Ocean City Assault Lawyer
Because a conviction for assault could lead to jail time, anyone accused of this offense should consider reaching out to a dedicated and seasoned attorney for help. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there are multiple defenses that might be applicable, which may help to get you a favorable outcome. It is crucial to make the right decisions about how to handle your charges, and an Ocean City assault lawyer could provide you with the guidance and representation you deserve as your case gets resolved.
Pertinent Laws in Ocean City
It is important for anyone accused of this offense to understand the legal nuances between assault and battery. These charges are defined in Maryland Code Section 3-201 to include:
- Assault—Making threats and intentionally causing fear of imminent unwelcome contact.
- Battery—Unwelcome and unwanted contact with a person, including contact through an object that is thrown or that is used to strike someone.
- Assault and Battery—Making threats to cause imminent unwelcome contact and following up with the contact
To secure a conviction for assault, a prosecutor must prove that a defendant acted intentionally. The prosecutor also has to prove that the threat was credible and immediate and that a reasonable person would have felt fear because of it. These are subjective issues and, as a result, a well-versed assault lawyer in Ocean City could help to argue that an accused individual did not act willfully or that any alleged threats were not credible and would not have caused fear in someone who was reasonable.
Possible Penalties for Assault
Second-degree assault is a misdemeanor under Maryland Code Section 3-203, which means it is a less serious offense than first-degree offense. However, conviction can still lead to a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a $2,500 fine—unless the alleged victim was a police, probation, or parole officer. Second-degree assault against a public servant can lead to a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $5,000 fine.
On the other hand, first-degree assault is a felony under Maryland Code Section 3-202. Assault becomes a first-degree offense instead of simple second-degree assault if a firearm is involved or if attempts are made to cause serious injury, regardless of whether the attempt succeeds. Penalties include up to 25 years incarceration. A well-practiced Ocean City attorney who is familiar with assault claims could help explain these nuances to anyone who has been accused.
How an Ocean City Assault Attorney Might Help
If you were accused of a violent offense, you should not be found guilty if a prosecutor cannot prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that you broke the law. Instead of trying to build a defense alone, let a skilled Ocean City assault lawyer help. Possible defenses that could be raised include:
- Defense of others
- No proof of intentional or willful actions
- No credible threat
- The physical contact was made with permission and was not, therefore, unwanted
- Mistaken identity
Choosing the right approach to defending yourself requires an understanding of how Maryland laws apply to these cases. A knowledgeable attorney could help you to better understand your options for avoiding conviction or for lessening penalties with a plea agreement. A legal professional could also investigate the case, put together a strong defense, or talk to the prosecutor on your behalf about a plea deal. To learn more, schedule a consultation today.