Howard County Assault Defense and Penalties
Howard County takes assault charges very seriously, and individuals who face penalties for this type of crime may naturally feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of their actions. It is important that someone who has been charged with assault contacts an experienced assault defense attorney immediately.
An attorney that has experience defending clients against charges they have seen and defended before will be equipped with the background and understanding necessary to not only build a strong defense for their client, but to also walk them through the complicated legal process efficiently.
The penalties that accompany an assault charge will vary depending on the degree of assault that took place. Common penalties include:
- Second-degree assault is accompanied by 10 years’ incarceration or a $2,500 fine
- Second-degree assault on a police officer carries 10 years’ incarcerations as well as a $5,000 fine
- First-degree assault carries the potential of 25 years in jail
Assault charges are serious, especially for individuals who have a criminal history because they are susceptible to enhanced penalties. It is crucial that someone who has been charged with assault contacts a knowledgeable assault lawyer immediately so that they can begin building their defense.
Diversion Programs Or Alternative Sentencing
There are no diversion programs available for individuals who have been charged with assault, but if the incident that occurred was domestic and the victim did not sustain severe bodily harm, a prosecutor may offer the option of anger management treatment.
Law enforcement officers generally conduct the investigation. They look to see if there are any videos. They look at the medical records if there are bruising or no marks, and any statements that have been made. They will gather all of those things to try to build a case.
The main evidence is testimony from the victim. The person talks about what happened. Medical records, photographs and any statements made by the party are used as well. Additionally, it is important to treat the court seriously. Depending on factors, the treatment of the cases will be handled very seriously.
Common Defenses Or Mitigating Factors
If the individual who has been charged has no prior criminal record, or the crime that occurred did not yield any severe bodily harm, an experienced assault lawyer will use these mitigating factors in their defense. They will do their best to explain the circumstances of their clients’ case to the judge and jury in a way that lessens the severity of the crime.
The reason for the assault is a big factor in any case. If it was a drug related problem that leads into a fight over that, that is one thing. If it is alcohol, that needs to be addressed. If it is anger management, that also needs to be addressed. There are a lot of variations as to why it happened, and those are the kinds of things that can be explored and treated to help the individual.
An attorney will also gather evidence that will challenge the prosecution’s case, this form of evidence is known as independent evidence. The prosecutor will also provide evidence that a defense attorney can use, which may include, but is not limited to:
A prosecutor is required to give a defense attorney all of the evidence they attained during the discovery period. If they do not, they are not permitted to use the evidence they have withheld either, they cannot hide evidence.
Benefits of Contacting an Assault Attorney
Attaining the services of an experienced assault lawyer is extremely important when facing assault charges. They will know the ins and outs of the courtrooms, the prosecutors, and the witness divisions. They will know how to negotiate with judges and prepare as well as file the appropriate paperwork needed for court. An attorney will also bring additional skills to the table including:
- Their courtroom experience
- An understanding of the burden of proof, which the prosecutor has to meet
- Experience dealing with the prosecutors and judges within their jurisdiction
- The ability to be a good spokesperson or an advocate on their clients’ behalf
If you are going through an assault case, it is very important to contact a Howard County assault attorney as soon as possible.