If This Is Your First Encounter with Law Enforcement, We Can Help You
If you find yourself facing criminal charges for the first time, it’s natural to be scared. It’s a time of uncertainty—there’s no way to know whether you might end up with fines or jail time that could seriously disrupt your life.
For someone in this situation, the first thing to do is stay as calm and quiet as possible. If you panic, you may end up doing or saying things a prosecutor can use against you in court. Second, you should contact an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can help you understand more about what you’re facing and create a legal strategy to protect you and your rights.
What Is Assault and Battery?
In many states, assault and battery are two separate crimes. Assault is simply a threat of injury; battery is an actual violent act. In Maryland, both are grouped into one charge. Any attempt to harm someone or act of reckless endangerment will be prosecuted as assault regardless of whether anyone was hurt. However, when someone is seriously injured in an assault, the accused could face felony charges.
Let an Attorney Do the Talking
If you are facing criminal charges of any sort, you have the right to a criminal defense attorney to represent you in court. You also have the right to the presumption of innocence. Sometimes police and prosecutors will treat you like they’ve already found you guilty, even if all they have is flimsy circumstantial evidence. Their goal is to intimidate you into giving up information they can use against you. Remember, during an arrest a police officer must remind you of your right to remain silent. You should exercise that right until you have retained a lawyer.
Building a Defense Against Assault and Battery Charges in Maryland
Often, the report the police make at a crime scene does not cover the whole story. We know some assault and battery charges aren’t what they appear, especially if the official documents only tell one side of the story. Armed with the full truth, our attorneys can put together a defense for you.
Examining Intent to Harm
Any assault charge in Maryland is predicated on the fact that you acted with the purpose of injuring another. If the prosecution cannot prove your intent, they are unlikely to win an assault case—and they know it. If the injury was caused due to an accident, you might face reckless endangerment charges, but cannot be prosecuted for assault.
Proving a Basis for Self-Defense
In some cases, the person who appears to have assaulted someone else was actually a victim attacked by the other party. If someone made a threat you deemed credible and you hurt them in an attempt to stay safe, the assault charges should be leveled at them. This sometimes happens in domestic violence cases, especially with the victims of repeated abuse. If you are in this situation, you need an experienced litigator to tell your story in court.
The penalties for second-degree assault, a misdemeanor, can be up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of $2,500. However, a judge can recommend lighter sentencing for less serious cases. If this is your first time facing assault charges, we can use your lack of prior criminal activity to show you are a law-abiding citizen. Sometimes, cooperating with the system can bring better results than fighting it outright. Appealing to a judge’s better nature can reduce the severity of the consequences should you be convicted.
Call Our Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyers if You Need Help
Our team of former prosecutors has a depth of courtroom experience you may not be able to find at other firms. We know the criminal justice system inside and out and can help you navigate it regardless of the charges against you. Especially if you are facing first-time charges, it’s natural to be nervous about your future. Our attorneys can help by letting you know what to expect and creating a strategy for your defense.
Do not wait to find good legal representation if you’ve been charged with assault. Our team is available at (301) 321-7277, or you can send a message online and we will reach out to you.