Second Degree Assault in Anne Arundel County

The following is an excerpt of an interview with an Anne Arundel assault lawyer. He discusses the long-term and short-term consequences of a second degree assault in Anne Arundel county as well as his defense strategies when facing these types of cases.

What About The Penalties Associated With a Second Degree Assault?

Because a second degree assault is less offense, it is classified as a misdemeanor and not a felony. The maximum potential sentence for a second degree assault is 10 year incarceration.

Long term is going to be on an individual’s criminal record. Employers or anyone else doing a background check will be able to see that there was an assault conviction which could lead to them not hiring that individual, or not promoting that individual and just that person will have to answer really difficult questions during the course of a job interview.

How do Howard County Judges Treat Second Degree Assaults?

Second degree assault charges tend to be a lot more reasonable. There is not significant bodily injury. Judges are going to look at the defendant’s record and they are going to look at the actual facts of the case. Second degree assault cases don’t automatically lead to incarceration in Anne Arundel County.

What Do Prosecutors Need To Prove In A Second Degree Assault?

A second degree assault case is very similar to a first degree assault case that there was any kind of touching or an attempt to touch or putting somebody in fear of being touched in an unwanted manner. Saying, “I am going to punch you in the eye” Or punching somebody in the eye, those would all be second degree assaults. There is an element of intentionality. Bumping into somebody when you are not paying attention is not a second degree assault, but intentionally walking into somebody is.

As a result the typical types of evidence you see in this type of case are a combination of testimonial evidence, which is the victim saying what happened and then photographic evidence- pictures of the injury. Occasionally they will submit medical records depending on the severity of the assault, but as a general rule it is going to be primarily testimony and photographs.

How Do You Deal With The ‘He said’, ‘She said’ Scenarios? How Do You Build A Defense?

You have to boast the credibility of your client. You have to make the court believe that your client is telling the truth and the other party is lying, or if the court can’t decide which is which, then the prosecution has not proven their case beyond a reasonable doubt. The beyond a reasonable doubt standard puts the burden of persuasion on the prosecution. It is up to the prosecution to prove their side beyond reasonable doubt. If the defense is able to cast that doubt, then it will result in an acquittal.

Why Is Hiring An Attorney With Local Experience In Anne Arundel Important?

Knowing the personalities involved in the case can make a huge difference to the case. Familiarity with the officer who charged the assault, familiarity with the prosecutor that is trying to prove the assault, then familiarity with the judge that is going to hear the facts and decide whether you are innocent and then decide the sentence, knowing which judge is acceptable and which judge is not can have a huge impact on the ultimate outcome of any kind of criminal case particularly an assault in Anne Arundel County.