Building a Defense in Maryland Assault on a Police Officer (APO) Cases
Assaulting a police officer is a felony offense, and you could be sentenced to time in prison if convicted. If you have been accused of this criminal offense, you should contact a lawyer who has experience building a defense in Maryland assault on a police officer (APO) cases.
There are many possible arguments to an APO charge, but attempting to represent yourself in court could be a mistake. Call a skilled APO attorney who could help you develop an appropriate strategy to fight the charges against you.
General Assault in Maryland
Assault, or a related offense such as battery, can be charged as a misdemeanor or criminal offense under state law. If the alleged assault did not involve a firearm or other weapon, an individual may be charged with a second-degree misdemeanor. This penalty may include a $2,500 fine and a prison sentence of up to ten years.
However, if a firearm was used, assault is charged as a first-degree felony. The penalty for this offense is a prison sentence of up to 25 years. However, if is important to note that building a defense against assault can be different if the case involves a police officer.
Penalties for Assaulting a Police Officer in Maryland
Committing assault on an officer performing official police duties is a second-degree felony. If convicted, a person could be fined $5,000 and sentenced to up to ten years in prison. The penalties could be more severe if a weapon was used in the offense.
If the police officer was not seriously injured, an individual may only be sentenced to probation with a condition to participate in anger management counseling. However, this lesser penalty may only be offered to defendants with no prior convictions for assault, assault on an officer, resisting arrest, or a related offense. A local attorney who handles APO cases could argue for the minimum penalty in the event of a conviction.
Defending Against APO Charges in Maryland
Defending against charges of assaulting a police officer can be challenging. The prosecution will use any available evidence to establish a defendant’s guilt. Evidence that may be used to prove the alleged assault include:
- The police officer’s testimony
- Police vehicle or body camera footage
- Photos or videos from other witnesses or nearby surveillance cameras
- Documented calls requesting backup
- Medical records documenting the injuries from the alleged assault.
If the prosecution uses any of this evidence against the accused party, a criminal lawyer could argue that any contact made by the defendant was unintentional. Additionally, if the police officer was in plain clothes or failed to identify themselves, one could argue the defendant did not know they were a member of law enforcement.
In some situations, an attorney might argue that the accused was simply refusing to cooperate while being arrested. This could lead to a lesser charge of failure to obey a lawful order. An assault lawyer could identify the most effective strategy for fighting APO charges in an individual’s specific situation.
Contact a Maryland Assault Attorney for Help Building a Defense in APO Cases
For those with no legal experience, dealing with charges of assaulting a police officer can be difficult. If you are facing felony charges, it is best to retain an attorney skilled at building a defense in Maryland assault on a police officer cases.
Our team could develop a strong argument against your charges and protect your constitutional rights. Contacting a lawyer immediately could improve your chances of beating your charges.