Ocean City Assault Penalties
Ocean City assault penalties include prison time, fines, and other consequences. A misdemeanor assault offense carries a penalty of a maximum of 10 years in prison and a fine. Felony assault charges are much more serious and include a maximum sentence of 25 years and a fine. The actual sentence for misdemeanors and felonies are determined by many factors, including the defendant’s background, whether they have any prior criminal conviction, and whether the assault was a serious one that involved some type of injury. If you are facing assault penalties in Ocean City, seek the services of a skilled assault lawyer.
Unlike other states, Maryland does not have many offenses with graduated penalties. There are potential maximum penalties for individuals who continue to accumulate a criminal record, but the law is very complex about what would classify them as subsequent offenders qualified for some sort of enhanced penalty. There are, however, ways that a person’s sentence could be increased because of the nature of the crime. A person charged and convicted of an assault might get a probation before judgment based on the circumstances of the case and be able to keep their record clean.
Prosecution’s Burden of Proof in an Assault Case
Prosecutors must prove every element of an assault charge against a person and must do so beyond a reasonable doubt to obtain a conviction. Especially in Ocean City, the entire case often is based on witness testimony, therefore, the prosecutors have to be able to call those witnesses to the stand and have them testify as to what they observed in order for a person to be convicted of assault.
Sometimes there is evidence such as photographs or medical records, depending on the extent of the injury inflicted, and the prosecution would have to be prepared introduce them for a judge to consider that evidence. Someone facing Ocean City assault penalties may want to retain a seasoned criminal defense lawyer who is experienced in building an argument against the prosecutor’s case.
Alternative Sentencing Options
In assault cases, there are no diversion programs a first-time offender will qualify for, however, alternative sentences are up to the judge. Especially for a first-time offender, Ocean City judges are compassionate and aware that good people sometimes make dumb mistakes, and a judge would consider it extreme for them to have a conviction on their record for the rest of their lives. Therefore, many judges will consider probation before judgment as a sentencing option, having the defendant complete some conditions for probation. Upon completing it, a defendant could even get a conviction expunged from their record.
Importance of Contacting an Ocean City Assault Attorney
It is essential for someone facing Ocean City assault penalties to contact an assault attorney as soon as possible. As soon as the lawyer is contacted, the sooner they can start gathering information and building a defense for the defendant.
A lawyer who is experienced in this area of law could give a defendant a good understanding of what they are facing and what their options may be. The lawyer can also locate potential witnesses and any other evidence that could benefit the defendant. If you face assault penalties, reach out to an accomplished defense lawyer right away.