Defending Assault Charges in Maryland
Whenever someone is charged with an assault, attorneys have to go through the analysis of determining if it is a self-defense claim or otherwise and what evidence they need to gather to make that the strongest defense possible. Some other defenses would be related to trying to prove some sort of bias or motive to lie on the part of the victim. That happens a lot when people are ending a relationship. Things can get ugly when a person is making an allegation that their significant other assaulted them.
When defending assault charges in Maryland, an experienced assault lawyer will want to be sure the accusation is not a fabricated assault. This accusation is often used because it puts them in a better position in a divorce or child custody case. If there is some way to prove that the person fabricated the charge, the Maryland assault lawyer would want to gather evidence about that.
Challenging the Prosecution’s Case
As far as defending assault charges in Maryland, the defendant might have a self-defense argument that can be raised. The attorney should be gathering any evidence that would support raising that defense in court.
If the defendant hit somebody but did so because they had been placed in fear that they were about to be assaulted and it was a reasonable fear, they can defend themselves. They cannot use any more force than is necessary to stop them from being assaulted. Self-defense does not give someone a free pass to beat another person. It is a defense that allows them to stop from potentially being hurt.
Preparing a Defense
A defense attorney could hire a private detective to interview other eyewitnesses. Sometimes the police do not interview everyone involved. If there are independent eyewitnesses, especially eyewitnesses that are do not have any relationship with the victim or the defendant, those could be valuable witnesses.
Medical records can be important to defending assault charges in Maryland. Sometimes people make an allegation that they were assaulted and have medical records, but within the medical records when asked how they were injured, they give a completely different reason. That is important when preparing for trial.
Social media has opened up a whole other segment of potential evidence that defense attorneys would use. There will be statements on Facebook or Twitter posts that is completely inconsistent with what they told the police. People will put all kinds of photographs on social media. A victim might be alleging that they are so seriously injured, that they cannot work or all they can do is lay around the house and then on Facebook, there are five pictures of them parasailing. Attorneys never know what they are going to find on social media, but it is worth getting access to social media and see what can be found.
Approaches to Representation
The lawyer can defend the client by putting forth whatever might be the most logical defense. Defending assault charges in Maryland takes place in a lot of different ways. It is not just representing them at a trial and cross-examining witnesses. Defending clients should include reaching out to the prosecutor’s office and seeing if they would be lucky enough to convince the state to drop the case or if it may be placed on an inactive docket.
Defending assault charges in Maryland could involve asking their client questions about the case. Such as confirming the events of the situation in question, their injuries and whether there are medical records that need to be gathered. Defending clients means being prepared to mitigate and explain to a judge why they should not be incarcerated. It might mean counseling clients to get an evaluation to see if they would benefit from treatment for drugs, alcohol, or anger management classes.
Getting a mental health evaluation has also been recommended to avoid remaining untreated or undiagnosed mental health condition if that is the case. If so, clients should seek treatment, counseling, or taking prescribed medication to help them get themselves in a position where they will not face something like this again.
How An Attorney Can Help
Considering the severity of the charges, a person would want to have an experienced attorney versus an inexperienced attorney. The primary benefit of an experienced attorney is that they have been through this process many times before: they are comfortable speaking to judges and interviewing or cross-examining police officers, among other elements of the proceedings. That skill and comfort level are invaluable assets as you navigate the court system.