Prince George’s County Assault Penalties
Assault cases could become more complicated than they appear. First-degree assault is a felony, punishable by 25 years in prison. For a second-degree assault in PG County, the penalty is ten years in prison, a $2,500 fine, or both. A person could see a significant increase or a decrease in the penalties they are charged with based on their individual case. To understand Prince George’s County assault penalties, individuals are recommended to contact a well-practiced defense attorney. Legal counsel could explain your rights.
Potential Penalty Enhancements
While there are no enhanced assault charge penalties in Prince George’s County, the severity of it can lead to exposure to stronger penalties based on the specifics of the assault. If the claimant is elderly and was injured, those two factors could increase the general perception of what is an appropriate punishment or sentence.
Available Diversion Programs or Alternative Sentencing for First-Time Offenders
There are various programs and alternative sentencing options available for first-timers and all offenders that fit the nature of the incident and the underlying cause. While a person may face criminal penalties in Prince George’s County if they assault someone, the county could also steer them into an alcohol program. Counseling and other types of help could be available for people who have other underlying issues, on the theory that punishing some of them is not going to save them or help prevent them from being violent in the future. If it is a family relationship, there could be conflict resolution or domestic violence counseling. A first-time offender is typically more likely to receive consideration for an alternative to punishment than a repeat offender.
Specific Defenses or Mitigating Factors
Specific defenses and mitigating factors could stem from the fact that many eye-witness accounts of an assault are from people who did not see the full scope of what happened. Witnesses may have heard a scuffle or shouting and turned to see a fight in progress. They may see one person pushing another and did not see who pushed first.
Witness accounts could be subjective, could have inaccuracies, or witnesses may have a motive for blaming one person. For example, they may be supporting a friend involved in the assault. A third-party bystander who did not know the participants is typically considered to have more credibility.
Intent, which is another potential issue, could be a factor in the the degree of assault. The types of intent include specific intent and general intent. A person does not need to have intended the specific act of assault for them to be convicted of it.
For example, a person who refuses to cooperate with being arrested and thrashes around trying to keep an officer from cuffing him could accidentally bump the officer in the face with their elbow. This could be seen as an assault in PG County and the person could potentially face legal penalties. While the person did not intend it or mean to do it and may have just been resisting, they could face charges because contact was made.
Evidence an Attorney Could Gather to Challenge the Prosecution’s Case
A defense attorney could gather all the evidence the prosecutor has. This could help the attorney establish the strength of the prosecution’s case and whether there are inconsistencies in it. A victim may provide only the evidence that is favorable to them and may omit the fact they also were sending threats to the other person. The defense attorney could go beyond the prosecution’s evidence to get a full picture of the assault and how allegations could be challenged.
An attorney could protect a defendant’s interests from the very beginning. They could help procure their release and could gather evidence and recollections of the incident. Videos could be purged after a certain period. Any videos of the assault are recommended to be obtained quickly.
Speak to an Experienced PG County Defense Lawyer about Your Case
Attorneys could have multiple ways of defending someone against assault charges. This may include either contesting the allegations or providing some justification for the assault. A justification could be self-defense if the accuser attacked them and ended up the loser. There has to be a reasonable belief that the self-defense is true. If the prosecution has enough evidence against the defendant, an attorney could also be helpful in mitigating the damages by working out a resolution with the prosecutor.
It could be important that a person retains an experienced defense attorney when facing Prince George’s County assault penalties. A knowledgeable lawyer may know the ins and outs of the courtrooms and the lay of the land. They could have relations with prosecutors and judges and may know their dispositions and temperaments. Attorneys could also know what strategies do and do not work and what approaches are best utilized to get the ultimate result.