Columbia First-Degree Assault Lawyer
In Columbia, a first-degree assault is defined as harmful or offensive, unconsented contact; the act of putting someone in fear of a harmful or offensive, unconsented contact is also included. An individual that attains a first-degree assault charge will face serious penalties that will have a major impact on their everyday life, from the jobs that they have to the places that they live and the things that they can do. An experienced assault lawyer will be necessary for anyone who has been charged with assault. Columbia first degree assault lawyers should be contacted as soon as possible.
Penalties That Accompany A First-Degree Assault Conviction
First-degree assault is a very serious crime, and the Maryland court system treats it as such. An individual that is found guilty and is convicted in an assault case will face severe repercussions. The penalties are set in place by the government to not only deter the convicted individual from repeating the same offense again but also to deter others from committing the crime. The penalties include:
- 20 years in jail
- A $10,000 fine
If there are aggravated factors present in an assault case, that will increase the likelihood that someone who has been charged will be penalized to the full extent of the law. Aggravated factors in an assault case include:
- The utilization of a dangerous or deadly weapon
- The brandishing of a dangerous or deadly weapon
Setting of a Trial For First-Degree Assault
The trial for first-degree assault is held in the circuit court. However, the case will initially begin in the district court by way of a preliminary hearing, which would be held within 30 days of the person on trial being served with the charges. That hearing is held to determine the degree of the assault; first-degree assault or a second-degree assault. Prosecutors will determine whether or not there is probable cause to believe that the crime is a first-degree assault. If it determined that the assault was in the first-degree, the charge will then be deemed a felony. Once the degree of the assault has been determined, the case will move to the circuit court for the continuation of the proceedings.
Common Defenses or Mitigating Factors in an Assault Case
The goal of the prosecutor is to prove that the assault that took place was done in the first-degree. A knowledgeable first-degree assault lawyer in Columbia would challenge those claims by attempting to prove that the assault was not done with a dangerous or deadly weapon, and the victim in the assault did not attain any serious injuries. This is one of the biggest mitigating ways to try to approach it building a defense for a first-degree charge.
Another way in which a skillful attorney can approach defending the first-degree charge on behalf of their client is by showing that they have no prior criminal record and/or criminal history. A lawyer will use this information to show the court that it is not like that their client planned to intentionally commit a crime, especially one of violence. There are a lot of variations and ways to approach the process of creating a defense strategy, but these two are commonly used and are quite effective if done right.
Benefit of an Experienced Assault Lawyer
A first-degree assault is a felony, and if convicted, an individual will face the possibility of decades of incarceration. They will need a defense lawyer that possesses certain skills, which will benefit them during their trial. These skills include:
- They understand the ins and outs of their clients’ case as well as the charges
- They know how to present them
- They know how to deal with burdens of proof
- They have a great familiarity with what must be proven to sustain a verdict of guilt
Someone who has been charged with first-degree assault should contact a Columbia first-degree assault lawyer immediately to ensure a better outcome in their case.