Grand Rapids Assault Crime Lawyer
In Grand Rapids the crime of assault can take on many different forms, and as such the potential penalties vary greatly. A criminal charge for an assaultive crime can have not only immediate consequences (ie. Jail/prison time, probation) but can also have a crippling effect on your ability to seek and maintain employment. Nobody wants to have a charge like this follow them in the next steps of their lives, but an assault conviction has just that ability. If you are accused of an assaultive crime in the Grand Rapids area, then you are in the right place with Grabel & Associates. Our Grand Rapids assault attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience in successfully defending assault crimes all over the State of Michigan in our Grand Rapids office located here.
What Type Of Assault Charges Exist In Grand Rapids?
Assault is a broad category in Michigan. An assault is most simply an unjustified physical act towards actual physical harm or the threat of immediate physical harm to another. But how an assault is carried out and the level of harm inflicted begins to define how the law in Grand Rapids and in Michigan as a whole is written. An assault charge can be a misdemeanor or a felony depending on several factors: Were there any injuries? Was a weapon threatened or used? What was the level of harm alleged to have been caused? NOTE: An assault not only can be a criminal charge, it can also be a reason for civil liability as well (someone can sue you monetarily).
- Assault & Battery – 93-day maximum
- Aggravated Assault – 1-year maximum
- Domestic Violence – 93-day maximum
- Aggravated Domestic Violence – 1-year maximum
- Domestic Violence 2nd Offense – 1-year maximum
- Domestic Violence 3rd or subsequent – 5-year maximum
- Felonious Assault – 4-year maximum
- Assault with intent to do Great Bodily Harm – 10-year maximum
- Assault with intent to maim – 10-year maximum
- Assault with intent to murder – life maximum
- Assault with intent to rob while armed (Armed robbery) – life maximum
- Assault with intent to rob while unarmed – 15-year maximum
Once you know specifically what you are charged with, the next important thing to know is what court(s) you are required to appear in.
Know Your Court
The great city of Grand Rapids and surrounding cities are all within Kent County. All misdemeanor cases in Kent County are handled at the District Court level according to their location. Felony cases start at the district court level and end up in the Circuit Court if there is enough probable cause shown that a crime was committed and that the accused committed it. The first stop (after arraignment) for any criminal case in the Grand Rapids area whether it is a misdemeanor or felony is in District Court.
It is infinitely important to stand in front of the Judges in these various courts next to an assault crime attorney who has earned an excellent reputation and has achieved results for their clients. At Grabel & Associates we put our experience and knowledge to work for you immediately. We have successfully represented many clients. If you need a criminal defense attorney in Grand Rapids, we offer a free case evaluation.
Know Your Assault Case In Grand Rapids
Every assault case has four basic elements: Presence, Actual or threatened physical contact, Intent, Unjustified contact.
Your presence in an assault crime is essential. Were you even there? A prosecutor has to prove that you were there when the crime occurred. Do you have an alibi? A defendant doesn’t have to prove his alibi, it is up to the Prosecutor to prove your presence at the scene of the crime in order for a jury to appropriately find you guilty of an assault crime.
An alleged victim must reasonably fear some sort of physical imminent harm. A prosecutor has to prove that you tried to make physical contact with the alleged victim. Words here are not enough. A Prosecutor here must prove that you made physical contact or attempted to make physical contact (i.e. a missed punch) with the alleged victim.
You aren’t guilty of an assault if you mistakenly bump into someone. What was your intention? A Prosecutor has to prove that you intended to make this physical contact with the alleged victim or elsewhere. Did you know that if you attempt to hit someone, miss, and hit someone else, then you are guilty of assault on that new person? Your intent in this case “transferred” since you had a criminal intent to commit an assault from the beginning. A variety of factors are used on both prosecution and defense to try to determine your intent. A strong defense will seek to paint the picture of the scene so a jury can understand your version of events. A strong defense attorney will seek to answer many questions: What were the events that led up to this occurrence? Are there any eye-witnesses? How reliable are these witnesses? Is there a video tape? The answer to one of these questions could be the difference in your verdict.
Was this intentional contact justified? You are legally allowed to defend yourself in the face of imminent danger. The most common defense in assault cases is self-defense or defense of others. This is also legally one of the strongest defenses you can put forward. Once testimony is put forward that raises self-defense, then a Prosecutor now ALSO has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that it was NOT self-defense in order for a jury to appropriately find you guilty. Now remember, the self-defense must be to the level of the threat. For example, if someone punches you in the arm you aren’t justified in pulling out a gun and shooting them. You cannot use lethal force if the imminent danger is clearly not lethal. A defendant does not have to prove their self-defense claim, but they have to properly raise it at trial. Our attorneys are trial tested, and they stand ready to put forward your best defense.
The answers to these questions are not always obvious. That is why it is paramount to have an attorney that seeks to defend your case by every available avenue. The police did their investigation, now it’s your turn; At Grabel & Associates we pride ourselves on conducting our own investigation to properly build your defense. Were you there? Was there actual or threatened imminent physical contact? What was your intention? Were you defending yourself or someone else? A top-flight assault crime lawyer knows how to defend these core elements. Each situation is different, every story has its weaknesses. A great assault crime attorney knows this and possesses a unique ability to see what defenses are available to you. Our attorneys at Grabel & Associates are experienced and ready to start building your case with you.
Our Defense Attorneys Are Here For You
At Grabel & Associates we are here for you in Grand Rapids. We stand ready to help successfully defend you in a theft crime. Come see us at our office at 2922 Fuller Ave NE, in between Plainfield Ave NE and 3 Mile Rd NE., give us a call at 616-213-4133 or contact us online for a FREE case evaluation.