Assault with a Dangerous Weapon Defense Attorney

If you face felonious assault accusations, you can expect the prosecution to come after you with everything they can. It would be best to have a team of defense lawyers who would stand up and protect you in and out of court. 

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys - Group

What is felonious assault? Is it the same as assault with a dangerous weapon?

Felonious assault and assault with a dangerous weapon are the same offense. In Michigan, it is a felony if a person is assaulted with a gun, knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles, or another dangerous weapon, even if there is no intent to murder or inflict great bodily harm. An experienced felonious assault defense attorney is best positioned to protect and defend you.

If a defendant has no prior felony convictions, the maximum possible punishment for felonious assault is four (4) years in prison and up to 5 years on probation.

Elements of Felonious Assault

In Michigan, crimes are made up of parts called “elements.” The prosecution must prove every element beyond a reasonable doubt to convict someone. The elements of Felonious Assault are as follows:

  1. as assault,
  2. with a dangerous weapon, and
  3. with the intent to injure or place the victim in reasonable apprehension of an immediate battery.

Dangerous Weapons

Some things are dangerous weapons by their nature, such as guns (whether operable or not), knives, brass knuckles, billy clubs, tasers, bows and arrows, nunchucks, sais, katanas, etc. Other items are not designed to be weapons but become a “dangerous weapon” based on how the thing is used during an assault. The following are examples of items not designed to be weapons but have been found to qualify under Michigan law:

  • aerosol spray
  • automobiles
  • beer bottles
  • booted foot
  • broomstick
  • baseball bat
  • dog
  • flashlight
  • lighter fluid
  • shoe
  • tear gas
  • unloaded gun

Despite the government’s assistance, Michigan courts have not agreed that hands, teeth, and an inoperable starter pistol were dangerous weapons.

Attorney - Michigan - Awards

Defenses to Felonious Assault in Michigan

There are many ways a skilled defense lawyer can defend against a charge of felonious assault or assault with a dangerous weapon. Here are just a few examples.

  • There was no weapon – It may be that an alleged victim is lying about the presence of a weapon, or the prosecution is claiming something is a dangerous weapon when it is not. Some items are weapons per se, like guns and brass knuckles. Some things are created with a peaceful purpose and only become dangerous weapons depending on how they are used, like a car (road rage), kitchen knife, or other item used in such a way that it is likely to cause serious physical injury or death. How an object is used or intended to be used in an assault determines whether it is a dangerous weapon. Convincing a jury that an item is not a weapon is where a skilled felonious assault defense attorney becomes critical.
  • There was no assault – Just because there is a confrontation and someone possesses a gun or another type of “weapon” does not mean there is a felonious assault. For example, suppose an argument occurs between two hunters holding rifles. In that case, there is no felonious assault unless one uses his gun to make the other person believe the rifles will be used imminently against him.
  • There was no intent – To constitute a felonious assault, the defendant must have intended to injure the complainant or make him reasonably fear an immediate battery (offensive touching). Because a jury can only determine a person’s intent by circumstantial evidence, a primary defense in these cases is that the defendant did not intend to commit an assault. A skilled and experienced felonious assault defense attorney can differentiate between a conviction and prison time or an acquittal.
  • Self-Defense – A person in Michigan can lawfully use reasonable force to defend against a perceived, imminent threat. If someone was assaulting you or if you believed you were attacked, using a weapon to defend yourself may be legally defensible. To be successful with a self-defense argument, the defendant must honestly and reasonably believe that the weapon’s use was necessary to prevent the perceived threat. It does not matter if the defendant was wrong, as long as the belief was honest and reasonable.

Successful Defense to Felonious Defense Charges

The team of defense attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. has a proven track record of successfully defending felonious assault charges in Michigan. Using a proactive and aggressive defense strategy, coupled with the collaborative effort of multiple lawyers with decades of experience, has consistently proven to be highly effective in achieving dismissals, acquittals, extraordinary plea bargains, and sentences without jail.

