Ocean City Assault Lawyer
Assault offenses are violent crimes that carry the potential for high fines and long prison sentences, and they are classified by severity under the first or second degree under state law. Every assault charge deserves the best possible defense, and your case is no different. If you are charged with this offense, an experienced Ocean City assault lawyer could defend your case. A dedicated criminal law attorney could safeguard your rights in and out of court.
Second Degree Assault Charges
Second degree assault charges can be relatively minor crimes, but they can still incur severe consequences. This offense occurs when the defendant causes physical injury to another, or an impairment of physical condition. “Physical injury” does not require any amount of great harm to occur. Even surface injury to another person can qualify as a second degree assault charge under state law.
Second degree assault can occur even if the other person suffers no harm in the altercation. The law states that if an offender places another person in “imminent fear” of physical injury, this will also constitute a second-degree assault. This subjective standard could require a strong defense to prevent a conviction, which is why the help of a seasoned assault lawyer in the area could be crucial.
A charge of second-degree assault is a misdemeanor. While less serious than a felony, this charge still carries the potential for a maximum fine of up to $2,500 and a maximum prison sentence of ten years.
If the second-degree assault is towards a probation officer, parole officer, or a member of law enforcement or first responder, the penalties are increased to a maximum fine of up to $5,000 and up to ten years in prison.
First Degree Assault Charges
A first-degree assault occurs when an offender causes “serious physical injury” to another individual. Maryland law defines “serious physical injury” to mean a substantial risk of:
- Protracted or permanent disfigurement
- Impairment of bodily function
- Loss of bodily function
When serious physical harm results from an assault, it will be charged as a first-degree assault. If the assault is perpetrated with the use of a firearm or some other dangerous weapon, it will also be charged as a first-degree assault, regardless of the type of harm inflicted, even if no harm whatsoever was inflicted.
A first-degree assault is a felony and carries far more significant penalties than a second-degree assault. Those convicted of this offense face a potential maximum sentence of twenty-five years in state prison. Due to its felony nature, a conviction would also result in the loss of the right to vote, serve on a jury, and possess a gun.
How to Defend Against an Assault Charge
Certain defense strategies can be effective in assault cases if substantial evidence is available. Every defense is unique to the specific facts of a defendant’s situation, but some common tactics include:
- Showing that serious physical harm was not inflicted
- Negotiating a plea to lower-level charges
- Filing a suppression motion in court to exclude evidence
- Presenting reasonable doubt to the jury
- Challenging the identification of the defendant
Many more potential defenses exist. An experienced assault defense attorney could use their extensive knowledge of this area of law to identify the specific defenses that could protect an Ocean City defendant against the prosecution’s case.
An Ocean City Assault Defense Attorney Could Aid Your Case
Assault charges are serious, so you should begin preparing a strong defense against your allegations as soon as you are accused of this offense. With the help of an experienced Ocean City assault lawyer, you can fight back against your charges and mitigate the potential penalties. Schedule a consultation with our firm today and learn more.