Maryland Assault Lawyer
In Maryland, there are different categories of assault. Depending upon the crime you are accused of, you could be facing a felony conviction. You need to understand the charges that have been brought against you as well as your options for responding to avoid conviction or reduce penalties. A Maryland assault lawyer can provide you with representation as you deal with the accusations made against you. Skilled defense attorneys are essential in fighting your charges.
Assault Laws in Maryland
Assault in Maryland is defined by Maryland Code Section 3-201 to include:
- Making someone reasonably fear that unwanted contact is imminent, like threatening to hit someone
- Causing offensive unwanted contact to another person
- Making someone fear offense unwanted contact and then actually following through and making unwanted physical contact
There are different categories of assault in Maryland. You could be charged with:
- Assault in the First-Degree: This felony is defined in Code Section 3-202 as an assault committed with a firearm; as an attempt to intentionally cause serious physical harm to someone; or as intentionally causing someone to suffer serious physical harm.
Assault in the Second Degree: You are guilty of misdemeanor assault under Code Section 3-203 if you make or threaten to make offensive or potentially harmful unwanted contact with someone, regardless of whether injury occurs. If the person who you commit assault against is a law enforcement officer or probation officer, then you are guilty of felony assault.
The unwanted contact that you make with another person does not have to be direct contact. If you throw an object and hit someone, or if you hit another person with an object like a bat or a stick, you could be charged with assault.
A Maryland assault lawyer can review the accusations made against you and help you understand the charges and potential penalties. You have the right to confront your accuser and you must be considered innocent of assault unless the prosecutor proves your guilt.
Penalties for Assault
The penalties for assault vary based on the specific offense you have been charged with.
- For first degree assault, you could be jailed for up to 25 years according to Code Section 3-202
- For misdemeanor second-degree assault, you could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $2,500 under Code Section 3-203
- For felony second-degree assault committed against a police, parole, or probation officer, you could be sent to jail for 10 years and fined up to $5,000
In some cases, a prosecutor will charge you with a lesser offense if you agree to plead guilty to that reduced criminal charge. A prosecutor may also make an agreement to recommend that you face a lighter sentence if you plead guilty.
How a Maryland Assault Lawyer Can Help
A Maryland assault lawyer can argue for bail after you have been arrested and can help you to decide on the best approach to take in court. If you decide to take the process of your case to trial, you can argue:
- The prosecutor has failed to prove guilt
- The accusations being made against you are false
- You acted in self-defense or in justified defense of others
These are just a few possible defenses you can raise in a criminal trial. Contact a Maryland assault lawyer as soon as possible when you have been arrested to get help with your criminal case.