Under Michigan law, what is the difference between simple assault and felonious assault? Here is a brief overview.

Elements of felonious assault

Here in Michigan, a basic assault charge without any aggravating factors is a misdemeanor. An assault charge does not even require harm to have been done. One person simply making it seem as though they might hurt another can be enough to result in a basic assault charge.

For an assault to be considered felonious, certain criteria must be met. First, during the alleged assault, the accused individual must have used at least one of the following:

  • Gun
  • Revolver
  • Pistol
  • Knife
  • Iron bar
  • Club
  • Brass knuckles
  • Another “dangerous weapon”

In addition, the alleged perpetrator must not have been intending to kill or cause “great bodily harm” to the other individual. So if an alleged suspect waved a knife in the general direction of someone, for example, that might be felonious assault. Actually attempting to stab the individual could elevate the charges to something more serious.

Telling your side of the story

Prosecutors often try to paint a picture with criminal charges. Sometimes, the allegations do not reflect what happened during an incident.

Considering the potential sentence on a felonious assault conviction – up to four years in prison and/or a fine up to $2,000 – it’s vital that anyone facing such allegations mount a proper defense. Any individual being accused of serious misconduct should have the opportunity to tell their side of the story, and not let one side’s interpretation of the events dictate the outcome.

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