Articles Posted in Assault

Under Michigan law, there are some acts that, while they form the basis of criminal charges, are justified in certain situations. For example, if a person uses force against another person, they may be charged with an assault crime, but if they took such action to protect themselves or someone else, the charges against them might be dismissed. In a recent ruling, a Michigan court discussed what evidence a criminal defendant must produce to establish the use of force was appropriate. If you are charged with assault or any other crime, it is in your best interest to confer with a skilled Michigan criminal defense attorney.

Background of the Case

It is alleged that the defendants, husband, and wife, were charged with first and third-degree home invasion. The charges arose out of an incident in which they, along with the husband’s mother, went to the home of another man to pick up the mother’s partner. When they arrived, the man reportedly opened the door briefly and then grabbed the partner and dragged her into another room.

Reportedly, the husband and wife heard the partner screaming for help and entered the home without the man’s permission. A physical altercation ensued. A jury convicted the defendants as charged. They appealed, arguing that their attorneys were ineffective because they failed to request a jury instruction on the defense of others. The intermediate appellate court affirmed their convictions, and they appealed to the Michigan Supreme Court. Continue Reading ›

Typically, in Michigan criminal trials, the prosecution is not permitted to introduce evidence that the defendant previously engaged in wrongful behavior that is similar to the criminal offense they are accused of committing. There are some exceptions, though, as demonstrated in a recent Michigan matter in which the defendant challenged his conviction for sexual assault after the prosecution introduced evidence of a prior similar incident. If you are charged with assault or any other crime, it is prudent to meet with a knowledgeable Michigan criminal defense attorney to determine what evidence the state may introduce against you.

The History of the Case

It is alleged that the defendant was charged with sexual assault. During the trial, the victim testified that she was unconscious and woke up to the defendant strangling her and having sex with her. Additionally, another woman testified that on a previous occasion, she slept on the defendant’s couch and woke up to the defendant strangling her and having sex with her. The jury found the defendant guilty as charged. He appealed, arguing that the trial court erred in permitting the prosecution to admit prior bad acts evidence.

The Introduction of Prior Bad Acts Evidence

The appellate court affirmed the defendant’s conviction. The court explained that, except for cases involving an abuse of discretion, an appellate court would not disturb a trial court’s decision to admit the evidence. A trial court commits an abuse of discretion if it allows evidence that is inadmissible as a matter of law. Continue Reading ›

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It is well established under Michigan law that people can be charged with more than one offense following a single criminal incident. They cannot be found guilty twice for the same crime, however, as such rulings violate double jeopardy. Further, they cannot be found guilty of multiple crimes if such convictions are contradictory. In other words, there are protected from inconsistent verdicts or those that cannot be rationally reconciled with the court’s factual findings. This was illustrated in a recent Michigan criminal matter, in which a court overturned a defendant’s felonious assault conviction on the grounds that it was inconsistent with his conviction for assault with murderous intent. If you are accused of assault, it is advisable to confer with a Michigan assault defense attorney regarding your potential defenses.

The Facts of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant stabbed a woman he had previously dated in July 2018. Prior to the incident, the woman left the apartment she lived in with the defendant, and the defendant moved to Florida. At some point, she emailed the defendant and asked him to return to Michigan. According to the woman, the defendant appeared on her balcony one evening and stabbed her numerous times.

It is reported that she was taken to the hospital, where she underwent surgery. The defendant was charged with felonious assault, assault with murderous intent, and other crimes. He was convicted via a bench trial, after which he appealed, arguing in part that his convictions for assault with murderous intent and felonious assault were inconsistent verdicts. Continue Reading ›

In Michigan criminal matters, the prosecution bears the burden of proving each element of a charged offense beyond a reasonable doubt. If it cannot meet this burden, the evidence should be deemed insufficient to obtain or sustain a conviction. The standard of review the court employs when faced with challenges to the sufficiency of the evidence was the topic of a recent Michigan ruling in a case in which the defendant appealed his conviction for assault with a deadly weapon. If you are charged with an assault crime, it is advisable to speak to a Michigan criminal defense attorney to determine your options for seeking a favorable outcome.

The Alleged Assault

Reportedly, the victims were in their front yard when they heard a loud boom. They then listened to a person make a comment regarding the firing of a gun then threaten to kill them. The victims did not see the defendant but determined he was the one speaking because they recognized his voice. The person than shown a light at the female victim’s head, which they believed to be a light attached to a gun.

