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Frederick County Assault Lawyer

If you have been charged with any assault, a Frederick County assault lawyer can work with you to build a defense tailored to your interests.

In Maryland, assault (Section 3-201(b)) is committed when the suspect makes “offensive physical contact” with a victim. It also includes the suspect’s attempts at such contact or an intention to frighten someone into actual fear for their safety. Maryland also harshly penalizes those who assault law enforcement and other “special officials,” including judges. And assault can be an underlying charge in conjunction with other felonies (for example, robbery, sex crimes) that bring longer prison sentences than those normally associated with those underlying offenses. Here is information on representation for other criminal charges in Frederick County.

Frederick Assault Lawyers Handle These Cases

First-degree assault can be charged in either of two ways. The suspect intentionally causes serious physical injury to the victim (Section 3-202(a)(1)). Or a firearm is used to threaten the victim during the assault, or was possessed by the perpetrator at the time of the assault (Section 3-202(b)(2)). Conviction for first-degree assault is up to 25 years in prison which means you’ll likely want a Frederick County assault lawyer on your side if your facing assault charges.

Second-degree assault applies if only the threat of force is present (but serious bodily harm is not done to the victim) and if a firearm is not present. The following individual, or combined, actions usually apply to second-degree assault (Section 3-203).

    • The suspect intentionally attempts to create fear of imminent harm, or any unwanted contact, in the victim’s mind.
    • The suspect causes actual bodily harm or initiates “unwanted, offensive contact” with the victim without their consent.

Contacting a Frederick County assault lawyer is even more important for this type of charge as conviction for second-degree assault (a misdemeanor) brings a prison term of up to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $2,500. The prison sentence is generally determined by the actual degree of physical injury that the victim suffered, and whether the defendant has previous assault convictions.

However, felony second-degree assault occurs if the suspect intentionally injures a law enforcement officer, probation officer, parole agent, or judge during the performance of their duties, and the perpetrator knows they are part of this “protected group,” which also includes Metro transit officers. The penalty for this version of felony second-degree assault is a maximum prison sentence of 10 years and/or a fine of $5,000 (Section 3-203(2)(i)).

Homicide-Related Assaults

Taking the life of another is the direst form of assault and comes with the most serious penalties. Suspects can be charged with any of the following homicide-related offenses.

First degree murder is a capital crime. It must be premeditated and deliberate. Any premeditated homicide that accompanies the following crimes automatically makes it a capital crime.

    • First-degree arson
    • Burglaries where the suspect intends to harm, then kills the victim
    • Carjacking (if the suspect is armed with a deadly weapon)
    • Rape
    • Kidnapping
    • Many premeditated first- or second-degree sexual offenses (other than rape)
    • Sodomy

The penalty for first-degree murder is life in prison without parole (Section 2-201(b)(1)).  An attempt to commit murder in the first degree (that is, when the victim lives) can bring a conviction of up to life in prison (with possible parole).

Second-degree murder is homicide that is not premeditated, and the homicide occurs without malice on the part of the suspect. It comes with a penalty of up to 30 years in prison (Section 2-204(b)). Attempted second-degree murder also comes with a maximum 30-year prison sentence (Sections 2-205 or 2-206).

Anyone charged with either of the above certainly needs an experienced Frederick County assault lawyer who has defended murder suspects.

Frederick Assault Attorneys Also Handle Manslaughter Cases

There are two forms of this crime. If a suspect is alleged to have killed someone without deliberation (in other words, didn’t plan it), the charge is usually voluntary manslaughter and is punishable by a maximum prison sentence of 10 years (Section 2-207(a)(1)).

Involuntary manslaughter means the suspect’s careless act, which was not meant to kill anyone, inadvertently caused the death of another. This is commonly charged when someone who is driving under the influence causes an accident that kills someone else (ether someone in another car, a pedestrian, or a passenger in the suspect’s vehicle). Conviction is up to two years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500 (Section 2-207(a)(2)).

Negligent manslaughter refers to the suspect operating a motor vehicle in a blatantly unsafe manner, or not caring what might happen as a result of their conduct. Often, reckless-driving charges accompany allegations of negligent manslaughter in order to clarify the reasons behind the charge. The penalty for negligent manslaughter is three to 10 years in prison and a maximum $5,000 fine (Sections 2-209(d) and  2-210(f)).

A Frederick Assault Lawyer Can Help Protect Your Rights

When charged with any of the above crimes, it is essential to retain an experienced Frederick County assault attorney immediately in order to help you mount the best possible defense.