Worcester Assault Lawyer
Assault covers a wide spectrum of behaviors, from verbal threats to the infliction of serious bodily injury. What you might not initially consider to be more than an unpleasant argument can result in criminal accusations with severe consequences.
As such, the penalties resulting from an assault conviction can include high fines and many years in prison, depending on the circumstances. There are many valid defenses that potentially can apply in your case.
Legal Definition of Assault
Under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-201, assault encompasses traditionally broad concepts of assault, battery, and assault and battery. Historically, assault referred to threats of harm, whereas battery referred to actual physical harm. Maryland law combines these concepts into a single offense that covers a variety of situations, as defined in greater detail below.
According to § 3-202, first-degree assault involves intentionally making threats or actually inflicting serious physical injury toward others. This section also addresses assault using a firearm. Serious physical injury refers to bodily injuries that are severe enough to create a substantial risk of death, disfigurement, or loss or impairment of any body part or organ.
Second-degree assault occurs when individuals threaten or have physical contact with others that would reasonably be seen as offensive pursuant to § 3-203. Further, purposely causing physical injury to certain classes of people also can be second-degree assault when individuals know or should have reason to know that the people fall into one of those classes.
These categories of people include police officers, correctional officers, probation or parole officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and other types of first responders who are performing tasks in the course of their official duties.
Penalties for Assault in Worcester
First-degree assault is a felony offense; an individual who is convicted of first-degree assault may face a prison sentence up to 25 years. Second-degree assault, however, is a misdemeanor offense, but still can result in a sentence of incarceration for as much as ten years and a fine of $2,500. The one exception is that second-degree assault becomes a felony when the alleged victims are police officers, firefighters, emergency responders, or various other classes of individuals acting in their official capacity.
The penalty for second-degree assault in this instance is still a potential sentence of incarceration of up to ten years, but the potential fine increases to $5,000.
Due to the severity of the possible consequences of an assault conviction, an assault attorney in Worcester may be able to assist you with your defense against assault and any other related charges.
Assault Convictions and Other Potential Consequences
Individuals who are convicted of first or second-degree assault of certain classes of people will have a felony on their permanent criminal record, which can eliminate certain careers, bar them from voting, and prohibit them from carrying firearms.
Furthermore, because Maryland law combines the offenses of assault and battery, an assault conviction, whether a felony or a misdemeanor, implies that individuals have committed a crime of violence, even if no physical harm or contact even occurred. This fact, too, can make it difficult for individuals who are convicted of assault to find a job or suitable housing.
Let a Worcester Assault Attorney Assist You
As the definition of assault under Maryland law includes such a broad range of behaviors, mere accusations of verbal threats can cause you to end up arrested for assault. For this reason, what starts as a mere argument can quickly land you in jail.
The potential consequences from assault can be severe, so contacting a Worcester assault lawyer as quickly as possible following your arrest may be advisable. Getting strong legal representation may make all the difference in the outcome of your charges.