Frederick County Assault Penalties
Assault charges are often severe, threatening to permanently change a defendant’s life if they are convicted. If you are facing assault charges, you may be confused about what to do next or even unclear about what is at stake. If you have been arrested and charged for assault or battery, you should contact an assault lawyer immediately to protect your rights and to learn more about Frederick County assault penalties.
What are the Typical Penalties For Assault in Frederick County?
The maximum penalty for assault charges in Frederick County is 10 years incarceration and up to a $2,500 fine. These are significant sanctions but a maximum penalty is usually not issued unless the situation was extremely egregious, or it was a repeat offense.
What typically happens when someone is convicted of an assault charge is the prosecutor and judge will consider the following:
- The nature of the incident
- The severity of any injuries
- The history of the charged person
- The wishes of the victim.
After assessing all of these factors after conviction, the prosecutor will make a recommendation for sentencing and the judge will make a determination based off of guidelines, case law, and their own opinion.
What are Aggravating Factors for Assault Penalties in Frederick County?
There are certain elements that could make the penalties worse in an assault case. For example, if the assault occurred in the presence of a minor or if the person had a prior history or prior convictions, the penalties may be stiffer. Generally, aggravating factors increase the likelihood of being handed a severe penalty.
For many charges, the courts use something called the “Maryland Sentencing Guidelines.”
This is a mathematical formula utilized by prosecutors to determine an appropriate sentence. For a person who has no history, the recommended guideline sentence for a second-degree assault could be anywhere from probation to three to six months in jail. However, if the defendant has prior offenses, if there was a minor present, was on probation, or had any other aggravating factors when the incident occurred, their recommended sentence could be as much as five years active incarceration or more for that same offense.
Why it is Important to Start Working with a Defense Attorney Immediately
When charged with assault, the defendant should contact an experienced local defense attorney immediately. Right after an arrest, there will usually be a bail hearing, and the police may try to question the accused. All people have the right to refuse to answer most questions from an investigator without an attorney present, and that lawyer may be able to ensure that the defendant does not inadvertently incriminate themselves.
Additionally, unless it is handled promptly, evidence could be lost, memories fade, and witnesses who may have been present may not be as able to accurately testify what happened weeks or months down the road. By starting early on the case, the defendant and their attorney may be able to more accurately assess the penalties being faced for assault charges in Frederick County.
Fighting Frederick County Assault Penalties
There are many steps you could take that might ultimately help you if convicted of assault. If you are taking steps to address the underlying issue and can show true remorse and regret, the judge may be persuaded that you are truthful and sincere. These actions may even lead to a better plea deal if it is not possible to get a full not-guilty finding. Their proactive participation in available programs could be helpful in reducing the potential penalty they receive.
If you are unsure of Frederick County assault penalties and you have been charged, it is essential that you consult a criminal defense attorney right away. By working closely with a dedicated criminal defense lawyer, you could better protect your rights and truly understand the scope of the consequences you might be given.