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 ›