Michigan Assault With Intent To Do Great Bodily Harm

undefinedMichigan Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm - How Should My Lawyer Defend Me?

As a Michigan Assault Lawyer I defend those charged with the Michigan Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm(Assault GBH), which is one of the most serious Felony Assault crimes under Michigan Law.

Michigan Assault with Intent - GBH (less than Murder), underMCL 750.84, is punishable by up to 10 years in State Prison and/or a $5,000 fine (plus court costs and fees). And the penalty can be up to LIFE in Prison for certain (3rd-4th time) Habitual Offenders.

This article will explain what the Prosecution must prove in order to convict on a charge of Michigan Assault with Intent - GBH (less than Murder).

The actual Michigan Assault with Intent - GBH statute, MCL 750.84, passed in 1931, does not tell us much:

"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 $5000."

However, in the 80+ years since the passage of the Michigan Assault with Intent - GBH Law, our Appellate Courts have decided cases that have further defined Assault-GBH and its elements. In order to deliver a guilty verdict the Prosecutor must prove all of the following 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 do not need to have caused an injury, you do not need to have actually touched the other person to be guilty of Michigan Assault with Intent- GBH

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

In order to meet the burden of proof, the Prosecution has the benefit of a special statute, MCL 768.27b, overriding the normal operation of the Michigan Rules of Evidence (which, otherwise, would not allow past allegations of Domestic Violence into Court in order to prove past violent behavior or character).

Note: These need only be allegations - they do not need to have resulted in an arrest or charges brought against you - you may never have even heard any of these allegations before - they may have simply "emerged" at an interview somewhere along the line.

Make sure your Attorney is aware of this "hidden law". It can prove to be a great miscarriage of justice if your lawyer doesn't know, or isn't experienced enough to know how to handle a proper "Vandervliet" and 401/403 Objection to this scenario.


1) your attorney needs to be aware of the Michigan Self-Defense Act and its body of case law which could literally save your butt from big trouble;

2) is your attorney prepared to argue the nuances of People v Smith; People v Mitchell; People v Howard; People v Stinnett; or People v Troy; all of which interpret and affect the application of Michigan Assault with Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder, to the facts of your case?

If you are facing a Michigan Assault with Intent - GBH charge and are not represented, or are not happy with your current representation, call us at (248) 731-4543 for a free consultation today. Or complete the form below and we will get back to you. All calls and emails are confidential.


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Prain Law, PLLC is focused only on the types charges featured on our website. This helps us deliver the decisive, effective advocacy for which our clients know us. We only serve individuals currently under investigation or who have a current case pending in court. Our firm does not represent injury victims, defendants who have already taken a plea or have been sentenced, or those seeking to expunge a criminal record. We do not respond to anyone who is not involved in a pending investigation or who has a court case for a type of charge we do not handle, but we wish you the very best of luck.