Assault & Battery
Facing criminal charges for assault can feel like the end of the world, but it doesn’t have to be. Every person who faces assault charges is innocent until proven guilty. It is the prosecutor’s job to prove that the assault occurred, which is not always an easy task. Even if you’re afraid, overwhelmed, and confused, help is available and you shouldn’t give up on defending your future.
With such a large population in Bethesda, disputes are inevitable; and when a dispute occurs, an assault charge might follow. However, merely having an argument with someone does not mean you actually committed the assault with which you were charged. You can protect and defend your legal rights by working with an experienced Bethesda assault defense attorney like the team at Alpert Schreyer. We have successfully defended numerous clients charged with assault and have the legal experience and resources to build an effective case on your behalf.
Maryland’s Assault Laws
Maryland divides the crime of assault into two categories, or “degrees”. Each one requires that a different set of facts be proven in order to hold a person guilty of that type of assault. Each degree of assault also comes with different penalties if a person is convicted.
Maryland law defines “first-degree assault” as intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical injury to another person. First-degree assault typically includes assault committed with a firearm.
In order to convict a person of first-degree assault in Maryland, a judge or jury must find that a “serious physical injury” occurred. Not all physical injuries are serious. In a first-degree assault case, a “serious physical injury” is one that “creates a substantial risk of death” or that causes “permanent or protracted” disfigurement or the loss or impairment of any bodily organ or function.
“Second-degree assault” in Maryland occurs when one person intentionally makes contact with another person against that person’s will. Most assaults are intended to be harmful, such as when one person hits or kicks another, but an unwanted touching doesn’t actually have to cause physical injury in order to be considered an assault.
Penalties for Assault in Maryland
First-degree assault is a felony in Maryland. The maximum penalty for a first-degree assault conviction includes up to 25 years in prison. Fines, restitution, probation, community service, and other penalties may also be imposed on a person convicted of first-degree assault. A first-degree assault conviction also stays on a person’s criminal record, making it more difficult to secure a job, go back to school, or do many other activities.
Second-degree assault in Maryland comes with a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in prison, $2,500 in fines, or both except in the case of a second-degree assault on a law enforcement officer in the performance of his or her duties. Second degree assault on a law enforcement offer and/or parole or probation agent is a felony that is punishable by a $5,000 fine and/or 10 years in prison. A person convicted of second-degree assault may also face probation; community service requirements; fees and costs; and other penalties; as well as the burdens imposed by a criminal record.
Don’t Overlook Your Rights
If you’ve been charged with assault in Montgomery County, you should seek the help of an experienced Maryland assault defense attorney as soon as possible. At Alpert Schreyer, our dedicated criminal defense attorneys fight to protect the legal rights of every client we represent and to build a strong defense that pursues the best possible outcome. To learn more, contact our office today for a confidential consultation.