Rockville Assault Lawyer

Charges that involve allegations of assault in Rockville are serious matters. While many people may think that because many assaults are misdemeanors that they will escape with a mere slap on the wrist, the fact is that a conviction for even these relatively minor charges can come with severe consequences.

Other assault allegations can rise to the level of felonies. This applies when the charges insinuate the use of a deadly weapon, when the incident results in a serious bodily injury, or if the alleged target fits under a special class under the law.

A Rockville assault lawyer stands prepared to present a defense in court against any allegation of assault. A skilled attorney could work with you by explaining the State’s laws concerning these attacks and with crafting defenses to protect their rights in court.

What is an Assault Under the Law?

Many people assume that an assault involves an incident where a person causes bodily harm to another. However, this is an oversimplification. While Maryland Criminal Law Code §3-203 says nothing more than it is illegal to commit an assault, the concept of an assault under the law comes with deep nuances.

Hundreds of years of common law have come to define an assault as any threat to cause bodily harm to another person. In addition, the alleged target must have been reasonable in their fear of impending harm. As a result, an assault can include instances where a defendant punches at another person, even if that punch does not connect.

Assaults can also include scenarios where physical contact does occur. Some other states call this offense battery, but Rockville laws include this concept within the definition of assault. At its basic level, assault in the second degree is a misdemeanor. Here, the penalties may include a jail sentence of up to ten years, a fine of up to $2,500, or both. A Rockville assault attorney could help to explain how the state’s criminal code defines assaults.

When Might an Assault Become more Serious?

Although assault is a misdemeanor-level offense, a variety of factors exist that can result in a prosecutor pursuing an assault as a felony, or at least seeking out enhanced misdemeanor penalties.

Many aggravating factors can make an allegation more serious. The most common example is the identity of the target of the supposed assault. The assault laws provide that if the target of an assault is a police officer, a firefighter, a first responder, or any other officer of the peace, the assault rises to the level of a felony. Here, the maximum fine increases to $5,000, but the maximum jail term remains the same. The key differences are that the defendant obtains a felony on their criminal record, and a judge is far more likely to impose a jail term during sentencing.

Other assault allegations are always felonies. According to Md. Criminal Law Code §3-202, assault in the first degree is an option for prosecutors when an apparent attack results in serious bodily injury. This includes situations where the attack causes a substantial risk of death, or that causes disfigurement or organ damage. This statute applies regardless of whether the assault included the use of a weapon. Here, the maximum possible prison sentence rises to 25 years. An assault defense attorney could help to promote defenses against allegations of felony assault in Rockville.

Let a Rockville Assault Attorney Provide a Defense in Court

Allegations of assault can be misdemeanors or felonies depending upon the exact nature of the charges. Police can arrest you even if you did not make physical contact with another person. Under the language of the law, the mere threat of harm counts as misdemeanor assault. Of course, more serious charges can result if the target of the alleged assault is a police officer or if the incident results in serious bodily harm.

A Rockville assault lawyer may be able to help you. They can work to explain the State’s complex assault laws and how they apply to your case. They can then aim to evaluate the strength of the prosecutor’s case to recommend the next course of action. If you are looking to come to a plea deal to avoid jail time, an attorney can help take the lead in negotiations. Of course, you also have the choice to bring the case to a jury. Either way, contact an attorney today to learn more about how they could help you.