Anne Arundel County Assault Lawyer
In Maryland, the charge of assault means making “offensive physical contact” with another, attempting to make offensive physical contact, or intentionally frightening someone. Maryland has particularly harsh laws for assaulting law enforcement officers, or the reckless endangerment of others. Incidents of assault in Anne Arundel that cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury such as assault with a firearm are taken even more seriously by police officers, prosecutors, and judges. If you have been accused of an assault charge, experienced Anne Arundel County assault lawyer Seth Okin can advise you as to your rights throughout the process of the case and help protect you from the potential negative consequences associated with a conviction.
Anne Arundel Assault Lawyers Handle These Cases
In general, assault in the state of Maryland is classified as a misdemeanor. They are usually committed any of the following different ways:
- Battery (unwanted physical contact with another person)
- Attempted battery
- Placing another in fear of battery
According to the definition of assault in Maryland, the act must be intentional or reckless (defined as having disregard for the victim) in order for a person to be found guilty of the charge. For example, if someone throws a beer bottle in a crowded bar, even if it is not aimed at anyone in particular, and the bottle accidentally hits someone, the individual who tossed the bottle could potentially be charged with assault. An assault can also be based on the victim’s fear of potential battery, meaning that the perpetrator intentionally made the victim fear for their own safety.
First Degree Assault in Anne Arundel
Which assault charge is brought against a person depends on the alleged degree of harm caused to the victim by the perpetrator. In Anne Arundel County, a person could be charged with assault in the first degree if they cause “serious physical injury” to another person. Serious physical injury is interpreted as “substantial risk of death, causes permanent or protracted, serious disfigurement; loss of the function of any bodily member or organ; or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ.” A first degree assault charge can be serious, and if you have questions about how the law may apply to the facts of your case, you should consult with an Anne Arundel assault lawyer.
Second Degree Assault in Anne Arundel
A person could be charged with second degree assault if they cause any “physical injury” to another person. Physical injury means impairment of the victim’s physical condition, which usually only includes minor injuries. Examples of such injuries would be a cut that requires a few stitches, a concussion, or a broken bone. Second degree assault also includes placing a person in reasonable fear of imminent bodily harm. Lunging at someone in order to frighten them could be considered assault, even if the individual had no real intention to cause physical harm.
Often, people are charged with second degree assault even if they’re defending themselves. That is a tactic used by police officers to get everyone involved in an altercation into custody so that they can sort things out at the police station. If you are just an innocent victim of someone else’s aggression and you tried to defend yourself, your Anne Arundel assault lawyer may be used as a defense against assault charges.
Felony (aggravated) assaults typically involve the perpetrator committing assault with some sort of weapon such as a gun, knife, blackjack, or even a club. This is a serious form of assault and is punishable by up to 25 years of imprisonment.
Other Assault Charges
Assault with a firearm is an extremely serious felony offense in Maryland. This not only includes firing a gun at someone, but also waving one around in a menacing way. It is also a misdemeanor to recklessly discharge a firearm from a vehicle if it creates a risk of death or serious injury. It is also a misdemeanor to assault a police, parole, probation, or corrections officer and intentionally cause serious physical injury. In order to be convicted of assault on an officer, the prosecution must prove that the defendant knew or had reason to know that the alleged victim was indeed an officer performing official duties.
Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor offense and is usually charge when an individual is believed to have created a risk of death or serious physical injury to another person without regard for their safety.
Anne Arundel Assault Lawyers Can Help Defend You From These Penalties
The following is a general breakdown of the penalties for assault in Maryland:
- Assault in the 1st Degree – maximum 25 years in prison
- Assault in the 2nd Degree – 10 years in prison, $2,500 fine
- Assault on Law Enforcement Officer – maximum 10 years in prison
If other charges are filed against you in addition to assault, prison sentences and fines could be greater than those for just the assault offense.
The defense strategy for your charges depends on the particular facts in your case. Since police often charge assault regardless of who starts a fight, self defense could be a viable option. Many times, the facts might not support more serious assault charges and a skilled defense attorney could help you receive a reduced sentence.
If you have been charged with assault in this part of Maryland, an Anne Arundel assault lawyer can help protect you from the harsh penalties that accompany a conviction. Contact his law office today to schedule a free consultation and explore your options for a strong defense.