Frederick County Assault Lawyer
Assaults are some of the simplest and most common criminal charges heard by Frederick County criminal courts. At their core, an assault is any unwelcome physical contact made by a defendant against another person.
Many people are surprised to learn that a court may charge them with assault even if they do not make contact with the plaintiff. Maryland law creates many levels of assault that become more serious with the addition of a weapon or the status of the plaintiff as a police officer.
No matter the exact circumstances that led to the arrest, a Frederick County assault lawyer may be able to help. A dedicated criminal defense attorney could work with people to ensure that they understand the relevant laws, to identify a realistic goal, and to formulate strategies to make those goals a reality.
Actions Constituting an Assault
Maryland uses the traditional common law definition of assault according to Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-201 which defines an assault is any unwelcome physical contact committed against another party. This contact is typically made with malicious intent, but could also be the result of recklessness.
An assault could also include conduct that is intended to frighten another party, even if contact is never made. A defendant who punches a person is guilty of assault even if they miss. It is the intent to cause harm that constitutes the illegal act.
Levels of Assault
Maryland’s criminal law provides two classes of assault which carry their own definitions and potential penalties. The basic level of assault is assault in the second degree under Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-203. This statute says that it is a misdemeanor level offense for any person to commit an assault as described above. The penalty for a conviction is a jail term of up to ten years, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. If the target of the alleged assault is a law enforcement officer, a probation officer, or any first responder, the available penalties increase to felony level punishments.
The harsher level of assault is assault in the first degree, which is defined by Md. Criminal Law Code Ann. §3-202 as any assault that results in a serious physical injury or intends to cause a serious injury. Any injury that could be expected to cause death or that causes permanent disfigurement or loss of bodily function could be a serious injury, and any assault involving the use of a firearm is also a first-degree assault.
A conviction for first-degree assault is a felony that carries a maximum prison sentence of 25 years. No matter if a defendant is accused of a second-degree assault, a first-degree assault, or any sort of assault, an assault lawyer could help in Frederick County.
Let a Frederick County Assault Attorney Assist You
Allegations involving assault in Frederick County may have serious consequences. A conviction for a simple assault could permanently affect a person’s life despite it being classified as a misdemeanor. Even if a conviction only results in a fine, this will appear as a mark on a criminal record. More serious allegations are felonies carrying a likely prison sentence.
A Frederick County assault lawyer may be able to prevent this from happening. They work to examine every aspect of the case even conducting their own investigation into the incident to dispute the prosecutor’s case. Whether your goal is to come to a fair plea deal or to fight the charges at court, an attorney may be able to help. Contact a lawyer today to discuss your case.