Carroll County Assault Lawyer

When someone pushes, shoots, or throws an object at someone else, they can be charged with assault. Anytime someone unlawfully touches another person without consent, they could face penalties and consequences of the assault. A person should immediately contact a seasoned Carroll County assault lawyer to begin building defense strategies.

If you have been charged with assault in Maryland, it is important that you understand the rights and defenses available to you.  The charge of criminal assault in Maryland includes the common law crimes of assault, battery, and assault and battery. To best understand why you or a loved one is facing prosecution for assault charges, consult a knowledgeable Carroll County lawyer.

Assault Laws

Assault is the unlawful touching of another without consent. Offensive touching can include:

  • Pushing or shoving
  • Striking with a punch or kick
  • Striking with a club
  • Stabbing with a knife or edged weapon
  • Shooting with a firearm
  • Spitting on a person
  • Throwing any object and striking a person

First-Degree Assault

Assault can rise to the first-degree when a person is seriously injured from the assault or the assault involved the use of a firearm, including a pistol, rifle, shotgun, knife, edged weapon or club.

First-degree assault is a felony in Maryland and is punishable by a term of up to 25 years.

Second-Degree Assault

Second-degree assault in Maryland is usually charged when the injuries or circumstances are less severe than a first-degree assault.

Second-degree assaults can be charged as felonies with potential imprisonment of up to 10 years, or as a misdemeanor, with potential imprisonment for up to one year.

Enhancements to a Charge

Certain facts can add enhancements, or additional penalties, to a charge of assault. The defendant can be subject to additional penalties including more time in custody or higher fines if an enhancement is charged and proved.

Enhancements can also raise a second-degree assault to a first-degree assault. Enhancements can include:

  • Assault on Law Enforcement Officer. If the assault was on a law enforcement officer, additional penalties and custody time may be imposed.
  • Assault Because of Hate of Individual Crime. If the assault was committed against a person because of their race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, or another form of identity, then additional penalties and custody time may be imposed.
  • Assault While Using a Firearm. Use of a firearm will result in a charge of Assault in the First Degree and may result in additional penalties and custody time.
  • Assault Resulting in Great Bodily Injury. If the assault results in great or grievous bodily injury to a person, a conviction may result in additional penalties and custody time.

Potential Defenses

Several defenses are available to a charge of assault and will depend on the facts of each case. When representing individuals charged with assault, the Carroll County assault lawyer carefully examines the facts of their case to determine all defenses available to them. Potential defenses to assault charges include:

  • Mutual combat – If the parties to the altercation where the alleged assault occurred agreed to fight, then a defense of mutual combat can be asserted.
  • Self-defense – If the person charged with assault was defending himself or another in a lawful matter, then self-defense can be asserted.
  • Provocation – if the party charged with assault was provoked by the other party, then a defense of provocation can be asserted.

Hiring a Lawyer

There can be severe consequences if someone is convicted of assault charges. A person can face up to 25 years in prison if they are not properly informed of their legal rights. Even if someone has extensive knowledge of the law, they should still consult a resourceful attorney who can help them through this process and determine the best course of action. There are a variety of factors that go into an assault case, and a person should be aware of the potential consequences and penalties.

A Carroll County assault lawyer is experienced in the defense of assault charges and can make the difference in the outcome of your case. There are benefits to having legal counsel if you are facing assault charges in Maryland.