Criminal allegations of any sort can cause extensive damage to your reputation and threaten you with jail or prison time as well as other penalties that might leave you with lasting harm. That’s why in these circumstances you need to be prepared to aggressively defend yourself. That starts with knowing the law.
This week, we’ll briefly look at what actions constitute assault under the law and may therefore lead to criminal charges. Although you might think of assault as an act of physical violence, this criminal offense is actually much broader and could leave you exposed to criminal prosecution for acts that you never even considered to be criminal in nature.
What is “assault?”
“Assault” is a pretty broad term. Under Michigan law, simple assault can occur through an unsuccessful attempt to commit battery or when an act is taken that would cause a reasonable person to fear immediate battery. The former would include actions such as attempting to punch someone or hit them with an object. Even throwing something like a cellphone at someone could be considered simple assault. The latter would include acting like you’re about to slap or hit someone with an object, like a bottle. It can also include verbal threats, such as by indicating that the other person is going to be attacked or murdered.
These are examples of simple assault, and in the hypothetical involving a bottle, even felony assault in Michigan. There are more serious forms of assault that do actually involve physical contact, such as aggravated assault which is actually battery without a weapon and without intent to kill or seriously injure. This would include a physical fight. Felonious assault and assault with intent to commit murder are other more serious forms of assault that can lead to severe penalties upon conviction.
Build your criminal defense
Simple assault cases might seem minor, but even those can have a very real effect on your life for a significant period of time. The good news is that if you’re facing these charges then you’ve probably got some criminal defense options available to you. If you’d like to learn more about how to approach your case, then you might want to consider reaching out to an experienced criminal defense attorney.