Perrone Law, P.C
Get the Representation You Deserve
221 W. Lake Lansing
East Lansing, MI 48823
Phone: (517) 351-0332
Fax: (517) 913-6287
Defenses to Michigan Criminal Charges
Michigan Self-Defense Law
Self-Defense is available as a defense if the assault that you committed was done to protect yourself against an assault or an assaul and battery of another. This defense is unavailable if you are the initial aggressor of the assault and battery. To be entitled to the defense of self-defense to a simple assault charged the individual must have acted out of an honest and resaonable belief that the use of force was necessary to prevent an imminent battery. As it relates to aggravated charges To be entitled to the defense of self-defense, an individual must have acted out of an honest and reasonable belief that the use of deadly force was necessary to prevent his imminent death or imminent great bodily harm. People v Riddle, 467 Mich 116, 142 n 30; 649 NW2d 30 (2002). A defendant acts in self-defense when he honestly and reasonably believes that his life is in imminent danger or that there is a threat of serious bodily harm. People v Heflin, 434 Mich 482, 502; 456 NW2d 10 (1990). The use of deadly force in self-defense is justified if 1) the defendant honestly and reasonably believed that he was in danger, 2) the danger which the defendant feared was serious bodily harm or death, and 3) the action taken by the defendant appeared at the time to be immediately necessary, i.e., the defendant is only entitled to use the amount of force necessary to defend himself. MCL 780.972; MCL 780.961; Heflin, 434 Mich at 502. Once evidence of self-defense is introduced, the prosecutor bears the burden of disproving it beyond a reasonable doubt. People v Fortson, 202 Mich App 13, 20; 507 NW2d 763 (1993). A prosecutor may meet this burden by presenting sufficient evidence for a reasonable trier of fact to conclude, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant?s belief of imminent danger was either not honest or was unreasonable.
Michigan Imperfect Self-Defense Law
Imperfect self-defense is a qualified defense that can mitigate second-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter. Where imperfect self-defense is applicable, it serves as a method of negating the element of malice in a murder charge. The doctrine applies only where the defendant would have been entitled to self-defense had he not been the initial aggressor.
Michigan Defense of Others Laws
To be entitled to the defense of Defense of Others, an individual must have acted out of an honest and objectively reasonable belief that the use of force was necessary to prevent an imminent battery of another. The action must have objectively appeared to be immediately necessary to those claiming this defense. Further, the action taken by the person using this defense is only entitled to use the amount of force necessary to defend the other person.
Michigan Affirmative Defense and Dismissal for Medical Marihuana.
(a) Except as provided in section 7, a patient and a patient's primary caregiver, if any, may assert the medical purpose for using marihuana as a defense to any prosecution involving marihuana, and this defense shall be presumed valid where the evidence shows that:
(1) A physician has stated that, in the physician's professional opinion, after having completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship, the patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition;
(2) The patient and the patient's primary caregiver, if any, were collectively in possession of a quantity of marihuana that was not more than was reasonably necessary to ensure the uninterrupted availability of marihuana for the purpose of treating or alleviating the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition; and
(3) The patient and the patient's primary caregiver, if any, were engaged in the acquisition, possession, cultivation, manufacture, use, delivery, transfer, or transportation of marihuana or paraphernalia relating to the use of marihuana to treat or alleviate the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms of the patient's serious or debilitating medical condition.
(b) A person may assert the medical purpose for using marihuana in a motion to dismiss, and the charges shall be dismissed following an evidentiary hearing where the person shows the elements listed in subsection (a).
(c) If a patient or a patient's primary caregiver demonstrates the patient's medical purpose for using marihuana pursuant to this section, the patient and the patient's primary caregiver shall not be subject to the following for the patient's medical use of marihuana:
(1) disciplinary action by a business or occupational or professional licensing board or bureau; or
(2) forfeiture of any interest in or right to property.