Misdemeanor Assault Charges in Michigan - Complete Summary

Misdemeanor AssaultAs a Michigan Assault Lawyers, Prain Law, PLLC is dedicated to spending every day specifically concentrating on defending those accused of Assault crimes, about half of which are Misdemeanor Assault charges. DON'T RISK YOUR FREEDOM AND FUTURE WITH A "GENERAL" PRACTITIONER. Call the Assault Experts and AVOID JAIL! Metro Detroit Criminal Defense Attorney Brian J. Prain has been nationally ranked a Top 10 Criminal Defense Attorney Under 40 by the NACDA, Top 40 Under 40 by the National Trial Lawyers , has appeared in major publications, is a graduate of the famed Gerry Spence Trial Lawyers College,and more. We believe you cannot find a harder working Criminal Defense Attorney or a better defense. By definition, a Michigan Misdemeanor Assault is an Assault crime punishable by up to 1 year in the County Jail. What follows is a brief description of each of the main types of Misdemeanor Assault charges in Michigan. By clicking on the links in each paragraph below, you will be redirected to our main page for that particular type of Misdemeanor Assault charge. What Michigan Misdemeanor Assault charge are you facing?

  • Assault ("Simple Assault"): a Misdemeanor Assault charge under MCL 750.81(1). An Assault is a crime, but it does not actually involve any touching. An Assault is one of two things, either: 1) an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear or apprehend an immediate Battery (an immediate forceful, violent, or offensive touching); or 2) an attempt to commit a Battery that fails. Common examples of Assault (also called "Simple Assault") are: a swing and a miss, throwing an object at someone and missing, and pretending to hit someone to make them flinch. These simple, non-harmful acts are punishable by up to 93 days in Jail and/or a $500 fine. If there were a weapon involved, the charge would be Felonious Assault, a 4 year Felony.
  • Assault and Battery ("A&B"): another Misdemeanor assault charge, also under the same statute, MCL 750.81(1). An Assault and Battery is the next step up from the Assault described above - actually, it includes Assault, but adds "Battery." It carries the same possible 93 days in Jail and/or a $500 fine. A Battery is an intentional (not accidental) forceful, violent, or offensive touching of a person or something closely connected with them. It does NOT have to cause an injury. Common examples of Assault and Battery are: a slap in the face, throwing a glass of water on someone, touching someone inappropriately, and hitting someone. Like all Assault crimes, you can claim Self-Defense to a charge of Assault and Battery.
  • Aggravated Assault: this Misdemeanor Assault charge is the first on the list that requires the Prosecution to prove an actual injury, and under the law, MCL 750.81a, it is punishable by up to an entire year in the County Jail and/or a $1,000 fine. Although Assault and Assault and Battery require no injury, Aggravated Assault is a Misdemeanor Assault that requires a "serious or aggravated injury," meaning, either: 1) it requires immediate medical treatment; 2) causes disfigurement; 3) causes impairment of health; or 4) causes impairment of a part of the body. It isn't enough injury to charge someone with the 10 year Felony of Assault With Intent to do Great Bodily Harm Less Than Murder, but it can be a very fine line.
  • Domestic Violence ("Domestic Assault"): this Misdemeanor Assault charge, under MCL 750.81(2). is identical to either Simple Assault or Assault and Battery (eithercan constitute Domestic Violence), but it is simply in the context of a domestic relationship or former domestic relationship. Domestic Violence (correctly called "Domestic Assault") is punishable by up to 93 days in Jail for a first offense, but Michigan has a special law, called the Domestic Violence Deferral (also called the "Spouse Abuse Act"), MCL 769.4a, that allows a person accused of Domestic Violence to plead guilty and go on Probation, yet AVOID A CONVICTION and AVOID JAIL. At The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC, we have NEVER had a client go to Jail for Domestic Violence.
  • Domestic Violence Second Offense: this has the same definition of Domestic Violence as above, but under MCL 750.81(3), the penalty is increased to up to 1 year in Jail and/or $1,000 for someone who has previously been convicted of Domestic Violence in Michigan or elsewhere. An important change in the law happened in April, 2013 - even if your Domestic Violence First Offense resulted in a dismissal under 769.4a, that counts as a "prior conviction" for purposes of making a subsequent case a Domestic Violence Second Offense (same for Domestic Violence Third Offense Felony). The bottom-line: a person who has never actually been "convicted" of Domestic Violence can be charged with Domestic Violence Second Offense and face up to 1 year in Jail.
  • Aggravated Domestic Violence: this Misdemeanor Assault charge is just like an Aggravated Assault charge, but under MCL 750.81a(2), it is brought within the domestic context. The relationship between Aggravated Assault and Aggravated Domestic Violence (Aggravated Domestic Assault) is the same as the relationship between Assault and Domestic Violence (Domestic Assault). Just like Aggravated Assault, this Domestic Violence crime requires the Prosecution to prove a "serious or aggravated injury."

Facing a Michigan Misdemeanor Assault charge? Don't mess around. Call The Law Office of Brian J. Prain, PLLC anytime for a free, confidential, no-obligation consultation at (248) 731-4543.


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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.