No one has the right to openly assault someone else or even to threaten to do so. However, these criminal charges are not always valid. You need prompt and skilled legal assistance to fight your charges when you may spend ten years or more in jail for an assault conviction. Even if you are completely innocent of all charges, calling the Glen Burnie criminal defense attorneys at ZSTS Law Group is an essential first step to defend your rights.
The Two Levels Of Maryland Assault Charges
Under Maryland law, individuals can face misdemeanor (second degree) or felony (first degree) assault charges, as follows:
- Second degree. Anyone who engages in offensive physical contact with another person, or who makes the attempt without actually making contact, can face second-degree assault charges. This is a misdemeanor crime under Maryland law, convictions that can carry up to 10 years in prison, with increased penalties possible for repeat offenders.
- First degree. As a felony crime, first-degree assault involves causing serious physical injury or attempting to do so. Also known as aggravated assault or assault and battery when actual physical harm occurs, individuals convicted of this crime can spend up to 25 years in prison, with potentially harsher sentences imposed for repeat convictions. If weapons are used in the crime, offenders are more likely to receive the high end of the penalties, even if they had no intent to kill.
These laws appear to be rather simple at first glance. The circumstances surrounding the alleged criminal action, however, are frequently exceedingly intricate. Our criminal defense and assault lawyers have handled criminal matters for more than ten years, and are committed to identifying the particular defense required to obtain the best outcomes for our clients.
The Types Of Defenses Available To Fight Assault Charges
I investigate all details to help my clients. A few examples of effective defenses include the following:
- Domestic violence. Physical violence is often a byproduct of volatile interpersonal relationships. However, in certain circumstances—such as in a contentious divorce—accusations that the defendant slapped a spouse or committed another violent conduct are really only a ruse to win child custody or achieve some other kind of advantage. Proof of this intent is a valid defense.
- Marital privilege. A spouse may maliciously call the police to report an assault that never occurred while things are heated in the marriage. Due of the intricacy of marital relationships, police are required to take these accusations seriously and frequently detain the alleged abuser. Of course, the accused spouse still faces serious criminal charges once the quarrel is over. These matters frequently require a trial. But under Maryland law, it is allowed for a spouse to decline to testify against the defendant in court; this is known as exercising marital privilege.
- Self-defense. Maryland law recognizes the right to defend yourself if you are under attack or even if you have a reasonable expectation that an attack is imminent.
CONTACT AN EXPERIENCED GLEN BURNIE DEFENSE ATTORNEY FOR IMMEDIATE LEGAL SUPPORT
For a free initial consultation about assault charges in Anne Arundel County or elsewhere in Maryland, contact Joshua Tabor and Robert A. Siegel, in Glen Burnie at 410-760-9433 or online.