Prince George’s County Aggravated Assault Lawyer
Assaults are some of the most common cases tried in Maryland’s criminal courts. For the most part, these incidents are misdemeanors where a conviction rarely results in a court sentencing a person to jail time. However, many cases are made more serious by what are known as aggravating factors.
These factors can include the target of the assault if the defendant is alleged to have used any weapons, and the extent of the injuries sustained by the alleged victim. If one or any of these aggravating factors are present, the potential penalties for a conviction are much more serious.
Citizens who are facing charges of aggravated assault should work with an experienced defense attorney who will try their case with passion and determination. A Prince George’s County aggravated assault lawyer may be able to provide this representation.
The Core Concept of an Assault
Maryland’s criminal law does not specifically define an assault. Instead, Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-201 states that people are prohibited from committing the judicially determined meanings of this crime. In addition, assault as a charge is comprised of both the traditional definition of assault and that of battery.
An assault is traditionally any action directed by an individual towards another that places the other person in fear of bodily harm. Swinging a fist is a common example. Battery, on the other hand, is any unwanted touching between two people. This means that any threatening motion by a defendant towards another person, or any unwelcome contact fit under Maryland’s assault laws.
Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-203 says that assault is a misdemeanor level crime. This is known as assault in the second degree. It further states that a conviction can result in up to 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine. However, the severity of a sentence is rarely this harsh.
Aggravating Factors in Assault Cases
An assault charge can become even more serious if there are aggravating factors in the case. The main aggravating factor is whether the assault results or intended to result in a serious bodily injury. According to Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-202, this is assault in the first degree. A conviction here is a felony level charge with a maximum prison sentence of 25 years.
A court may also upgrade a charge to assault in the first degree if the assault involves the use of any type of firearm. Maryland’s strict gun control laws also require mandatory minimum prison sentences for any felony committed through the use of a firearm. This mandatory minimum is in addition to any sentence given by the court for an assault in the first-degree conviction.
Maryland law also provides for a means by which a defendant can seek a special dismissal of an assault charge. Under Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-207, the prosecution can file a pretrial motion to dismiss any assault charge if there is proof that both the alleged victim and the defendant wish to drop the charges.
A Prince George’s County aggravated assault lawyer could help individuals determine if this defense is appropriate for their case.
Speaking with a Prince George’s County Aggravated Assault Attorney
Any assault charge is a serious matter. However, an assault charge can become much more serious if the prosecutor alleges that a defendant intended to seriously harm the target of the assault. This can include evidence such as the presence of a weapon, the severity of the injuries from the attack, and any previous history between the two parties.
A conviction under Maryland’s aggravated assault statute is a felony where an individual is likely to be sent to prison. If the assault involved a firearm, a conviction carries a mandatory minimum sentence. A Prince George’s County aggravated assault lawyer could help you to present a defense in court to create reasonable doubt in the minds of the jurors. The stakes are high in these cases; give yourself every advantage. Contact an attorney today.