Lansing Felonious Assault Defense Attorney
Felonious Assault, also known as Assault with a dangerous or deadly weapon, is when someone assaults another person with a weapon or dangerous object without the intent to murder them or without the intent to inflict great bodily harm.
What is an Assault
An assault is to touch someone in a harmful or offensive way or place a reasonable person in fear that you are about to touch them in a harmful or offensive way.
What is a Weapon or Dangerous Object
Some are obvious such as a gun, revolver, pistol, knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles. It can also be an object that can be used as a weapon even if that it is not its intended use such as a crow bar or baseball bat.
If convicted, you face up to four years in prison and up to $2,000 in fines. If it occurs in a “weapons free school zone” the maximum penalties increase to four years in prison, $6,000 in fines, and 150 hours of community service. If you are charged as an habitual offender, the penalties increase.
- Self Defense—You are allowed to use reasonable force necessary in defense of yourself or in defense of others.
- Lack of Intent—Felonious Assault is a specific intent crime meaning the accused must have intended to inflict the assault on the person as opposed to it occurring through negligence or reckless behavior.
- Consent—If the victim consents to the assault, the accused cannot be convicted.
- Reasonable Doubt—If the facts of the case are so muddled or unclear as to what happened, who caused the assault, or who started the aggression, a jury cannot determine beyond a reasonable doubt that the accused is guilty.
- Discredited Witness—The witness may have a prior history of making false allegations of assault or have a bias or personal vendetta against the accused.
Defending a Felonious Assault Case
A felonious assault charge is extremely serious and can have a devastating impact on your life including having a violent felony record, loss of or inability to get a concealed pistol license (CPL), and possible jail or prison time. If a sharp or jagged object is used, the charge can easily increase to Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less than Murder with penalties up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. If you reject the initial plea offer, the prosecutor may insist on running the preliminary exam to attempt to increase the charges. Things can go from bad to worse in a hurry which is why you need an experienced criminal defense attorney on your side.
An attorney with experience defending assault charges will know what to look for. You may have a valid defense that can be raised or biases or a history of fabricating such claims of the complaining witness that can be brought out. There is also a fine line between felonious assault and assault with intent to do great bodily harm (GBH) and prosecutors will often overcharge in an attempt to force or scare defendants to pleading guilty to higher charges.
These types of cases are often based solely on witness testimony and many times there are no photographs of the injuries or medical reports because the complaining witness refused to seek medical attention. Sometimes the weapon itself isn’t photographed or taken into evidence. In a desperate attempt to get a conviction or bolster a weak case, prosecutors may attempt to introduce evidence of prior assaults or claims that you have assaulted or fought other people. You need an aggressive and experienced criminal defense lawyer to challenge this evidence and keep it out. If not, the jury may be prejudiced and may convict you based upon your prior bad conduct instead basing their verdict solely on the evidence of the current charge.
A felonious assault charge is very complex and the stakes are high. If you are charged as an habitual offender, it gets much worse. That is why you need an experienced advocate on your side representing you every step of the way to get the best possible outcome. That may be working out a favorable plea deal to a lesser charge such as misdemeanor assault or disorderly conduct, getting the case dismissed, or representing you at trial.
If charged, call Austin Legal Services, PLC today at (517) 614-1983 to discuss your case with our Michigan felonious assault defense attorney.
Defending felonious assault and assault with a deadly or dangerous weapon charges throughout Michigan in the counties of Ingham, Eaton, Clinton, Jackson, Livingston, Barry, Shiawassee, Gratiot, Genesee, Washtenaw in the cities of Lansing, East Lansing, Mason, Jackson, Howell, Brighton, Corunna, Bath, St. Johns, Ithaca, Hastings, Flint, Ann Arbor.