison term and a fine of up to $20,000.
Assault Charges – Michigan’s Stand Your Ground Law
Michigan assault charges can be defended by asserting self-defense. There is a Michigan self-defense statute (MCL 750.951) and jury instruction (CJI2d 7,15 et seq,) which protect a defendant’s right to self-defense. In many cases, there’s no legal duty to retreat from an attacker — at home or out in public.
Once self-defense is raised, the Court will instruct the jury to judge the defendant’s conduct according to how the circumstances appeared to the defendant at the time he acted.
At the time of the incident, the defendant must have believed that he was in danger of being killed, seriously injured, or sexually assaulted. If the defendant’s belief was honest and reasonable, he could act immediately to defend himself, even if it turned out later that he was wrong about how much danger he was in. In deciding if the defendant’s belief was honest and reasonable, the jury will consider all the circumstances as they appeared to the defendant at the time.
Can Assault Charges Be Dismissed?
Attorney Fragel can investigate your arrest, collect evidence, and find weaknesses in the prosecution’s case in hopes of getting your entire case dismissed. However, if obtaining a not-guilty verdict is out of reach, he can attempt to obtain a conditional sentence of only paying a fine and restitution, rather than serving jail time.
He can also see if you qualify for a deferred sentence. This means the court defers or postpones sentencing for a specific period while the defendant serves probation or completes drug treatment. Upon completion of either probation or drug court, the defendant’s charges will be dismissed.
Attorney Fragel can review your case, determine your available legal options, and help get the best possible outcome in your case.
If you are facing violent crime charges, contact Patrick S. Fragel, Attorney at Law, P.C. online or call (231) 244-1420.
Felony Drug Charges Case Dismissed
Confession Suppressed Not Guilty
Breaking and Entering Not Guilty
3rd Degree CSC Case Dismissed
Drunk Driving 3rd Case Dismissed
Drunk Driving 2nd Full Acquittal
1st Degree CSC Not Guilty
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