Garret County Assault Lawyer

You may be surprised to learn that Garrett County assault charges do not necessarily involve any physical contact. In fact, an assault may occur under Maryland law if you make a statement that another might construe as a threat of offensive physical contact. This is an expansive legal definition of assault, ranging from making threats to inflicting serious bodily injury.

As a result, these cases tend to be very fact-specific, with reasonable people differing as to whether an assault occurred. A Garrett County assault lawyer may be able to assist you in presenting your case in a way that minimizes your exposure to negative consequences.

There are plenty of situations in which you may be able to effectively and successfully refute accusations of assault. For instance, fabricated assault allegations often arise in child custody situations. In other cases, self-defense may make assault necessary to protect yourself or another individual. Depending on the circumstances surrounding your case, there are a variety of defenses that may be available to fight the charges against you. Consult an assault attorney that could help you build your case.

Assault Definitions and Penalties

Assault is a broad criminal offense that encompasses not only the traditional definitions of assault but of battery as well. Assault also includes situations in which both elements of battery and assault are present.

First-Degree Assault

First-degree assault occurs when individuals intentionally make threats of or actually inflict serious physical injury, including assault with a firearm, toward alleged victims. Pursuant to Maryland Criminal Code §3-201, serious physical injury refers to physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death, serious disfigurement, or loss or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ.

Under §3-202, first-degree assault is a felony offense, which carries a penalty of up to 25 years of incarceration.

Second-Degree Assault

An offense constitutes second-degree assault when individuals make threats toward or actually have offensive physical contact with alleged victims. Offensive physical contact is the type of physical contact that reasonable people would find to be offensive.

According to §3-203, second-degree assault, or common assault, is a misdemeanor, which can result in a period of incarceration of up to ten years and a fine of up to $2,500, or both.

However, if individuals intentionally cause physical injury to those whom they know, or have reason to know, are police officers, parole or probation agents, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, or other first responders, the offense is felony assault in the second-degree. The penalties for this criminal offense include a period of incarceration of up to ten years and a fine of up to $5,000, or both. A Garrett County assault lawyer could mitigate the penalties that an individual may face.

Collateral Consequences of an Assault Conviction

Any criminal conviction can have adverse effects on individuals’ personal and professional life, but an assault conviction can bring about some particularly harsh results. Assault is widely seen as a crime of violence, whether or not it actually involved any physical contact.

As a result, individuals may be unable to work in some industries or careers due to a prior conviction for a violent crime. Individuals may be unable to find housing in certain areas. Furthermore, if the conviction is for felony assault, individuals may lose important rights, such as the right to carry a firearm.

Consulting with a Garrett County Assault Attorney

Whether you are facing a first-degree or second-degree assault charge, the resulting consequences can alter the course of your life. There are two sides to every story, and you have the right to have your part of the story heard, particularly when you are accused of a crime that could result in severe punishments. Taking the steps necessary to protect and defend yourself may very well include the help of a Garrett County assault lawyer. Speak with an attorney that could fight for you.