Harford County Assault Lawyer
Assault is a criminal offense that covers a wide spectrum of behaviors, some of which may involve physical contact or injury, and some of which may not. If you slap a person across the face, you may be committing battery, but if you raise your hand and threaten to slap another person, you may commit an assault. Whatever the nature of the accusations you might be facing, a Harford County assault lawyer could offer legal advice.
While an assault charge based on a threat may seem minor, many people regard assault as an inherently violent crime. An assault conviction might bar you from certain occupations or make it more difficult for you to get a job. In light of these potential consequences, you may wish to speak with an experienced defense attorney before proceeding any further in your case.
Assault Offenses in Harford County
The criminal offense of assault pursuant to Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 3-201 contains traditional elements of both assault and battery from the common law. Assault generally involves making threats of physical harm, and battery generally involves making physical contact that results in harm. Assault under Maryland could occur when individuals threaten, attempt to commit, or commit potentially injurious harmful physical actions toward others.
Assault may result in first-degree or second-degree assault charges, depending on the nature of the incident that occurred. To constitute first-degree assault, individuals must intentionally threaten, cause, or attempt to cause serious physical injury to others or commit any type of assault with a firearm.
Under the Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 3-201, serious physical injury consists of any physical injury that might:
- Result in a substantial risk of death, or
- Cause permanent or protracted serious disfigurement, loss of a bodily member or an organ function, or impairment of bodily member or organ function
A first-degree assault charge under any circumstances is a felony offense, which may carry a potential prison sentence of up to 25 years. The amount of prison time that individuals receive from a first-degree assault conviction depends upon the nature of the assault, the severity of the resulting injuries, prior criminal convictions, and other factors that may impact a criminal sentence. Since a felony conviction might also result in the loss of certain civil rights which may include the right to possess a firearm, getting advice from an assault lawyer in Harford County may be useful.
Second Degree Charges
Under the Maryland Code, Criminal Law § 3-203, second-degree assault may be a felony or a misdemeanor offense. Misdemeanor second-degree assault could occur when individuals purposely threaten or have physical contact with others who would reasonably view that contact as offensive. A second-degree assault need not result in actual injuries to another.
When individuals know or have reason to know that the subjects of the assault are acting within their official duties for certain positions, and intentionally cause physical injury to them, they may commit felony second-degree assault. More than minor injuries must result in this instance. There must be physical injuries that cause impairment. An attorney could help an accused person dispute the severity of any alleged injuries a claimant may show in court.
Felony second-degree assault charges may result in assaults that involve the following as subjects:
- Law enforcement officers
- Probation and parole officers
- Firefighters and emergency medical technicians
- Other first responders providing emergency medical care or rescue services
Both felony and misdemeanor second-degree assault charges could result in a prison sentence of up to ten years upon conviction. A misdemeanor second-degree assault also may result in a fine of up to $2,500, whereas a felony second-degree assault may result in a fine of up to $5,000. A Harford County lawyer could help a defendant fight any fines or prison sentences they may be facing in court.
Speak with a Harford County Assault Lawyer
An arrest for assault may be an unexpected and stressful event for you and your family. A criminal conviction may impact your future job opportunities and career, and your ability to rent a home or apartment. Working with a Harford County assault lawyer may be beneficial to you in this situation.
A Harford criminal lawyer could assess the facts surrounding your charges, identify any defenses, and point out any evidentiary issues with your case. When you get the legal assistance that you need, you may put yourself in a better position to resolve the charges against you in a positive manner.