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Common Ocean City Assault Charges

An assault can be committed in several different ways in Ocean City. Assault used to be defined by case law, however, several years ago the legislature decided to make it part of the criminal law statutes. In order to be convicted of an assault, the state must prove that the defendant either had unconsented to contact with someone or that the defendant did something that made someone reasonably believe that they were about to be hit or struck. Those are the two ways a person can be charged with assault. If you face common Ocean City assault charges, reach out to a qualified assault lawyer that could build your defense.

Reasonable Apprehension of Immediate Harm or Unwanted Contact

A reasonable apprehension of unwanted contact is a way that someone can commit an assault without actually putting their hands on another person. Under the law, assault also covers when someone places another person in fear of an imminent touching of some kind, as long as that belief is reasonable. For example, if someone is two feet away from somebody and raises their fist and yells that they are going to beat someone up, that belief of imminent harm is probably reasonable. If someone were to say those words over the telephone from a different state, that belief is no longer reasonable. The analysis is fact driven and will depend on the particular case.

Difference Between Assault and Battery

Under Maryland law now, every battery is an assault but not every assault is going to be a battery. A battery must include a physical touching, unlike an assault. Batteries occur when the defendant has hit, slapped, punched, or had some other sort of unconsented-to physical touching of someone else. All of those examples would also be considered an assault. However, assault also includes the reasonable belief that a battery was imminent in its definition. The difference between the two is whether or not there is actual physical contact. With every battery, there is some type of unwanted physical contact. Common Ocean City assault charges involve two people getting in some sort of an altercation, often times at a bar. Alcohol is almost always involved in these cases. Many people are in Ocean City on vacation and relaxing, so they may drink more than they typically would otherwise and it can lead to misunderstandings.

Law Enforcement’s Treatment of Assault Charges

Ocean City law enforcement takes assault charges very seriously, as they do any other matter. Ocean City is a vacation destination where trying to maintain the peace and civility of the town during the tourist season is the main goal of local law enforcement.

Ocean City often hires seasonal officers to look out for specific incidents during the tourism season, so it is certainly taken seriously. If Ocean City law enforcement observes an assault, they will absolutely charge the person. Even if the parties have reconciled their situation on their own, if a police officer is on the scene, Ocean City will still arrest and charge that person 90% of the time. That is why if an individual faces assault charges and wants to learn more about common Ocean City assault charges, they should speak with a seasoned assault attorney that could provide them with the necessary information. An experienced legal assault adovate could fight for them.