Michigan Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder Explained

A Michigan Assault Lawyer Talks About Defending Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less-Than Murder Charges . . .

As a Michigan Assault Lawyer, I defend those charged with the Michigan Felony crime of Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder (also called "Assault GBH" for short), one of the most serious Felony Assault crimes under Michigan law. Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder, under MCL 750.84, is punishable by up to 10 years in State Prison and/or a $5,000.00 fine plus court costs and fees - the penalty can be up to LIFE in Prison for certain Habitual Offenders (i.e. 3rd Habitual and 4th Habitual). In this article, as an experienced and focused Michigan Assault Lawyer, I am going to explain what the Prosecution must prove in order for you to be found guilty of Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder in the State of Michigan.

The actual Michigan Assault GBH statute, MCL 750.84, doesn't tell you very much about what they must prove. It reads exactly as follows:

"Any person who shall assault another with intent to do great bodily harm, less than the crime of murder, shall be guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment in the state prison not more than 10 years, or by fine of not more than 5,000 dollars."

Well, if you are facing the anxiety and fear of an Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder charge, that doesn't do anything for you. MCL 750.84 was passed back in 1931. However, in the 80+ years since the passage of the Michigan Assault GBH law, our Appellate Courts have decided cases that have further defined Assault GBH and its "elements." To find you guilty, the Prosecution must prove all of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

1) that you tried to physically injure someone other than yourself;

2) that at the time, you actually had the ability to cause an injury, or that you at least believed that you had that ability; and

3) that you intended to cause great bodily harm. You don't even need to have caused an injury and you don't even have to actually touch the other person to be guilty of Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder, but if there was an injury, the Court or Jury may consider it as evidence in deciding whether you intended to cause great bodily harm.

Great bodily harm means "any physical injury that could seriously harm the health or function of the body."

In order to help meet that burden of proof, the Prosecution has the benefit of a special statute, MCL 768.27b, that overrides the normal operation of the Michigan Rules of Evidence (which normally don't allow past allegations of Domestic Violence into Court to prove that your character is violent. Again, these are ALLEGATIONS - they may not ever have even resulted in an arrest or charges; you may have never heard of these things before. They may have suddenly "emerged" at an interview at a battered victim's shelter after the incident. Is the Michigan Assault Lawyer defending you against your Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder charge aware of this very special "hidden" law? This can really hurt you if your Assault Attorney doesn't know how to handle a proper "Vandervliet" and 401/403 Objection to this.

Furthermore, is your Michigan Assault Attorney aware of the Michigan Self-Defense Act and its body of case law which could literally save your butt from big trouble? Is your Michigan Assault Lawyer prepared to argue the nuances of People v. Smith, People v. Mitchell, People v. Howard, People v. Stinnett, and People v. Troy, all of which interpret and affect the application of Michigan's Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder to the facts of your particular case?

If you're still reading this (even if you're not happy with your current Court-Appointed lawyer, etc.), then perhaps you should pick up the phone and call The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC, your Michigan Assault Lawyer at (248) 731-4543. Or, you can e-mail us as well. All calls and e-mails are free and confidential, and the sit-down consultation is free. A Michigan Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder charge seriously puts your freedom, your future, and your livelihood at risk in a big way - you owe it to yourself to have the right Michigan Assault Lawyer fighting for you.

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