Annapolis Assault Lawyer
Annapolis law enforcement takes charges of assault very seriously. Part of the purpose of the law enforcement and the law is to keep people safe, and physical violence or threatened physical violence is an action that hurts individuals and the community.
If you were charged with assault, you could face serious penalties including years in jail. Even after you serve your sentence, a criminal record could cause difficulties for years to come. For this reason, it is important to let an Annapolis assault lawyer handle your case. A skilled criminal defense attorney understands how to defend against these charges, and they could make sure your rights are protected throughout the process. Contact a lawyer today to schedule a consultation.
Definition of Assault
Assault is a harmful, offensive type of unconsented contact or putting somebody in reasonable apprehension or fear of a harmful or offensive, unconsented contact. Assault does not require physical contact. If somebody throws a rock at another person and the person ducks, no contact was made. That is an assault, however, because that person was in fear and had to move out of the way or else be struck by a rock. The fear has to be objectively reasonable, not subjectively.
Assault must be harmful or offensive, and if someone is injured, that is considered harmful. However, some contact does not cause injury but is still considered assault because it is offensive. For example, if someone spits on another person’s shoe, that is assault because it is offensive, even though there are no actual damages.
Difference Between Assault and Battery
There is no difference between assault and battery. There used to be a separation years ago, but those two have been merged. Today, assault charges encompass both the physical and non-physical variety. If someone goes to trial, definitions of assault and battery may be provided if only for clarity’s sake, but there is no separation anymore in the criminal code.
Degrees of Assault in Annapolis
Assault falls into two categories in Maryland: second-degree assault and first-degree assault. Second-degree assault is a harmful or offensive, unconsented contact or putting somebody in fear of that.
First-degree assault involves the use of a deadly weapon or risk of severe bodily injury, disfigurement, or death. For example, if someone has a knife, gun, or bat, that could be first-degree assault. If a person strangles another with their hands, that is also first-degree assault, because strangulation could kill somebody.
Benefits of a Lawyer
One of the benefits of having an Annapolis assault lawyer when facing assault charges is having an advocate. An attorney serves as a spokesperson for the individual and has certain abilities that an individual charged does not. Aside from being able to talk to the prosecutor, who cannot talk to defendants, one of the biggest things in an assault case is that an attorney is permitted to reach out and speak to any state witnesses, including the alleged victim. A defendant is absolutely prohibited from interfering, intimidating, or in most cases, even having contact with the alleged victim. The attorney has no such restrictions.
Let an Annapolis Assault Attorney be Your Advocate
Assault charges are often intimidating for clients to face because they are crimes of violence that carry up to 10 years’ incarceration. A person who is convicted of assault will have issues finding employment and places to live. They will also lose their gun rights. The consequences will be considerable, above and beyond incarceration.
If you were accused of assault, you deserve skilled legal representation. An attorney could protect your rights while fighting on your behalf for a positive outcome. Do not put your freedom in jeopardy by facing assault charges alone. Call an Annapolis assault lawyer today to discuss your situation.