“Assault” is used as an umbrella term to refer to a variety of charges, all of which involve attempting or threatening to harm or injure someone. More specifically, assault involves intentionally making someone fearful or apprehensive that you are going to inflict them with “imminent harmful or offensive contact”.
This definition can be confusing, since people usually use the word “assault” to mean physically hurting someone. However, the legal definition of assault does not require any physical contact.
What Is Battery? Is It A Separate Charge From Assault?
Like the term “assault”, the term “battery” is also used as an umbrella to refer to several different types of charges. While assault charges involve the attempt or threat to hurt someone, battery charges involve actually making physical contact with someone’s body in an attempt to hurt them. More specifically, battery is defined as the forceful, violent, or offensive touching of a person or something physically close to a person in an attempt to physically harm them,
“Assault and battery” are often used together as one phrase, and are often used together as joint charges. However, Michigan does consider battery a separate charge from assault. It is possible to commit assault, for instance, without committing battery.
In Michigan, assault and battery charges are divided into several categories, depending on the severity of the act, the intention behind the act, and the context in which the act occurred. Some examples include:
Since there is such a wide range of assault and battery charges, there is also a wide range of penalties for them. In terms of jail time, penalties can range from 93 days (and usually less) for misdemeanor assault or assault and battery to life in prison for assault with intent to commit murder. These charges also come with a wide range of fines and probationary periods after prison sentences are served.
Furthermore, sentencing can be enhanced (or increased) by certain factors and contexts, as we see in the case of domestic assault and battery. There are also other examples of this sort of enhanced sentencing dependent on context. For instance, sentencing can be enhanced if a felonious assault and battery takes place in a weapon-free school zone, if an assault is committed with the intent of committing another felony, or if an assault is committed against a police officer (especially if it is committed in an attempt to prevent the officer from doing their job).
If you are facing assault or assault and battery charges in Michigan, your number one priority is consult with an experienced, knowledgeable assault and battery defense attorney. These cases can be incredibly serious, and having the right attorney can be the only thing protecting you from spending years of your life—if not the rest of your life—in prison.
If you or a loved one are in need of an assault and battery defense attorney in Wayne, Michigan, Criminal Defense Attorney Scott Weinberg is ready to help. With over 30 years of experience, Attorney Weinberg has the experience, skill, and network of resources to get results for his clients. As a former assistant prosecutor, Attorney Weinberg has the unique advantage of being knowing the MO of his opponents across the aisle. He has used that insider knowledge to defend hundreds of cases, from the most high-stakes death penalty murder cases to the smallest misdemeanors. Don’t wait. Call (800) 710-0529 for a free consultation today.