Bethesda Assault Lawyer
Assault in Maryland encompasses more offenses than assault in some jurisdictions, and the varying classifications for assault charges are penalized differently. The penalties can range from five years’ incarceration to 20 years in prison for the most serious classification of charges.
If you have been charged with assault, it is important understanding the specific charge that you are facing and the penalties associated with that charge are important.
An experienced local Bethesda assault lawyer is beneficial because they can explain the pending charges, the penalties associated with that charge, and coordinate with the accused to determine the most viable defenses to the charge. If you are facing assault charges, contact an accomplished criminal defense attorney.
In Maryland, assault, battery, and assault and battery are categorized as assault charges. When an individual has the intent to harm or create a fear of harm in another person, it constitutes assault. Assault does not, however, require the individual to have the ability to follow through with the assault.
Accordingly, contacting someone by telephone to threaten them with physical harm rises to assault if the intent was to create a fear of harm. This is not altered by the individual’s capacity to follow through with the threats because of physical limitations or geographic distance.
Unwanted contact with another person that harms the other person or that is objectively offensive constitutes as battery in Maryland. Objectively offensive touch can include a stranger putting their hand on the other party’s mouth, knocking someone’s camera from their face, and poking a finger into another person’s chest.
Assault and Battery
In Bethesda and throughout Maryland, assault and battery requires both the intent to harm or create a fear of being harmed and unwanted contact with the other party. As such, to rise to assault and battery, the individual must not only have the intent to harm or create fear of harm in the other party, but they must have the physical capability of touching the other party too.
Penalties for an Assault Conviction
Intent to cause harm or an intentional attempt to harm to another person using a firearm constitutes assault in the first degree. It is penalized with up to 25 years imprisonment. Threatening offensive, unwanted, or harmful contact with another person, regardless of whether there are injuries afterward constitutes second-degree assault, which is a misdemeanor offense. Second-degree assault is punishable by fines up to $2,500 and a prison term of 10 years.
When the other party in an assault in the second degree is an officer that is performing their official duties, the charge is enhanced to a felony. Officer includes police officers, probation officers, and other law enforcement entities, such as, but not limited to correctional officers. The penalty includes fines up to $5,000 and up to 10 years’ incarceration. Additionally, engaging in an act or acts that create a substantial risk of another person’s serious injury or death constitutes reckless endangerment, which is classified as an assault charge in Maryland.
Reckless endangerment can include throwing items off bridges or balconies onto vehicles or people, discharging a firearm in a moving vehicle, and carelessly leaving firearms within the reach of minors. It is a misdemeanor offense that is punishable by fines up to $5,000 and up to five years’ imprisonment.
Speak with a Bethesda Assault Attorney Today
If you or a loved one have been charged with assault, do not delay in contacting an experienced Bethesda assault lawyer who can look at the totality of your case and help you to decide what are the next best steps to take.