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Felonious Assault – Assault With a Dangerous Weapon


Felonious Assault is defined as 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.

In order for the state to prove the accused is guilty of a Felonious Assault the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

1. The accused either attempted to commit a battery on the accuser or did an act that would cause a reasonable person to fear /apprehend an immediate battery.

2. The accused intended either to injure the accuser or to make the accuser reasonably fear an immediate battery.

3. At the time, the accused had the ability to commit a battery,l appeared to have the ability, or thought he/she had the ability.

4. The accused committed the assault with a dangerous weapon.


  • Dangerous Weapon – any object that is used in a way that is likely to cause serious physical injury or death. The way an object is used or intended to be used in an assault determines whether or not it is a dangerous weapon.

Felonious Assault is different from simple Assault by the use of a dangerous weapon.

Felonious Assault is a Specific Intent crime. That means, the accused must have the specific intent to injure or place a person in reasonable fear or apprehension of an immediate battery.

An object that may typically not be considered a “dangerous weapon”, may become a “dangerous weapon” for purposes of Felonious Assault if it is used in a dangerous manner. For example, the accused has a cane he legitimately uses for his knees. The accused uses the cane to poke someone’s eye out. The cane can be considered a “dangerous weapon”, one that typically would not be considered a “dangerous weapon”.

A person can be found guilty of Felonious Assault but not guilty of Felony Firearm.

It is common to be charged with both Felonious Assault, Felony Firearm and Carrying a Concealed Weapon. The accused may be found guilty of all three, two or one of these crimes.

A firearm must be operable to be a dangerous weapon.

If the accused has a starter pistol which is not capable of propelling dangerous projectiles, the accused cannot be charged or convicted of Felonious Assault.

A pellet gun may be considered a “dangerous weapon” for purposes of the Felonious Assault statute where the gun is operable when loaded and capable of propelling a live bullet.

An automobile may be considered a “dangerous weapon”. If the automobile is used in furtherance of accomplishing an assault and is capable of inflicting serious injury.

Felonious Assault is a felony. Felonious Assault falls under MCL 750.82.


The accused jumps in his automobile after a fight inside the house with his girlfriend. The girlfriend comes outside and stands on the grass next to the driveway and continues to yell at him. The accused then backs up his vehicle and swerves towards the grass to scare the significant other. The accused ends up hitting her and she ends up with a serious injury. The automobile most certainly would be considered a “dangerous weapon”.


Felonious Assault is punishable by imprisonment for not more than 4 years or a fine of not more than $2,000.00, or both.


Self defense, defense of others, defense of property, lack of intent, provocation, consent, and assumption of risk.

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