If you are charged with Felonious Assault / Assault with a Dangerous Weapon in Livonia, Michigan, you need the help of an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney. I can provide you with nearly 20 years of experience and a willingness to fight and take cases to trial.
Assault with Dangerous Weapon (AWDW) is a class F felony that carries up to 4 years in prison (48 months). If you are arrested and charged with Felonious Assault / Assault with a Dangerous Weapon, your first court appearance will be an arraignment in the 16th District Court in Livonia, Michigan. Learn more about an arraignment now. At the arraignment, your case will be scheduled for a probable cause conference and a preliminary examination. Bond will also be addressed at the arraignment. The probable cause conference must be scheduled within 7 to 14 days of the arraignment with the preliminary examination scheduled within 5 to 7 days after the probable cause conference.
Following the preliminary examination, further proceedings are held in the Wayne County Circuit Court at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. If there is virtually any evidence supporting the prosecutor's case, it is extremely likely that the matter will be bound over in the district court. Nonetheless, I almost always challenge cases at the preliminary examination because it is the best opportunity that the defense is presented for challenging the evidence and developing the facts that will support defenses in the circuit court. DO NOT WAIVE THE PRELIMINARY EXAMINATION WITHOUT MAKING AN INFORMED DECISION.
The charge of Felonious Assault / Assault with a Dangerous Weapon is detailed in the Michigan compiled laws, MCL 750.82. The provisions of MCL 750.82 state:
(1) Except as provided in subsection (2), a person who 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 is guilty of a felony punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.
(2) A person who violates subsection (1) in a weapon free school zone is guilty of a felony punishable by 1 or more of the following:
(a) Imprisonment for not more than 4 years.
(b) Community service for not more than 150 hours.
(c) A fine of not more than $6,000.00.
(3) As used in this section:
(a) School means a public, private, denominational, or parochial school offering developmental kindergarten, kindergarten, or any grade from 1 through 12.
(b) School property means a building, playing field, or property used for school purposes to impart instruction to children or used for functions and events sponsored by a school, except a building used primarily for adult education or college extension courses.
(c) Weapon free school zone means school property and a vehicle used by a school to transport students to or from school property.
Felonious Assault / Assault with a Dangerous Weapon under Michigan sentencing guidelines is scored under crimes against a person (Person). Under the guidelines, a person who is convicted of Assault with Dangerous Weapon (AWDW) with no prior record and no aggravating factors looks to the low end of the guidelines which call for up to 3 months. With no prior criminal record but horrible facts, the defendant can face 17* months. With a terrible criminal record and terrible facts, the accused can be looking at 30 months under the guidelines.
The jury instructions set forth the following elements for Assault with Dangerous Weapon (AWDW) that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt by the prosecuting attorney:
M Crim JI 17.9 Assault with a Dangerous Weapon
(1) [The defendant is charged with the crime of / You may also consider the lesser charge of] felonious assault. To prove this charge, the prosecutor must prove each of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:
(2) First, that the defendant either attempted to commit a battery on [name complainant] or did an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear or apprehend an immediate battery. A battery is a forceful or violent touching of the person or something closely connected with the person.
(3) Second, that the defendant intended either to injure [name complainant] or to make [name complainant] reasonably fear an immediate battery.
(4) Third, that at the time, the defendant had the ability to commit a battery, appeared to have the ability, or thought [he / she] had the ability.
(5) Fourth, that the defendant committed the assault with a [state dangerous weapon alleged].
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to focus on the jury instructions while preparing a defense to the offense of Felonious Assault / Assault with a Dangerous Weapon. While there are a number of defenses to Assault with Dangerous Weapon (AWDW) that we can explore during a consultation, the elements contained in M Crim JI 17.9 provide a roadmap for defending the case. This is true in almost every single case, and really great defense attorneys focus early on these jury instructions.
As a cautionary note, you might be completely innocent but still face criminal charges. Even worse, you might be denied bail, forced to spend months in jail before you are vindicated. I have seen many cases where a truly innocent client is baffled, angry and scared, completely unable to understand why police and prosecutors are gunning to get a conviction. So long as probable cause is established at the preliminary examination, then the matter will be bound over for trial in the 3rd Circuit Court for the County of Wayne and further proceedings will be held in the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in downtown Detroit. This is why it is so important that you contact an experienced Livonia criminal defense attorney to help you defend against criminal charges in the 16th District Court.
*represents an aberration under the guidelines that might result in county jail time or violate the 2/3rd maximum minimum rules under the guidelines, which is something that must be discussed with your attorney.