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What to Expect Following a Michigan Assault Charge

After an assault arrest in Michigan, a person is taken back to the jail to be processed and then a bond is set, usually by a magistrate or a judge as far as what the amount of money will have to be paid to be released.

There are many other conditions of arrest that a person should expect following a Michigan assault charge. To best understand these processes, it is important to consult with an experienced assault attorney in Michigan as soon as possible.

Bond Conditions

It is important that an individual expects that there could be specific bond conditions that are added after an individual is charged with assault in Michigan. They may say that the person cannot go near the person who is the alleged victim.  This is called a no contact provision. Another bond condition might be to stay away from the place the crime is alleged to have happened.

The court has wide latitude in deciding what conditions are appropriate while on bond for assault crimes. Eventually, if a person can pay the bond amount, they would be released from jail and given a court date to come back.  Then, there will be a series of pre-trials, and eventually a plea of guilty, presumably to a lesser charge, or a judge or jury trial.

Case Hearings

Michigan assault charges are heard in the circuit courts, which handle felony cases, rather than in the district courts. All felony cases and misdemeanor cases start out in the district courts and then felony cases that meet the right evidentiary levels, showing probable cause, will move on to the circuit court for the remainder of the case.

Because these are felony cases and not misdemeanor cases, they will be decided in the circuit court.

Investigating the Charge

Often, it is just the officers who are called to investigate an alleged assault. If it is at a restaurant, a concert, or wherever it might be, the officer will ask questions to the people around there. Depending on the severity, the person can get a detective to investigate things further, but a lot of times, it is just the reporting officers who decide who they think was the aggressor of the case, who is more at fault, and arrest that person.

If there was an injury, an individual should expect that there would also be medical care and medical records. Finally, photographs may be taken of the scene and of the injuries, if any.

Dealing with the Court System

An individual should expect a long, difficult run through the Michigan court system after being charged with assault. Also, they should expect that the prosecutors and judges will take the matter very seriously.

It is also important to expect that the Michigan assault case could last for a few months while the person is going through the process or the different pretrial conferences that lead to trial and sentencing if there is a conviction, so it can cause a certain amount of emotional exhaustion.

Finally, if there is an involved victim, meaning someone who puts pressure on the prosecutor, the individual can expect that they will be given a hard time after their Michigan assault charge as it relates to plea negotiations with the prosecutor and sentence negotiations with the court.

Contacting an Attorney

In the best-case scenario, an individual should contact an experienced lawyer immediately after any police contact. If they are arrested, then during the booking procedure. Otherwise, the more typical scenario would be to contact a lawyer after the individual has been released from police custody.

Sometimes, officers will let people contact an attorney while they are in jail. Sometimes, they will say that an individual can contact an attorney if they know their phone number. If not, the person may not be able to contact a lawyer. A lawyer will be able to help the person understand what to expect following their Michigan assault charge.

Relevant Evidence

After an assault charge in Michigan, an attorney would seek testimony or written statements from people who observed the assault, or the complaining witness or the alleged victim on the case. They would investigate the scene and what happened, try to find any evidence of any weapons that were used, and take those into evidence.

There may also be photographs or video recordings, perhaps surveillance video, and possibly also medical records.

Aggravating Factors

If there are injuries or no injuries, that can affect how things are treated. Sometimes, an offensive touching can be a minor thing as far as the amount of force used. Other times, it could be very severe even though it might all be charged under the same statute. The level of involvement on the part of the alleged victim and/or the victim’s family can indicate some sort of aggravating factor.

In domestic violence cases, sometimes, the factors are very minor, like a push, and other times, it is just that the individual is glaring at somebody, so the person was not the initial aggressor. It could have been just finishing the fight rather than starting the fight. So, all of these different things, including who started it, can go into how the case is treated and the aggravating and mitigating factors.

All of these different things, including who started the argument, can go into how the case is treated and the aggravating and mitigating factors. A lawyer can guide an individual through what aggravating factors they should maybe expect after a Michigan assault charge.