Allegedly, the victims returned to their apartment and called the police. The police spoke with the defendant, who advise he heard a noise that sounded like a gunshot, after which he grabbed his gun and pointed it at the victims. He was charged with assault with a deadly weapon and was convicted by a jury, after which he appealed. Continue Reading ›

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In Michigan, it is generally unlawful for someone to attack or threaten to harm another individual. In some instances, however, the use of force may be justified. For example, if people accused of assault crimes can demonstrate that their actions were necessary for their own protection or the protection of others, they may be deemed not guilty. Recently, a Michigan court discussed what evidence is necessary to establish acts were taken in self-defense in a case in which the defendant appealed his assault and weapons convictions. If you are accused of unlawfully causing another person bodily harm, it is advisable to confer with a skillful Michigan criminal defense attorney to assess what arguments you may be able to set forth in your defense.

The Alleged Assault

Reportedly, the victim visited the restaurant where the defendant worked as a manager and attempted to order food but did not have any money. As such, the defendant refused to take his order. The victim and the defendant began arguing, and the defendant obtained a gun from the back office and pointed it at the victim. The victim then left the restaurant and picked up a brick which he admitted he was going to throw through the front window of the establishment.

Allegedly, the defendant went outside to confront the victim and fired shots in his direction, one of which struck the victim in the leg. The victim left and encountered police officers a few blocks away. The officers proceeded to arrest the defendant, who was charged with numerous counts of assault with intent to do great bodily harm and unlawful use of firearms. A jury found the defendant guilty as charged, and he appealed, arguing the prosecution failed to rebut his claim of self-defense. Continue Reading ›

In Michigan, assault crimes range from misdemeanors to felonies, and the severity of a charge depends on numerous factors. For example, a person that brandishes a weapon during an attack may be accused of a felonious assault. In many instances, the circumstances surrounding an altercation are disputed, and the State will use witness testimony to establish guilt. As such, if a defendant can demonstrate a witness lacks credibility, the jury may be less inclined to believe the person. Recently, a Michigan court discussed the grounds for impeaching a witness in a criminal case in a matter in which a defendant appealed her felonious assault conviction. If you are charged with assault, it is in your best interest to meet with a trusted Michigan criminal defense attorney to determine your options.

The Subject Assault

It is reported that the defendant, her niece, and her niece’s boyfriend went to the movies together and then returned to the defendant’s home. Their accounts of what transpired after they entered the defendant’s house differed, however. Specifically, the niece and her boyfriend stated the defendant began paranoid and accused them of stealing things, and while waving a knife around, the defendant cut her niece’s hand.

Allegedly, the defendant advised that her niece and her niece’s boyfriend stole multiple items, and she picked up the knife to scare them into giving them back when she cut her niece. She was charged with felonious assault. Her niece and her niece’s boyfriend gave their accounts of what occurred at trial, and a jury found the defendant guilty as charged. She appealed, arguing in part that her counsel was ineffective. Continue Reading ›

In many criminal cases, it makes sense for the defendant to enter into a plea agreement in exchange for a reduced sentence or lesser charges. Any plea agreement must be entered into knowingly and voluntarily, and if it is not, a defendant may have grounds to file an appeal. The basis for challenging a plea agreement was the topic of a recent Michigan opinion that was issued in a case in which the defendant pleaded guilty to theft and fraud. If you are accused of fraud or any other crime, it is smart to speak to an experienced Michigan criminal defense attorney regarding your rights.

The Defendant’s Agreement

It is reported that the defendant was charged with theft of government funds, student loan fraud, and numerous other crimes. She entered a guilty plea pursuant to a plea agreement she made with the prosecution. She then appealed the judgment in her case, averring that she had a right to appeal the timing of her sentence and the manner in which it was to be served. The government moved to dismiss her appeal, arguing that she expressly waived her right to file an appeal. After reviewing the agreement, the court ruled in favor of the government and dismissed her appeal.

