Washington County Assault Lawyer
If you are charged with assault, it is important to understand the type of assault with which you are charged and identify any defenses that may be appropriate. Whether the charge is for first-degree or second-degree assault, the penalties can be burdensome.
It is never too early to begin building a defense with the help of a seasoned criminal attorney. Contact a Washington County assault lawyer, as soon as possible, to discuss the differences in the various types of assault and the procedure for handling these charges.
Assault in the first-degree is characterized in two ways under Maryland Code § 3-202. First, if a person intentionally causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to an individual, this statute may apply. Serious injury is defined as a physical injury with a high risk of death or a physical injury that causes permanent or long-term disfigurement, loss of function, or impairment.
Second, this statute covers instances in which an assault is committed with a firearm. First-degree assault is a felony which can result in imprisonment of up to 25 years if a person is convicted. A Washington County assault attorney may be able to assist an individual who has been charged with first-degree assault.
Second-degree assault is generally the less severe degree of assault. It is a misdemeanor, except where the assault is intentionally committed against a law enforcement officer. The misdemeanor may result in imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of up to $2,500 or both. The felony may result in imprisonment of up to 10 years or a fine of up to $5,000 or both. An assault lawyer in Washington County can clarify the distinctions between misdemeanor and felony second-degree assault.
Self-Defense in Assault Cases
Assault cases often arise from fist-fights or other heated altercations. If an individual has a reasonable belief that they are in imminent danger and consequently uses reasonable force in defending themselves, they may able to show that they acted in self-defense.
The reasonableness of the belief and the force utilized to defend oneself are key aspects of this defense. Another consideration deals with the aggressor in the fight. It would be more difficult for the aggressor to claim self-defense.
The evidence in assault cases may involve testimony of police officers and witnesses to the incident. Photographs of injuries may also be used to demonstrate the seriousness of the injury.
Depending on the weight and credibility of the evidence, a plea bargain may be an option for consideration. An assault lawyer in Washington County can assist an individual who has been charged with assault in gathering evidence, mounting a defense, and weighing all relevant options prior to and during trial.
Contact a Washington County Assault Attorney Today
An assault charge, whether first-degree or second-degree, can be very serious. The effects of a conviction can be far-reaching and long-lasting. A conviction for assault may lead to loss of employment, difficulty in obtaining a new job, and loss of government benefits.
If you are facing an assault charge, you may be able to benefit from the experience of a Washington County assault lawyer. You know the facts surrounding the incident in which you were involved; consultation with an assault lawyer in Washington County can serve to strengthen your case with the knowledge of applicable laws and relevant defenses.