Columbia, MD Assault Lawyer
Frequently, simple misunderstandings quickly escalate into assault charges, which can have serious repercussions. Fortunately, if you find yourself in this position, there are a number of defenses that may be available to you. A Maryland assault lawyer at our firm can evaluate all details of the alleged incident, the arrest, and the charges in order to craft a strong defense on your behalf.
Our Columbia criminal defense team has a great deal of presence defending clients who are being charged
Advantages of Working with a Defense Attorney
An assault charge may be the result of a mutual altercation, a misunderstanding of intent, misidentification, or even an act of self-defense. Often, when law enforcement arrives to the scene of an alleged assault, they are forced to make a subjective determination of instigator and victim based on any apparent injuries or which participant told his or her side of the story first.
When you hire an assault attorney in Columbia, Maryland, you hire an advocate who can help make sure your side of the story is presented and the facts of the incident are given fair weight against subjective interpretation.
Under Maryland assault laws, there are specific elements the prosecution must prove in order to obtain an assault conviction. An experience assault attorney knows what these elements are and how to dispute them in court.
In some cases, a Columbia, MD assault lawyer may be able to have frivolous or unwarranted charges dismissed. In other case, your attorney may negotiate a reduced charge or minimal sentencing. It is important that your lawyer is not afraid to aggressively defend you in court, but will thoroughly examine all possible defense strategies to find the best solution for your unique case.
Maryland Assault Laws
There are many different kinds of assault, including domestic abuse and sexual assault. Those acts are typically prosecuted under laws pertaining specifically to them, while assault in general is prosecuted as either first degree assault or second degree assault.
A simple assault charge can be relatively minor; however, the consequences of an assault conviction become increasingly severe based upon the perceived seriousness of the offense.
First Degree Assault
Crimes against the person including assault and reckless endangerment are defined, prohibited, and penalized beginning in Maryland Code § 3-201. In this section, state law defines “serious bodily injury” as an injury that creates substantial risk of death or that causes permanent or protracted disfigurement, loss, or impairment of any body part or organ.
It is the presence of serious bodily injury or use of a firearm that causes an assault to be considered first degree assault, according to Section 3-202. First degree assault is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
Second Degree Assault
Defined under Section 3-203, assault in the second degree includes physical injury that is more severe than “minor injuries” but less than the “serious bodily injury” required for a first degree assault charge.
Second degree assault also includes assault of a law enforcement officer, probation or parole officer, firefighter, paramedic, or other emergency response worker. Second degree assault is a felony punishable by a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.
A person may be charged with reckless endangerment under Section 3-204 if he or she engages in any activity that creates a “substantial risk of death or serious bodily injury” or if he or she discharges a firearm from a vehicle.
Under this statute, reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison.
Work with our Defense Team Today
With such a broad scope of assault charges and penalties, it is important for anyone facing charges to quickly contact a Columbia, MD assault attorney who understands the nature of the charge and how best to defend against it. To learn more about your defense options, call our law offices today and complete your free initial consultation.