The Michigan Aggravated Assault Law:
At PrainLaw, PLLC everyday we eagerly answer the question “what is Aggravated Assault in Michigan?” Michigan Aggravated Assault charges under MCL 750.81a are brought when someone allegedly “assaults someone causing serious or aggravated injury.”
In simple terms, the definition of Aggravated Assault in Michigan is an assault that is distinguishable from other assaults because it causes a certain type of injury, but not with a weapon like a Felonious Assault, and also without “intending to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm less than murder,” like Assault With Intent to Commit Murder or Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder.
An assault in Michigan can be either of two things. An “assault” is either:
a) an unsuccessful attempt to commit a battery (i.e. a swing and a miss); or
b) any act that would cause a reasonable person to fear or apprehend an immediate battery (i.e. a fake slap to make someone flinch, but without actually touching them).
In Michigan, an assault must be intentional (and not accidental), but actual touching is not necessary.
A “serious or aggravated injury” under Michigan law is defined as a physical injury having any one of the following characteristics:
A person convicted of Aggravated Assault in Michigan under MCL 750.81a is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than $1,000.00, or both.
A person convicted of Aggravated Assault in Michigan can spend up to an entire year in Jail. Whether or not you will actually see Jail time in your Aggravated Assault case depends on the severity of the alleged injury, how your Aggravated Assault charges are defended, and the effectiveness of your Michigan Aggravated Assault defense attorney.
Often, people convicted of Aggravated Assault first offense in Michigan do not receive Jail, but it is more possible than in a case of mere Simple Assault or Assault and Battery. You may also receive a Probation sentence, with a term of 6-18 months (24 months maximum). Typical conditions of Probation for Aggravated Assault include: psychological evaluation, reporting on a monthly basis, community service or District Court Work Program, and/or anger management or other counseling.
If (and only if) you are convicted of Aggravated Assault in Michigan, the Court WILL order you to pay your accuser’s medical expenses and other resulting expenses, even including lost wages. This is called “Crime Victim Restitution” and it is authorized by the Michigan Crime Victim Rights Act.
IMPORTANT NOTE: being accused of a Michigan Aggravated Assault charge also increases the chances you may be sued in civil court.
An assault that ultimately causes an injury could get you convicted of Aggravated Assault (sometimes also called “Assault and Infliction of Serious Injury”) and locked up for up to an entire year.
While Michigan law says that the injury must be a “serious or aggravated injury,” that is deceptive. Michigan’s aggravated assault law is a very harsh law. It is absolutely possible for the government to magnify your simple assault and battery charge into an aggravated assault charge just because the “victim” sought medical treatment. The government does not even have to bring a doctor or nurse in to Court to prove that the medical treatment was actually necessary. In other words, some arbitrary, non-educated, biased decisions made by the person who is accusing you can suddenly have you facing an entire year in Jail, $1,000.00 in fines alone, probation, and a loss of quality of life due to a permanent record (much worse with a previous conviction).
Particularly if you are a man and the accuser is a woman, you had better believe that the Prosecutor will have a special “Victim’s Advocate” standing next to her and your accuser at nearly every Court hearing. Let’s face it, the effect of this is to prejudice the Court into seeing you as a criminal before you even have a chance to defend yourself; presuming you guilty until proven innocent.
Fortunately, your accuser’s choices aren’t the only ones that can affect your freedom and your future. By choosing the right Aggravated Assault attorney, you just might have the prosecutor backing down and wishing their boss would allow them to get out of the whole thing.
IMPORTANT NOTE: if you are facing aggravated assault charges, you MUST contact a Michigan assault attorney immediately because this particular charge can easily be magnified to an assault with intent to do great bodily harm less than murder charge (which carries a maximum penalty 10 times greater for first offenders) – even if you do not physically touch your accuser at all. Contacting PrainLaw, PLLC immediately will allow us to go to work for you and greatly reduce this possibility.