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Assault (Simple Assault)

Michigan Criminal Defense Lawyer Advocating on Your Behalf

The word “assault” is one of the most misunderstood and misused words. Although the word “assault” conjures images of a brutal beating, the harsh reality is that the Michigan assault law is so broad that you could face up to 93 days in jail, a $500.00 file, probation, and a damaged future for something as simple and innocent as trying to give someone a kiss.

Under Michigan law, an assault conviction DOES NOT require that you actually touch anyone. In fact, you could even be convicted of misdemeanor assault just because the other person mistakenly thought you were trying to touch them, even if you never actually intended to touch anyone at all. Be mindful, the penalties are much more serious if you have previous convictions.

Don’t make the mistake of not calling The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC the moment that you are accused. We can help guide your decisions in those first, critical moments after you become aware that you are facing an assault charge. Then, we will be in a much stronger position when we go to Court to get the truth out.

The Michigan Assault (“Simple Assault”) Law: MCL 750.81(1)

What is Assault in Michigan? How is it Defined?

When clients call Prain Law, PLLC, they often want to know: “What is Assault?” A Michigan Misdemeanor Assault charge (also referred to as “Simple Assault”) is brought when someone allegedly does one of two different things, 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).

A battery is a “forceful, violent, or offensive touching.” Like a battery, Assault in Michigan has to be intentional (not accidental), unlike battery, but there does not have to be any actual touching for someone to be guilty of Assault.

What is the Sentence for Assault in Michigan? Will I go to Jail for Assault in Michigan?

A person who gets a Misdemeanor Assault conviction in Michigan is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both.

Therefore, you can go to Jail for Assault in Michigan for up to 93 days. Whether or not you will actually do Jail time depends on the severity of the allegations against you, your criminal history, your defenses, and the effectiveness of your lawyer.

Many people convicted of Simple Assault, first offense in Michigan do not receive Jail. Instead, it is more common to receive a Sentence of Probation, ranging from 6-18 months (24 months is the maximum). Common terms of Simple Assault Probation include monthly reporting, community service, and one or more forms of anger management counseling or classes.

At Prain Law, PLLC, we have NEVER had a client go to Jail for Misdemeanor Assault, and we don’t intend to let you be our first.

How does this information apply to my situation?

The word “Assault” is one of the most misunderstood and misused words in common language vs. the Assault laws in Michigan. Although the word “Assault” conjures images of a brutal beating, the harsh reality is that a conviction under the Michigan Assault law is so broad that you could face up to 93 days in jail, a $500.00 file, probation, and a damaged future for something as simple and innocent as trying to give someone a kiss.

Under Michigan law, an assault conviction DOES NOT require you actually touch anyone. In fact, you could even be convicted of misdemeanor assault just because the other person mistakenly thought you were trying to touch them, even if you never actually intended to touch anyone at all. Be mindful, the penalties are much more serious if you have previous convictions.

Contact Our Trusted Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney Today

If you are facing charges of simple assault, it is important you don’t make the mistake of not calling our impressive legal team at Prain Law, PLLC the moment you are accused. Our highly-respected Michigan criminal defense lawyer can help guide your decisions in those first, critical moments after you become aware you are facing an assault charge. Then, we will be in a much stronger position when we go to court to get the truth.​​​​​​


If you are interested in speaking to a member of our firm, call (248) 731-4543 at your earliest convenience.​​


Other helpful links to our articles on Simple Assault under Michigan law, Self-Defense, Sentencing, and more:

Can I claim Self-Defense to a charge of Simple Assault in Michigan?

What is the Sentencing process if I plead to Simple Assault in Michigan?

I am charged with Assault in Michigan, do I need to Testify in my Defense? Am I allowed to just remain silent?

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