In Michigan, a person may face simple assault or aggravated assault charges any time that person inflicts physical harm on another person with the intent to cause serious injury. If you are facing these types of charges, it is important to understand that you may face charges of either simple or aggravated assault. Of these two, aggravated assault is the more severe and carries the harshest penalties. Fortunately, a Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyer will know how to get these charges reduced or dropped altogether.
A person commits aggravated assault when they physically attack or harm someone and it results in serious injury. The only difference between simple assault and aggravated assault is that the offense results in serious injury to another person. According to Michigan law, a serious injury is one that requires emergency medical treatment or that causes an impairment of health, an impairment of a part of the body, or disfigurement. In most cases, a conviction of this charge will result in a maximum of one year in jail and a maximum $1,000 fine.
Anyone who commits assault on a member of their family or someone with whom they are in a dating relationship may also face charges of felony assault. Penalties for this charge include a maximum of up to five years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine.
One way to get aggravated assault charges reduced is when a criminal defense lawyer can identify mitigating factors in your case. For example, if you had no criminal history, the prosecution may agree to reduce the charges to simple assault if you plead guilty to the charges. Prosecutors are unlikely to offer this same deal to someone with prior convictions for felonious assault.
Contrary to what many people think, the victim of the alleged crime is not the one that determines whether a person is charged with a crime. The prosecution represents the interests of the state, not the victim. As such, if the prosecutor believes it is in the state’s best interests to try and secure a conviction, they can decide to pursue the case.
However, if the victim does not want to proceed with charges or does not want to testify, the prosecution may decide to reduce the charges to simple assault. In some cases, the prosecution may also decide to drop the charges, as they will usually take the victim’s wishes into consideration when making these decisions.
If you have been charged with aggravated assault, our Grand Rapids criminal defense lawyers at Van Den Heuvel Law Office can help. We know how to negotiate with the prosecution to get your charges reduced to receive a lighter sentence, and may even get your charges dismissed completely. When you need legal help, work with the attorneys who have the necessary experience. Call us today or contact us online to learn more about how we can help.
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