Felonies are actions no one wishes to be accused or convicted of. They carry serious penalties and generally cause trouble for everyone involved. Unfortunately, people are often accused and convicted of felonies. While many receive felonies, few understand the ins and outs of what constitutes a felony and why. For example, one may wonder whether something they were accused of deserves treatment as a felony. The majority of the time this is a fair question, one the person cannot answer themselves truthfully. One felony that often gets misconstrued is assault. Assault counts as a felony in the state of Michigan in specific situations. In your assault defense, understanding which actions constitute which crimes looms large.
For example, few know that there are different punishments based on different levels of assault. Not all assaults carry the label of felonies. Thus, when arrested for assault, you are best served knowing if you committed a felony or not. This helps to limit your potential punishments, and ensures you receive the fairest treatment allowed by the law. Wondering what turns assault into a felony? Let’s take a look.
What Makes an Assault a Felony: All You Need to Know
Different Assault Accusations
It’s essential to understand that different assault accusations exist, carrying different punishments. For example, a simple assault and battery will not serve as a felony. Rather than facing a felony, you face a misdemeanor. Thanks to this difference in the title of the crime, you also face decreased punishments. Your potential charges include up to 93 days in jail and/or up to $500 in fines. While no one wishes to serve those penalties, they are far easier to handle than felonies.
The next level of assault consists of Aggravated Assault. In this case, once again you committed a misdemeanor. The penalties rise to up to one year in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. However, no serious injuries must have occurred, and no weapons must have been involved. Assuming those categories fill, you once again receive misdemeanor charges, less severe than felony charges.
Now, we arrive at felony assault. Felony assault exists when your crime fits into one of four major categories. First, assault with a dangerous weapon. In this case you face up to 4 years in prison and $2,000 in fines. However, you must not have intended to hurt someone excessively, and must not have used a weapon.
Next, Assault with the Intention to Maim. This felonies punishments consist of up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. For this penalty, you must have intended to and succeeded in injuring someone.
The third possibility consists of Assault with Intent to Commit Murder. The punishment for this crime is a life sentence in jail.
Finally, the last of Assault penalties includes Assault with Intent to Steal. This faces you with up to 15 years in prison and if you used a dangerous weapon to complete the action, you face life in prison.
Thus, many possibilities exist to turn your assault accusation into a felony accusation. The four possibilities all fall under the umbrella of felonies, making them more serious than anything else you faced before. You may feel overwhelmed by the possibility of facing an assault charge. However, know that possibilities exist to assist you in limiting the legal trouble you face. Lawyers specialize in these types of cases, understanding that no one wishes to face felony charges and end up in jail.
Michigan Assault Defense Lawyers
Rather than simply accepting the charges leveled against you, leaving you with a felony on your record and likely jail time, know better options exist. The legal system includes judges and juries, but also lawyers who ensure everything happens fairly and with strong defenses. In the case of assault felonies, the situation remains the same. Lawyers exist to serve those accused of felonies, wishing to ensure their right to a fair and speedy trial is not ignored.
After all, as listed above, felony crimes carry major penalties. Going into the legal system without assistance sets yourself up for potential failure. In normal cases failure may mean minor fines or jail time, but for assault felonies, failure could land you in jail for an extended period of time, or paying hefty fines. Should your case fall into the most serious of the potential felony charges for assault, you may even face life in prison.
Considering the severity of the potential cases, bringing aboard an Assault Defense Lawyer must be the way to go. Lawyers spend their careers working on these cases, learning the ins and outs of not only the law, but also the court system. Thus, they gain the knowhow of how to work the system in clients just like your favor. When push comes to shove, no one wishes to spend extended time in jail. Using the different possibilities of felonies and how they fit into the world of assault could result in getting your crime downgraded. Do everything you can for yourself.