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Howard County Assault Lawyer
When you are accused of threatening behavior, contact a Howard County criminal defense lawyer. An experienced attorney can help defendants facing charges of both assault and battery – two charges that often go hand-in-hand. Your attorney will help to fight the prosecutor’s case against you, with the goal of dismissal of charges, a not guilty verdict, or a reduced sentence.
When to Contact a Howard County Assault Lawyer
Anyone who is accused of assault should contact a Howard County assault lawyer at the first interaction with police. When a law enforcement officer seeks to question you about a crime, you should ask to have an attorney present. Your lawyer can help you as you answer questions, advising you on when to plead the Fifth Amendment or refuse to provide information that a prosecutor could try to use against you.
Often, a charge of assault leads to an immediate arrest. When this happens to you, get in touch with a Howard County assault lawyer as soon as is practical and before you decide how to plead to charges. Your attorney can carefully review evidence to help determine if you may raise defenses or introduce doubt so a prosecutor can’t successfully prove a case to secure a conviction. An experienced Howard County assault lawyer can also negotiate with a prosecutor or explore options for pre-trial diversion so lesser penalties may be imposed or a criminal record and jail time can be avoided.
You need to begin developing an effective response to charges, and begin to investigate the case against you, as soon as you can if you hope to fight against conviction. Get a lawyer on your side right away.
Assault Charges in Howard County
Assault is defined in Maryland Code Section 3-201. Under Maryland’s criminal code, a defendant may be charged with the offense of assault simply for making a credible threat causing fear of unwanted contact. The fear must be reasonable and the unwanted contact must be imminent. A defendant who threatens to hit someone, but who does not actually follow through, could thus be charged with assault. Many defendants are also charged with the related offense of battery, which is the crime of making unwanted offensive contact.
There are two categories of assault in Maryland: first degree assault under Code Section 3-202 and second degree assault under Maryland Code Section 3-203. First degree assault is more serious, and a defendant charged with this felony offense could face a maximum 25-year prison sentence. A variety of aggravating factors, including the use of a firearm or an attempt to cause serious injury, can elevate the offense from second to first degree assault.
A Howard County assault attorney can help defendants charged with both offenses, as well as with related crimes. Self-defense, defense of others, a lack of proof of intent, or a lack of a credible threat are among many defenses that could be raised. Your assault lawyer will help you to decide what options are best for you as you respond to accusations.
Contact Our Firm Today
You deserve to have a knowledgeable legal professional to help you whenever you are in trouble with the law. Defendants in the state of Maryland are guaranteed due process before deprivation of life, liberty, or property. Take advantage of the protections inherent in the justice system by getting a Howard County assault attorney on your side. Call an attorney today to learn more about how a defense lawyer assists you in facing and fighting charges of assault