Ocean City First-Degree Assault Lawyer
Assault is a violent offense that involves unwanted contact with others with the intent of causing harm. The consequences of an assault offense can be quite serious for an individual. If you have been charged with assault in the first-degree, it is important to work with a capable assault attorney that could build your defense. An Ocean City first-degree assault lawyer could devote the time and resources necessary to achieve a positive outcome for you.
First-Degree Assault Charges
There are a couple different ways that someone can be convicted of first-degree assault. First-degree assault is essentially the same thing as the misdemeanor assault, however, there is typically a very serious injury involved. If not a serious injury, then the defendant’s intent must clearly show that they meant to cause a very serious physical injury.
Clearly, these assaults are much more serious than just a general misdemeanor assault where a person is talking about maybe a push or a punch. Another way to commit a first-degree assault is if the defendant has threatened another person with a firearm. Simply introducing a weapon into the situation will elevate an assault to a first-degree assault. Threatening someone with a firearm is a first-degree assault even if there is no injury.
How Often Does First-Degree Assault Involve the Use of a Weapon?
There are many first-degree assaults that happen with no weapon whatsoever. If the defendant has beaten someone, and that person has any sort of significant injury then that is a first-degree assault without any weapon being introduced at all. There can absolutely still be a first-degree assault if there was no weapon used. More often than not, there is a weapon involved in a first-degree assault, but it is certainly not necessary for a weapon be involved in order for it to rise to the level of the first-degree assault.
Assault With a Dangerous Weapon
If there was an assault that took place where someone used a knife, for example, that would absolutely be a first-degree assault. People can also be charged with the use of a weapon for things that a person does not even really think of as being a weapon. This can be picking up a bottle and using it to strike a person for example. Anything that someone can use as a weapon can be considered a weapon for the purposes of first-degree assault.
Mitigating Factors in Assault Cases
Usually, when someone is charged with first-degree assault, the first thing that an Ocean City first-degree assault lawyer would do is look to see if the state really can prove that there was an injury or the intent to commit a serious physical injury. Sometimes the ability to prove that is pretty limited, and it may be that the police officer believed that there was probable cause to bring the charge, but that is very different than proving something beyond a reasonable doubt. It can be crucial to review the medical records of any alleging an injury in the case.
Also, with any kind of assault charge but especially in first-degree assault charges, it is very important to try and determine if this person was actually defending themselves. Under Maryland law, people have the absolute right to defend themselves. If the jury believes that the defendant was acting in self-defense, they will be found not guilty of the charge. To be able to prove self-defense requires that there are some witnesses that can establish that it was actually the person alleging the injury that was the aggressor. That may involve looking for witnesses, or any other source of information that can establish that.
Contacting an Ocean City First-Degree Assault Attorney
A qualified assault attorney is an invaluable asset in assault cases. An Ocean City first-degree assault lawyer could look out for mitigating factors for the person they represent. It is often not a matter of whether someone did something, but whether they did under circumstances that absolve them of responsibility. An experienced legal advocate could devote the time and resources necessary to build your case.