Maryland Assault Charges
Law enforcement takes Maryland assault charges very seriously. If a person makes an allegation of an assault, a police officer will investigate it. These investigations often begin when someone calls 911 and reports that they have been attacked. An officer arrives at the scene and will take a report and interview people at the scene to get to the bottom of what happened.
In domestic assault situations, it is typical for the police officer to make an onsite arrest if the suspect is still there. In most other situations, law enforcement officers will conduct some type of investigation before they arrest somebody for assault. They will document any evidence of bodily injury, and if there are any eyewitnesses, the officers will attempt to interview those people to get their account of what took place.
Anyone facing Maryland assault charges should contact a skilled assault lawyer to start creating the defense for their case. A Maryland assault lawyer can help you assess the most appropriate defense strategy for your desired future.
Common Assault Charges
There are two different kinds of assault. Second-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor, is the most common assault charge in Maryland. Second-degree assault charges might result from someone touching another person without their permission. Shoving, smacking, or punching another person could all be examples of second-degree assault.
First-degree Maryland assault charges is a felony that describes attacking or threatening to attack someone with the intent to cause serious physical injury. Oftentimes, first-degree assault charges are applied when the defendant uses or threatens to use a firearm or other weapon to cause injury that would require serious medical intervention, such as surgery.
For second-degree Maryland assault charges, the prosecutor must narrow down what type of assault it is, whether violence was threatened, was attempted but not successful, or if the defendant actually made physical contact with the alleged victim. Once they have established this, they can determine what elements the prosecution must prove in order for the defendant to be found guilty.
If the case involves physical contact, the state must prove that the contact occurred and that it was intentional. They must also prove that the contact was not consensual and that it was not legally justified. If it is an attempted assault, they must prove that the defendant attempted these things, but failed.
If it is alleged that the defendant intended to frighten the victim with threats of physical harm, the state must prove that the defendant did something with the intent to make the victim fear that they were about to be touched or harmed. They must also prove that the defendant had the ability at that time to carry out their threats, and that reasonably placed the victim in fear.
Maryland assault charges are particularly stigmatized. Someone being charged is a matter of public record, so anybody can access that information if they want to. It is possible that employers, co-workers, family members, and others will find out about it, so it can be very embarrassing for a person to have assault charges filed.
Unfortunately, it is common for people to make allegations against a partner that they are separating within an attempt to get a leg up in family court, by painting the other parent as violent or abusive. Facing a divorce or a contested custody case is already very stressful, and it can be much worse when an assault charge is added to the situation.
If someone is convicted of an assault, judges take it seriously. At the very least, the person may be facing a suspended sentence and supervised probation. Depending on the injury, the defendant could receive a jail sentence.
Benefits of an Attorney
A conviction for Maryland assault charges comes with very serious consequences, and few people have the experience and legal training to defend themselves against these charges. A knowledgeable criminal defense attorney can review the evidence to determine the best defense strategy, and can send their own investigators to look for witnesses who describe something different than what the victim is alleging.
Anyone who has been charged with assault should contact an attorney immediately, before speaking to the police, because anything they say might be used as evidence against them.