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What is Felonious Assault?
Everything You Need to Know

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Collen Clark Published by Collen Clark

Schmidt & Clark, LLP is not currently accepting these types of cases and has posted this content for information purposes only. We encourage you to seek a qualified attorney, if you feel you might have a case.

Felonious assault is when one person harms or attempts to cause physical harm to another. If you’ve been a victim of a felonious assault, you have the right to prosecute the person who causes you serious harm.

Over the two decades we’ve been practicing law, Schmidt & Clark lawyers have filed countless felonious assault cases. We’ve helped assault victims get damages due to them. Today, we’ll explain everything you should know about the felonious assault.

Summary of the Key Findings

  • Felonious assault is causing serious physical injury to another person with a weapon.
  • Penalties for felony assaults include time spent in jail and monetary fines.
  • You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer after knowingly causing harm to someone else.

The Definition of Felonious Assault

A person looking at a book in front of a laptop on a desk

Felonious assault is an assault with a dangerous weapon with the intent to cause physical injury or harm to another person. 

You can face a felonious assault charge if you unlawfully touch another person while using any object as a weapon.

“Felonious Assault means a violent or criminal act reported to the local authorities which was directed at you during the course of, or an attempt of, a physical assault resulting in serious injury, kidnapping, or rape.” Law Insider

A felonious assault is:

  • Knowingly and intentionally causing physical harm to another person, including an unborn child
  • Most forms of sexual assault
  • Attacks on children and infants (these don’t even require the attacker to be armed)
  • Causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm with a weapon
  • Engaging in sex with another person if you’re HIV positive:
    1. Without informing them you’re HIV positive
    2. If the other person doesn’t have the mental capacity to understand the risks
    3. If the other person is under 18

Note: In some states, such as Ohio, felonious assault is a 2nd-degree felony, but it becomes a 1st-degree felony if the victim is a police officer.

Felonious Assault and Weapons

A person holding a bat outsideA felonious assault can include firing or wielding a weapon, but an assault can also be deemed as felonious without the presence of a weapon.

Also, the weapon doesn’t necessarily have to inflict serious physical harm. It’s enough if a person brandishes a knife or a gun to make the victim commit certain acts out of fear.

A felony assault includes the presence of a deadly weapon, and a lot of people assume a deadly weapon is a knife or a firearm.

However, the list of items that are seen as deadly weapons can include:

  • Rope
  • Pillow
  • Rock
  • Hammer
  • Scissors
  • Broken glass
  • Kitchen knives

Any item that’s used to cause harm can be considered a deadly weapon.

Read Also: Assault With a Deadly Weapon

Penalty for Felonious Assault

A person crossing fingers while on a tablePenalties for felony crimes differ from state to state, but they are considered serious. 

Overall, a felony conviction varies because of local laws and attack specifics. Also, judges have a fair amount of leeway in these cases, but most jurisdictions require a prison sentence. This can go from years to decades, depending on the charges and assault circumstances. A monetary fine or probation is also a common penalty. In case the victims are police officers, the sentence increases dramatically.

These are the basic penalties for felonious assault charges in Ohio [1]:

  • 3 to 11 years in prison for 1st-degree felony
  • A fine of $20,000 for a 1st-degree felony
  • A minimum sentence of three years if the victim is a law enforcement officer
  • 2 to 8 years in prison for 2nd-degree felony
  • A fine of up to $15,000 for a 2nd-degree felony
  • Hours of community service

On the other hand, penalties in Michigan are different and depend on whether you’ve used a dangerous weapon or not. If you’re found guilty of a felony assault in Michigan, you’ll get 4 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,000 [2].

You need a skilled criminal defense attorney familiar with the law in your state to help you get the lowest penalty possible.

Felonious vs. Aggravated Assault

A gavel beside a stack of books

Felonious and aggravated assault are two different kinds of assaults. An aggravated assault happens when people commit assault because they are overcome by sudden passion or a fit of rage, and this state was provoked by the victim. 

Examples of aggravated assault are:

  • The offender causes physical harm to the victim or their unborn child
  • The offender causes harm with a deadly weapon

Felonious assault is first or second-degree assault. However, aggravated assault is a 4th-degree felony or a 2nd-degree if the victim is a member of the police force.

Penalties for aggravated assault are:

  • 9 months to 3 years in prison for a 3rd-degree felony
  • A fine of up to $10,000 for a 3rd-degree felony
  • A minimum sentence of at least 3 years if the victim is a law enforcement member
  • 6 to 18 months in prison for a 4th-degree felony
  • A fine of up to $5000 for a 4th-degree felony

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What is the lowest form of assault?

The lowest form of assault is a misdemeanor. These usually don’t involve a serious injury, and it’s usually a simple assault.

What is the highest assault charge?

The highest assault charge is 1st-degree assault. The penalty is from 5 to 99 years in prison, plus a monetary fine. 

Hire an Experienced Attorney to Help With a Felonious Assault

If you’ve caused physical harm to another person or their property, such as a motor vehicle, you can be prosecuted and made to pay restitution and medical treatment.

If the assault included dangerous ordnance, the penalties go up, and you may spend years in prison.

A reputable law firm such as Schmidt & Clark, LLP can help you if you’ve been wrongly accused. Our criminal defense attorneys can also help you get a more favorable outcome and a lighter sentence or a plea bargain.

Contact us today for a free consultation.