Gaithersburg Assault Lawyer
If you are facing assault charges, you may be experiencing significant stress and concern for your future. A qualified Gaithersburg assault lawyer may be able to examine the circumstances of your case and explore all available options with you. Together, you can determine how best to approach the charges and reach a positive outcome in your case.
An assault charge can have adverse effects on your personal life and your career. You may find yourself unemployed and unable to return to your chosen profession in some cases. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help you avoid or minimize some of these potential penalties. En Español.
Common Assault Offenses
Assault under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-201 refers to elements of both assault and battery as defined in common law. Generally, assault involves threats of physical harm, whereas battery consists of having physical contact that causes harm. An assault conviction, however, can encompass both threats of injury and the infliction of bodily harm on others.
Assault falls into two categories under state law: first-degree assault and second-degree assault. The classification of an assault depends on the type of incident occurred, whether a weapon was involved, and whether severe bodily harm occurred.
First-degree assault consists of individuals who intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injuries to others, or who commit assault with a firearm. This section also defines serious physical injury as any bodily injury that:
- Creates a significant risk of death, or
- Causes permanent or extensive disfigurement, loss of function, or impairment of a bodily member or organ
Under state law, first-degree assault is a felony offense that can result in up to 25 years in prison. Various factors can affect the length of the sentence, including prior criminal history, the type of assault, and the seriousness of the resulting injuries. As the implications of a felony offense may be harsh, including the loss of some civil rights, individuals may wish to consult a lawyer in Gaithersburg for advice.
Second-degree assault can be a felony or a misdemeanor offense under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-203. Misdemeanor second-degree assault can involve threats of harm or physical contact that others are likely to find offensive. As a result, this offense does require any physical contact between the parties to the assault.
Felony second-degree assault occurs only in specific situations, such as where individuals intentionally cause physical injury to some classes of people, including:
- Law enforcement officers
- Parole or probation agents
- Firefighter, EMTs, rescue squad members
- Other emergency first responders
Individuals must know or have reason to know that the person whom they are harming falls into one of these categories of persons. Physical injury also signifies something more than minor injuries. Regardless of the charge, a second-degree assault conviction may result in up to ten years in prison and assessment of a fine.
Inmates and Assault in Gaithersburg
Any inmates of a jail or prison who are convicted of assault on a fellow inmate, guard, or any employee of the correctional facility are subject to special penalties under § 3-210. For these individuals, any sentence for the assault will run consecutively to the sentence that they already are serving.
Furthermore, individuals usually may have any amount of incarceration suspended in an assault case. An assault attorney in Gaithersburg may be instrumental in minimizing the potential sentence in an inmate assault case.
Talk to a Gaithersburg Assault Attorney Today
Facing the prospect of having a permanent criminal record for a violent offense on your criminal history can be frightening. You may become ineligible for some jobs and careers and have difficulties finding housing. As a Gaithersburg assault lawyer may advise, the ramifications of an assault conviction on your life can be severe.
If your conviction is for felony assault, the penalties become even harsher. You will lose specific civil rights, such as the right to possess firearms under federal law. You also may face exclusion of any number of opportunities once others perform a background check and learn of your conviction. Contact an attorney today for legal representation.