Ellicott City Assault Lawyer
In the Commonwealth of Maryland, a charge of assault is a serious allegation with the potential to bring about severe consequences upon conviction. Anyone found guilty of crimes in this realm faces monetary fines, a period of incarceration and a host of ancillary effects that can be challenging to fully overcome.
If you need to defend against an accusation in this offense category, contact a skilled criminal attorney right away to discuss your case. An Ellicott City assault lawyer can provide the strategies and guidance required.
What is an Assault Criminal Offense?
As an Ellicott City assault lawyer knows, it was common for many legal jurisdictions to consider assault and battery as being separate and distinct offenses, and there are still realms in which this is true.
Assault was often thought to involve the placing of another in reasonable apprehension of offensive contact, while battery had to do with actually making such contact and causing harm.
In Maryland, however, these two offenses have been functionally joined under the umbrella of assault. In order to make necessary distinctions, however, the legislature has delineated different degrees of assault, the penalties for which vary in seriousness.
Statutory Categories of Assault
In Maryland, the degrees of assault are crucial in terms of what such a charge may mean to a given defendant. First-degree assault, as outlined by Md. Code Ann., Crim Law §3-202 implicates actions encompassing threats of, or the actual production of serious physical injury to another party.
This includes injury that yields substantial danger of death or that can result in permanent or long-lasting disfigurement, impairment or loss of function in organs or body parts. Those who are accused of using a firearm in such an assault will face a first-degree charge.
Treatment of Second-Degree Assault
Second-degree felony assault, as discussed by Md. Code Ann., Crim Law §3-203 entails threats of, or actual production of offensive types of physical conduct. This category of allegation applies to injuries defined as any impairment of the other party’s physical condition, with the exception of minor injuries.
Also chargeable under this provision is anyone who intentionally cause injuries to someone they know or has reason to know is a law enforcement officer engaged in formal duties, a probation or parole agent engaged in official duties or a firefighter or other first responder engaged in rendering emergency service.
Impact of a Misdemeanor Cases
Misdemeanor second-degree assault is another classification worth noting, in that involves conduct by an inmate in which a correctional officer or similar employee is maliciously caused to come into contact with bodily fluids or other potentially harmful substances.
As provided by Md. Code Ann., Crim Law §3-205, those convicted will be subject to a sentence that runs consecutively to the one for which the accused was already incarcerated, and such a sentence cannot be judicially suspended.
Potential Punishments for Those Convicted of Assault
Anyone accused of assault in Maryland needs to understand that the penalties applicable upon conviction are onerous indeed. First-degree assault can bring upwards of 25 years of incarceration. Second-degree felonious assault may yield up to a decade in prison, not to mention costly fines.
Second-degree assault committed by an inmate, while considered a misdemeanor, can also bring a sentence of ten years along with fines. Aside from these punishments, the detrimental impact of a criminal record that includes assault convictions cannot be overstated in terms of the societal stigma that results.
Defense Strategies in Maryland Assault Cases
Considering how devastating a guilty finding in an assault case is likely to be to an individual’s employment prospects, financial stability, familial relationships and more, it is absolutely essential that every defendant seek the help of an aggressive advocate.
It is often possible to mount a successful legal defense based on theories of self-defense, duress, defense of others, coercion, factual mistake or absence of intent. The sooner the guidance of an Ellicott City assault lawyer is obtained, the greater the chances of securing a positive outcome.
Talking to an Ellicott City Assault Attorney
If you or someone close to you has been accused of committing an assault crime, there truly is no time to lose in asserting the right to a thorough defense. An Ellicott City assault lawyer stands prepared to explore the facts, expose weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and fight for the best possible result.