A sentence of up to 4 years in prison and as much as $2,000.00 in fines for an assault with a dangerous weapon (also called “felonious assault”) conviction is a massive leap from the maximum of 93 days in county jail for a simple assault conviction. The only difference is the use of what the Michigan felonious assault law defines as a dangerous weapon. Just how minuscule that difference is becomes apparent when you know that a pillow, or even a teddy bear is enough to meet that “dangerous weapon” definition under the Michigan felonious assault law. If you are charged as a Habitual Offender, the story gets even worse.
The Michigan assault with a dangerous weapon law is a very complex law made up of many small parts that come together to have a devastating impact. As the famous expression goes “the whole is more than the sum of its parts”; each element that the government must prove is broadly defined and relatively easy to apply to a wide range of situations.
As an example, under the Michigan assault law, an “assault” is basically nothing more than an unsuccessful attempt to touch someone in a harmful or offensive way, or an action that makes a person believe that they you are going to touch them in that way. No actual touching is required. You can easily see how a rather insignificant series of events, combined with an accuser who has a motivation to make your life an anxious hell and a little help from an overzealous prosecutor can add up to leave you wondering how you arrived at this place in life.
Even if the prosecutor knows that the evidence against you is weak, he or she still has a boss at the prosecutor’s office, and that boss needs to be impressed. As a result, you can be certain that the prosecutor will be examining the details of your personal history with a fine-toothed comb, looking for anyone else who might like to come forward and claim that you assaulted or battered them in the past.
Normally, this type of evidence is not allowed against you in Court because it is widely recognized that the trustworthiness of this evidence is highly suspect, and having the Judge or Jury hear about it can easily get you convicted although it has nothing to do with the new accusation you’re fighting. But even if this alleged incident happened long ago and was never even reported to police nor resulted in any criminal charges, Michigan law contains a special rule that allows an enemy of yours to march right into Court and testify that you assaulted or battered them years ago. There are ways to keep this evidence out of Court, but many attorneys are simply unaware of them, or completely fail to assert these vital challenges.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If the “weapon” you are accused of using happens to be a sharp object, then you must contact a Michigan assault attorney immediately, as your charges could be increased to assault with intent to maim, which carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison and up to $5,000.00 in fines (see below).
Making you appear to be guilty can be an easy task for the prosecuting attorney, especially if your felonious assault attorney fails to take the necessary time to know and understand every single little fact, and fails to even consider the important step of visiting the scene himself. By hiring The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC, you are guaranteeing that your felonious assault attorney is going to learn every fact and detail of your case, take the time to learn who you are as a person, file every motion, make every evidentiary challenge, and do everything humanly possible to eliminate or defeat your felonious assault charge and protect your freedom, your future, and your peace of mind.