Howard County First-Degree Assault Lawyer
Howard County defines first-degree assault the same as second-degree assault; it is a harmful or offensive contact that has not been consented. The act of causing someone to have the fear that this contact will occur is also considered to be a form of first-degree assault. A charge of this magnitude is a serious matter that yields a potential incarceration period of 25 years. As such, any individual who is charged with this offense should consult with a Howard County first-degree assault lawyer to help them build a strong defense and aid in the legal process. To learn more or get started on building a defense for your case, call and schedule a consultation with an assault attorney today.
Elements of a First-Degree Assault Charge
First-degree assault charges can at times lead to additional charges depending on the circumstances of the crime that was committed. An assault charge can be aggravated by one of two things:
- The use or brandishing of a dangerous or deadly weapon
- Severe bodily injury
In a first-degree assault case, if a weapon of any kind is involved, it is automatically included within the charge. Because it is easier to dismiss charges than it is to add charges, if there isn’t enough evidence to substantiate the additional charge, the prosecutor will later dismiss it.
Even if there’s no weapon involved, if an individual hurts someone so badly that they’re hospitalized, that’s considered a first-degree assault, and that individual should consult with a Howard County first degree assault attorney.
Scenarios That Involve The Use Of A Weapon
Pulling a knife or a gun out on someone is considered a first-degree assault whether or not the weapon is used or there is an injury. Automobiles can also be considered a weapon due to their size in comparison to that of a person and the amount of power and force that they possess.
Scenarios That Do Not Involve A Weapon
When there’s been severe bodily injury and if there’s no weapon involved but the person is charged with first-degree assault, it is usually within the context of a domestic violence case where one attacks another and does one of the following:
- Chokes someone
- Breaks a bone
- Causes severe bodily injury
In scenarios that feature violent acts such as the ones mentioned above, a case that would otherwise be considered a second-degree assault will be elevated to the first degree.
Consequences of an Assault Charge
An individual who has been charged and convicted in a first-degree case will deal with the long-term consequences of their crime, including:
- They are a convicted felon
- They can be disqualified from traveling
- They can be disqualified from voting
- They can be disqualified from ever being able to use a firearm
- Challenges securing employment
Ultimately, a first-degree assault charge/conviction is going to be accompanied by very harsh penalties. A knowledgeable Howard County first degree assault lawyer who is familiar with Maryland laws in relation to assault crimes will help their client fight these charges.
Benefits Of An Experienced Lawyer in Howard County
An attorney can be there as a guide to help somebody navigate the waters of a felony criminal case. They’ll know what procedures to follow, what filings to make, and what things to request so that defenses can be raised. An individual who has been charged with an assault will not be capable of navigating the legal system on their own.
There are a variety of approaches that an experienced Howard County first degree assault lawyer can use to defend their client in court, including the argument that states that the nature of the weapon used in the assault case is not one that can actually be considered a weapon. Ultimately, there are a lot of variations that can be used to address and then refute the first-degree assault status.