Worcester Assault Lawyer
Assault is a very serious offense in Maryland, and if you have been accused of assaulting someone, you will need to consult an experienced Worcester Assault Lawyer as soon as possible. Because of the severe penalties associated with an assault charge, your assault attorney in Worcester will need to begin investigating the facts and circumstances surrounding your case immediately.
Two Kinds of Assault Categories
In Maryland, assault charges fall into one of two categories: assault in the first degree and assault in the second degree. While first degree assault is considered the more serious crime, both offenses carry potentially long jail sentences and therefore warrant contact with a Worcester assault lawyer.
Assault in the First Degree
Maryland Code 3-202 defines first degree assault as intentionally causing serious physical injury to someone else, or attempting to cause such injury. Any assault carried out with a firearm, including a handgun, antique firearm, rifle, shotgun, short-barreled shotgun, short-barreled rifle, assault pistol, machine gun, or any regulated firearm is automatically considered first degree assault.
First degree assault does not require the use of deadly weapon, however. If the assault resulted in serious physical injury to the victim, or the prosecutor can establish that you intended to cause such injury – even if no harm occurred – you could be found guilty of first degree assault.
While the term “serious physical injury” may sound vague, the law is very clear about what constitutes such injury. Serious physical injury is clearly defined in Maryland Code 3-201 as injury that brings about a risk of death that is substantial or causes disfigurement, impairment or loss of the function of any body part or organ for a permanent or prolonged period of time.
First degree assault is a felony carrying a penalty of up to 25 years in prison making contact with a Worcester assault lawyer imperative.
Assault in the Second Degree
Second degree assault under Maryland Code 3-203 is considered a misdemeanor. While not as serious as a felony charge, second degree assault still carries a harsh penalty of up to ten years in prison and a potential fine of up to $2,500.
Assault in the second degree encompasses most other type of assault and battery not considered first degree assault. Any type of harmful or offense contact with another person could be considered assault, even if you did not intend for the contact to cause harm.
Second Degree Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer
Maryland law sets apart an additional subcategory of second degree assault that applies when a person assaults a law enforcement officer. Second degree assault on a law enforcement officer involves causing physical injury to a law enforcement, parole or probation officer during the course of his official duties, so long as the person knew or had reason to know of the victim’s law enforcement status. Physical injury, as opposed to serious physical injury, refers to any physical impairment, aside from very minor injuries.
Assaulting a law enforcement officer is considered a felony offense carrying a penalty of up to ten years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5000.
Consult An Experienced Worcester Assault Lawyer
If you have been charged with any type of assault, it is crucial that you consult an assault lawyer in Worcester soon after you are arrested. Your Worcester assault attorney can explain the charges against you and why you were charged with one type of assault versus another. If you believe the charges are unfair or you were acting in self defense, your Worcester assault lawyer can present your case to the prosecutor and seek reduced charges, or pursue your case to trial.