Some of our qualifications include the following:

  • Avvo – 10.0 Superb (Highest Possible Rating)
  • Thompson-Reuters – SuperLawyer
  • Martindale-Hubbell – AV Preeminent (Highest Possible Rating)
  • NAFDD – Nationally Ranked Superior DUI Attorney
  • dBusiness Top Lawyers – White Collar Crime
  • Top Attorneys in Michigan – Published in the New York Times
  • American Jurisprudence Award
  • Client Distinction Award
  • Top Attorney in Michigan – Published in Crain’s Detroit Business
  • Lead Counsel Rated
  • America’s Most Honored Professionals
  • America’s Top 100 Criminal Defense Attorneys
Lewis & Dickstein, Southfield, Michigan

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Regarding Felonious Assault Charges

What constitutes felonious assault in Michigan? Felonious Assault occurs when a person assaults another person with a gun, revolver, pistol, knife, iron bar, club, brass knuckles, or other dangerous weapon without intending to commit murder or to inflict great bodily harm less than murder.

What is the difference between assault and felonious assault in Michigan? The only difference between felonious assault and simple assault is the presence of a dangerous weapon.

What are the penalties for felonious assault in Michigan? The direct consequences are up to four (4) years in prison, five (5) years of probation, fines, and costs. The indirect penalties include a criminal record, difficulty finding employment or getting a promotion, loss of or inability to obtain a professional license, loss of public benefits, loss of civil rights (such as the right to vote and possess firearms), and more.

How long can you go to jail for felonious assault in Michigan? You can go to jail for up to one year; however, in severe cases, a judge can sentence an offender up to four (4) years in prison. If they have previous felony convictions, the sentence can increase to 15 years.

What defenses can be used for felonious assault charges in Michigan? There are many defenses that, if used effectively, can result in an acquittal or dismissal of all charges. Some defenses include mistaken identity, false allegations, absence of a dangerous weapon, and self-defense.

What is a “dangerous weapon” in felonious assault cases? A dangerous weapon is any object used in a way that is likely to cause serious physical injury or death. Some objects, such as guns or bombs, are dangerous because they are specifically designed to be dangerous. Other objects are designed for peaceful purposes but may be used as dangerous weapons. How an object is used or intended to be used in an assault determines whether or not it is a dangerous weapon. If someone threatens to use an object or use it in a way that is likely to cause serious physical injury or death, it is a dangerous weapon.

Do I need a lawyer if charged with felonious assault in Michigan? Anyone facing criminal charges needs a lawyer. Because the stakes are high and the consequences can be severe, anyone facing a felonious assault allegation should hire the best lawyer they can get. The good and affordable attorneys with LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. are available for a free consultation. If you call them, they will talk with you about your situation, answer your questions, and address your concerns.

Can felonious assault charges be dropped or reduced in Michigan? The best defense against felonious assault clients is a strong, respected defense attorney who will tentiously and relentlessly fight for reduced or dismissed charges. If a lawyer presents a credible and/or equitable defense, the prosecutor will likely dismiss or reduce charges.

What is the average sentence for felonious assault in Michigan? Michigan doesn’t report average sentences. Furthermore, the penalty depends on the defendant’s prior record, the severity of the allegations, the presence of an injury, the defendant’s personal circumstances, the quality of the defense lawyer, the proclivities of the judge and prosecutor, and much more. The best way to assess someone’s case and what penalty they might face is to schedule a free consultation with a qualified defense lawyer.

How does a felonious assault charge affect my record in Michigan? A felonious assault is a felony, so a conviction will have severe ramifications.

Michigan Criminal Defense Attorney

Call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. Today For a Free Consultation

If you are charged with or suspected of committing a felonious assault, an assault with a dangerous weapon, or any assault in Michigan, call LEWIS & DICKSTEIN, P.L.L.C. today for a free consultation. Our team will mobilize to fight for the best outcome possible. We will do everything possible to make that happen if you are seeking a lenient resolution. On the other hand, if you are not guilty or the evidence is weak, we can demand a dismissal or take the case to trial and seek an acquittal. When your life, liberty, and family are on the line, you want our effective but affordable attorneys by your side.

Call us today at (248) 263-6800 for a free consultation or complete an online Request for Assistance Form. We will contact you promptly and find a way to help you.

We will find a way to help you and, most importantly,
we are not afraid to win!

Contact Us - Michigan Criminal Defense Attorneys