Columbia Second-Degree Assault Lawyer
In Columbia, a second-degree assault is defined as a harmful or offensive, unconsented contact; the act of putting someone in fear of a harmful or offensive, unconsented contact is also included. While second-degree assault is not a felony, an individual that attains these charges will still face serious penalties that will impact their everyday life. Someone who has attained a second-degree assault charge should get in contact with a knowledgeable assault lawyer as soon as they can to ensure the best results possible in their case.
A Columbia second-degree assault lawyer with a strong background in handling cases of this magnitude as well as a strong understanding of the Maryland legal system and the temperament of judges, prosecutors, etc. within their jurisdiction will be a major asset to anyone who is facing the possibility of a second-degree assault conviction.
Penalties That Accompany a First-Degree Assault Conviction
An assault charge, no matter the degree, is taken very seriously in the state of Maryland, and the penalties that accompany the crime reflect that. While the maximum amount of years that an individual can potentially spend in jail and the fines are not as high as the jail time and fines associated with a first-degree assault charge, the penalties are still quite significant. Someone who has been charged with second-degree assault will face legal repercussions, which include:
- 10 years in jail
- A $2,500 fine
Setting of a Trial for Second-Degree Assault
The trial for a second-degree assault case will be held in the district court; district court is a lower level court. There is no jury in a second-degree assault case, unlike a first-degree assault case, which takes place in the circuit court. Because the case is a misdemeanor, the district court has jurisdiction over the case. With that in mind, someone that is charged with second-degree assault has a right to a trial in front of a judge. He or she can, however, request a jury trial. If this takes place, the trial will be moved to a circuit court, but again, this will only take place if it is requested by the defendant.
Discovery Process in an Assault Case
When building a defense for their client, the first thing that an experienced Columbia second-degree assault lawyer is going to do is file a formal request for all discovery of the case. The prosecutor’s office is obligated to provide the information of that request. In some scenarios, prosecutors will not have any evidence and Columbia second degree assault attorneys will have to get it on their own.
There are always key pieces of evidence that both the prosecutors and defense attorneys in a case will try to obtain, which are:
- 911 phone call recordings
- Body camera video footage
- Witness statements
- Testimonies from the victim
- Medical records
Common Defenses or Mitigating Factors in an Assault Case
The goal of the prosecutor will be to prove that the defendant fulfilled the requirements of an assault. In an assault case, the prosecutor does not have to prove intent, only that they intended to do the action which led to the harmful, offensive contact. Depending on the details of the case, an assault lawyer can build a defense that discredits there being any damage harmful enough to be considered an assault, or they can negotiate on their clients’ behalf and have the charges changed from second-degree assault to reckless endangerment.
A Columbia second-degree assault lawyer is their clients’ spokesperson in court, which is crucial, especially when considering the process of working out negotiations. While a prosecutor is prohibited from having any significant conversation with the defendant, that individual’s attorney will have the opportunity to speak to the prosecutor on their behalf. Having solid legal representation will play a major role in the final ruling from the court.