Whenever a charge of assault is lodged, it is critical that an accused party quickly recognize the seriousness of the situation. Being found guilty of a crime of this nature can result in the loss of personal freedom, expensive financial penalties and a host of other consequences from which it can be difficult to fully recover. If you are facing an assault allegation and wish to take prompt defensive action, contact an established criminal attorney right away. A Maryland assault lawyer could fight for your rights on your behalf.
In years past, the offenses of assault and battery were often defined as distinct types of conduct, and there are jurisdictions where this still holds true. Assault was thought to encompass threats of immediate, harmful or offensive contact with another, while battery involved the actual infliction of such harm. In Maryland, however, the offenses have essentially been combined in terms of their statutory treatment.
The Maryland legislature has codified a series of distinct degrees of assault which depend on the specific sort of conduct committed. A charge of common assault in the second degree, for instance, implicates a threat of or an actual infliction of offensive contact of one sort or another, whereas a first-degree assault would suggest a threat of or the actual infliction of a truly serious physical injury.
To be clear, offensive conduct in this realm is that which would create in the mind of a reasonable person apprehension of a substantial risk of death or risk of permanent disfigurement, loss of bodily function or profound impairment of a body part.
It should also be noted that distinctions among these charges can be made based on a range of other factors. For example, the identity of the alleged victim can make a key difference, as violent crimes against law enforcement officers and other public safety personnel raise the stakes significantly for defendants. Further, the identity of the accused individual and the use of weapons in the conduct at issue can also result in enhanced charges and potential penalties.
First-degree assault in Maryland is a felony in which a person intentionally causes or effectively attempts to cause a serious physical injury to another party and/or does so while using a firearm. An individual found guilty of such an allegation is subject to the incarceration of up to 25 years.
Md. Code Ann., Crim. Law §3-203 is classified as a misdemeanor offense and involves the intentional causing of physical harm to another individual, with the exclusion of minor injuries. Conduct resulting in physical injuries to known law enforcement officers and/or probation and parole officers can yield a charge of second-degree assault. Those convicted of such a charge are susceptible to sanctions of imprisonment of up to a decade as well as monetary fines.
Other important categories of assault charges in Maryland that require the assistance of an aggressive legal practitioner include reckless endangerment and domestic violence. Both types of allegations and resulting prosecutions are extremely fact-intensive matters that demand a comprehensive investigation by a Maryland lawyer who understands how to protect the rights of the accused and mount the assault defense they deserve.
Anyone who has ever faced a charge of assault in Maryland understands the feelings of worry and confusion that almost always follow. While it is certainly easy to abandon hope of successfully countering the prosecution’s case, every defendant must keep in mind that valid, effective techniques for achieving dismissals or reductions in charges may be available. Reasonable defense of others and self-defense often form the basis of such strategies in an assault case, and a Maryland lawyer could seek to show that the accused party:
As is true of most criminal offenses, conviction on an assault charge has the ability to bring about a series of negative ramifications that can throw entire families into chaos. From job loss to incarceration, monetary fines to ruined reputations, it is impossible to overstate the damage that can be wrought by a finding of guilt. If you have been charged with conduct in this realm and are ready to assert your right to a vigorous defense, a Maryland assault lawyer is the advocate you need.
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