First Degree Assault Charges in Rockville
First degree assault is defined as assaulting an individual by threatening them with violence that would either cause death or serious physical injury, or actually committing some kind of act that would cause a serious physical injury. These kinds of assaults usually involve a weapon, however, they do not have to involve a weapon. For example, an individual choking somebody with their bare hands might not involve a weapon, but it would still be considered a first degree assault in Rockville given the seriousness of the injury that one could or would sustain as a result of that kind of attack.
More often than not, assault cases involve the use of a weapon or the threat of a weapon.
Location of Trials for Rockville Assault Cases
These cases will have original jurisdiction in District Court, but if the prosecution intends to go forward on the first degree assault charges they will be handled in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County. The Circuit Court for Montgomery County is where serious felonies are usually heard. These cases are tried before a jury of 12 people. A jury needs to return a unanimous verdict of guilty or not guilty on firs degree assault allegations.
Penalties for First-Degree Assault
First degree assault carries a maximum penalty of 25 years of incarceration. Additionally, if the individual is found guilty of assault in the first degree, a judge can place an individual on up to five years of supervised probation. These are serious penalties that can last a long time. They will have a huge impact on a person’s life and the even the lives of their family. It is important for any person facing a first degree assault charge to get in touch with knowledge Rockville assault counsel. In these cases, a person’s lawyer makes a huge difference.
Potential Defenses and Mitigating Factors
The defenses and mitigating factors in a first degree Rockville assault case are the same as they would be in a second degree assault case. There would be possible defenses of alibi and possible defenses of fabrication based on the credibility or motive of the complaining witnesses or other witnesses. Defenses like self-defense might be available, as well as mutual affray. This could be presented to the finder of fact to represent that an assault did not take place, or if there was some kind of an assault it was not to a criminal level because it was done in self-defense.
A further defense would be that the assault was done mutually and therefore was consensual. In terms of mitigating factors, the things that would mitigate something like this in court would be a person’s lack of criminal history, the nature of the assault, how serious the injuries were, if they were superficial or if they were extremely serious.
Value of an Aggressive Rockville Assault Lawyer
First degree assault cases are very serious in nature. They are felony charges. Working with a Rockville assault attorney who has handled not only a number of assault cases and knows how to present defenses, but also has experience with the judges and prosecutors who are responsible for handling these kinds of cases in the Circuit Court for Montgomery County is extremely important. Someone’s attorney should know how to follow proper procedure, how to present the case, which defenses are actually going to be viable and which motions need to be filed to try to suppress certain pieces of evidence or have certain pieces of evidence produced by the prosecution in preparation for your defense.
Additionally, having an experienced attorney who has handled assault cases is important because these cases will usually be heard by a jury. Experience handling jury trials, including managing a jury and understanding how to present evidence in a way that is in alignment with the prosecutor’s technical and legal language, is also extremely important. It helps the jury understand the criminal charges being brought against you and informs how best to explain why those charges were not properly brought or were inappropriate in this particular case.