Catonsville Assault Lawyer
The term “assault” could mean different things depending on the jurisdiction. If you are facing charges of assault in Catonsville, it could be a very serious situation since Maryland law defines assault to include violent crimes with severe penalties.
It may be important for anyone facing assault charges to understand the implications and their options for fighting the charges so that they could take steps to reach the best possible outcome in their particular situation.
A Catonsville assault lawyer may be an invaluable ally in the process. A confident criminal defense attorney who understands how courts prosecute various assault charges could create the best defensive strategy and advocate on your behalf to work toward the optimum resolution.
Different Types of Assault
The state criminal code contains two primary statutes defining assault in the first and second degrees. Within the description of second-degree assault, there is a wide range of varying conduct and penalties, so the crime of assault in the second-degree encompasses many types of behavior and could be penalized with differing degrees of severity.
Criminal assault is prosecuted by the state as a crime against the community. A person may also be sued in civil court for the tort of assault, so the same conduct may subject an individual to both criminal and civil liability. Even if a criminal court finds a person not guilty of criminal assault, that person may still be held liable for damages in civil court for the intentional tort of assault. A Catonsville assault lawyer could help defend against either type of assault allegation.
First Degree Charge
Assault in the first degree is defined in Section 3-202 of the Maryland criminal code. An individual could commit this offense in one of two ways. If a person intentionally causes serious physical harm to another person or attempts to intentionally commit such harm, such behavior could constitute a first-degree assault.
If someone commits an assault with a firearm, then the assault could be considered assault in the first degree. Assault is defined at the beginning of this statutory section to include the traditional offense of “assault and battery.” Under the traditional definitions, an assault may occur when someone threatens harm while a battery could occur when someone makes contact with another. That contact may cause harm or only offense.
Assault in the first degree is a serious felony. Penalties include up to 25 years in prison.
The lesser assault offenses are defined in Section 3-203 of the state criminal code. An assault could be treated as a misdemeanor when there are no aggravating factors present to raise it to a felony. Even a misdemeanor assault conviction carries the potential for a ten-year prison sentence and a fine of up to $2,500.
An assault could become a second-degree felony assault when someone intentionally injures another person who is known to be a first responder, law enforcement official or parole officer engaged in official duties. The penalties for felony second-degree assault are similar to the misdemeanor office, although the potential fine may be twice as high.
Working with a Catonsville Assault Attorney
Both first and second-degree assault requires an individual to act intentionally in order to commit the offense. In many situations, a Catonsville assault lawyer may be able to successfully argue that the conduct at issue was not committed with the intent to touch or harm another.
Other possible defense strategies include demonstrating that actions were taken in self-defense or defense of others. Whatever the situation, there may be arguments that could be raised in defense of the charge, but it may be crucial to act quickly to collect and preserve vital evidence.
If you are facing assault charges, an experienced criminal attorney could help you begin building the best defense right away. For a free consultation, call now.