Battery is a crime. It is usually preceded by an “assault”, that is, a threat against someone. Assault is the threat, battery is the following through on that threat, actually making contact with and harming the other person. Examples of battery include punching, pushing, knocking an object such as a cell phone out of someone’s hand, or harming them with an object. Ramming their vehicle (while they are inside), throwing something at them, or using a dangerous weapon against someone will all be charged as a battery. Because if someone commits a battery, an assault (threat) can be assumed, most prosecutors will charge the two crimes together as “Assault and Battery”.
Battery is defined as “The willful or intentional touching of a person against that person’s will by another, or by an object or substance put in motion by another person.” M Civ JI 115.02. (See Tinkler v Richter, 295 Mich 396; 295 NW 201 (1940).)
Battery is charged as either a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the severity of the crime, the investigating officer’s perception of intent, the victim, and whether a dangerous weapon was involved. Because battery generally follows an assault, Michigan law combines the two offenses and outlines the charges in MCL 750.81 et seq. The law lists various situations, levels of offense, details particular victims and outlines the penalties for each. Repeat offenses may also be charged as a felony which will result in longer jail sentences and/or larger fines. Felony charges are also harder to remove (purge) from a person’s record. Punishment includes fines, potential jail sentences, and restitution.
Restitution is court-ordered payment to the victim of a battery. It is meant to reimburse the victim for any expense they may have had in connection with the battery, including medical bills or therapy, etc. The amount of money the court may order as restitution will vary, depending on the type and severity of the victim’s injury, and the amount of costs the victim incurs.
Types of assault and battery charges are found under MCL 750.81 et seq., which details various situations and victims, and gives the legal consequences for each. The law includes:
Assault and battery laws are written with a fair amount of ambiguity built in. Much of the decision to charge a person with assault and battery, and the level that person is charged with depends on what the investigating officer, prosecutor or judge perceives as the person’s intent. This can be a gray area, particularly in a domestic situation where the penalties are harsher and the person claiming to be the victim may not be reacting in proportion to what actually occurred. Don’t leave your future to chance. If you are charged with committing a battery or an assault and battery, keep in mind that a criminal conviction may have serious consequences beyond fines and/or jail time. A criminal record may affect your ability to get a job, a loan, or a place to live. Contact Van Den Heuvel Law Office right away to make sure you protect your rights.
To talk with our attorney about your legal concerns, contact the Van Den Heuvel Law Office by calling 616-698-0000. You may also complete our online contact form. After-hours consultations are available by appointment. We are also available on Skype by appointment.