Assessing the Validity of Plea Waivers Under Michigan Law

The court explained that criminal defendants might waive their right to an appeal as part of their plea agreements, but any such waiver must be voluntary and knowing. In the subject case, the defendant did not argue that her waiver was not voluntary or knowing but instead asserted that the waiver did not include challenges to the timing of her sentence or the manner in which it was to be served. Continue Reading ›

In many assault cases, the prosecution relies on testimony from the victim and any witnesses to the incident to establish the defendants’ guilt. Thus, if they testify that the defendant was not the person who committed the alleged offense, it may be challenging for the prosecution to prove its case. In matters in which witnesses recant earlier statements in which they indicated the defendant’s guilt, however, they may be found to lack credibility, and the defendant may be convicted despite their favorable testimony. This was shown in a recent Michigan ruling in which the court denied the defendant’s motion for new trial after his assault conviction. If you are accused of assault or any other crime, it is advisable to meet with a Michigan criminal defense lawyer to discuss your potential defenses.

The Assault and Subsequent Trial

It is reported that the defendant and the victim were involved in a verbal altercation, after which the victim got into a vehicle and began to drive away. The defendant then began to shoot at the vehicle. He was charged with assault with intent to commit murder and other crimes. At his trial, the victim and his mother, who was at the scene of the incident, both testified that they did not know who shot at the vehicle.

Allegedly, the prosecution then presented evidence of earlier statements made by the victim and his mother in which they identified the defendant as the shooter, including a letter from the mother to the police. The defendant was ultimately convicted as charged. He then moved for a new trial, arguing in part that the verdict was against the weight of the evidence. The court denied his motion, and he appealed. Continue Reading ›

In Michigan, assault crimes range in severity, and the offense a defendant is charged with depends on the circumstances surrounding the alleged attack. Many assault crimes require the State to prove the defendant’s intent at the time the offense was committed, and if it cannot, the defendant may be able to argue that a lesser charge is appropriate. Recently, a Michigan court issued an opinion explaining jury instructions for lesser included offenses in assault cases, in a matter in which it ultimately determined that the trial court erred in refusing to instruct the jury per the defendant’s request. If you are charged with an assault crime, it is prudent to meet with a seasoned Michigan criminal defense lawyer to assess your potential defenses.

Procedural History of the Case

Allegedly, the defendant was charged with assault with intent to do great bodily harm. Prior to trial, he filed a motion asking the court to instruct the jury on the crime of assault and battery on the grounds that it was a lesser-included offense of assault with intent to do great bodily harm. He further asserted that a rational view of the evidence supported the instruction.

It is reported that during the oral argument the court held on the motion, the prosecution conceded that assault and battery was a lesser included offense of assault with intent to do great bodily harm but objected to the instruction regardless on the basis that the intent element of the charged offense was not disputed, as the defense argued that no assault occurred. The court denied the defendant’s motion, and he was convicted as charged. The defendant appealed, but his conviction was upheld. He then appealed to the Supreme Court of Michigan. Continue Reading ›

It is generally known that people who are charged with crimes cannot be forced to testify in their own defense. Many people are unaware, though, that although defendants cannot be compelled to defend themselves against the prosecutions’ allegations, they do have a constitutional right to present a defense, and if this right is violated, it may constitute grounds for a new trial. In a recent opinion issued in an assault case, a Michigan court discussed what an appellate court evaluates to determine whether a trial court violated a defendant’s right to present a defense. If you are accused of assault, you should meet with a Michigan criminal defense attorney to discuss your options.

The Defendant’s Arrest and Trial

It is reported that the defendant was charged with numerous assault crimes following an altercation with his girlfriend and aunt. The defendant admitted that there was an argument but asserted that his aunt and girlfriend conspired to fabricate allegations against him. His aunt, however, stated that he attempted to stab her, gouged her face, and pointed a BB gun at her head, and his girlfriend testified that the defendant threw her to the ground and threatened her with a knife. A jury ultimately found the defendant guilty as charged. He appealed, arguing in part that the trial court violated his constitutional right to present a defense by excluding testimony regarding other acts.

The Right to Present a Defense

Upon reviewing the evidence, the appellate court denied the defendant’s appeal. The court explained that in order to preserve the issue of whether a trial court’s evidentiary ruling denied a defendant the right to offer a defense, the defendant has to raise the issue before the trial court. In the subject case, the defendant failed to argue at trial that the testimony in question was admissible under the Michigan Rules of Evidence or that the failure to admit such testimony denied him of the right to set forth a defense. Continue Reading ›

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