Criminal Assault Defense Lawyer in Bowie and Crofton
Fighting for the rights of those accused of misdemeanor and felony assault throughout the state
If you are facing assault charges, it’s important to consider all that’s at stake. The consequences of an assault charge or conviction could potentially change your life in ways you had not anticipated. Assault charges can be complicated because you can be charged regardless of whether or not you touched the alleged victim. Regardless of the facts of the case, you still have legal rights.
At Carey Law Office, we are here to defend those rights and help safeguard your future. You do not want to try to take on criminal charges without a knowledgeable Bowie criminal defense lawyer as your advocate. We offer a confidential initial consultation to discuss your case.
What is assault, according to Maryland law?
Assault involves unwanted or non-consensual touching that causes harm to another person. It also includes the threat of physical injury, and attempting to cause an injury. So, making unwanted physical contact with another person, attempting to make harmful, unwanted physical contact (for example, swinging a bat at someone and missing) or just causing another person to fear the threat of potential injury or harm can all be considered assault.
There are varying degrees of assault under Maryland law:
Assault in the first-degree MD Crim Law Code § 3-202 (2017)
Assault is the intentional causing of bodily harm, or the attempt to cause physical injury to another. Assault in the first degree includes committing an assault with a firearm. The maximum penalty for felony assault in the first degree is a prison term of not more than 25 years.
A first-degree assault can involve a firearm, a knife, or even a blunt object that is used to cause the victim to suffer significant physical injury, such as broken bones or head injuries.
Assault in the second-degree MD Crim Law Code § 3-203 (2017)
Second degree assault concerns causing physical injury to law enforcement officers, agents, or first responders. The penalty for a second-degree assault conviction is not less than ten years in prison, a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.
Second-degree assault is a misdemeanor; battery, unwanted touching, and threatening violence causing another person to fear bodily harm could all be considered second-degree assault.
Reckless endangerment MD Crim Law Code § 3-204 (2017)
Reckless endangerment is conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another. It also refers to the discharge of a firearm, or the use of a motor vehicle in a manner that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another. The penalty for reckless endangerment is a prison term of not more than five years and a fine of not more than $5000 or both.
Reckless endangerment does not take intent into consideration. A person who is speeding and driving drunk through the streets may not have intend to injure someone, but the reckless disregard for the safety of others is enough to charge him or her with reckless endangerment.
Also, it is important to remember that you can be charged with assault without ever having touched the alleged victim. If you swung a fist and missed hitting the person, fired a weapon and missed, or threatened to cause harm to another person, you can be charged with assault.
What are the criteria for self-defense in response to assault charges in Maryland?
If you are involved in an altercation with another individual, and you are charged with assault, what must you be able to prove to claim that your actions were in self-defense? You must be able to prove that you believed that there was a threat against you, that there was no other reasonable avenue of escape from the situation, and that you neither started the fight nor used any more force than was necessary to defend yourself.
Additionally, defending another person who was in danger is another valid defense for assault charges.
Can assault charges be dismissed?
Assault charges can be dismissed. Maryland law provides that a court may dismiss assault charges if “the victim and the defendant agree to the dismissal; and the court considers the dismissal proper.” The defendant must still pay the court costs that he or she would have paid had he or she been found guilty. MD Crim Law Code § 3-207 (2017)
Can assault charges be expunged in Maryland?
Sometimes. Under a law that went into effect in 2017, MD Crim Pro Article § 10-110, assault in the second degree, a misdemeanor assault charge, can now be expunged. However, you must wait 15 years – without having been convicted of another crime in the interim – in order to file for expungement. There may be other circumstances under which an assault charge can be expunged from your record; contact us to learn more.
Work with a professional criminal defense attorney who will fight for you
As your Bowie criminal defense law firm, it is our job to craft a strong legal defense when you have been charged with assault. You may have an alibi witness that places you elsewhere at the time of the assault that we can use to prove that the assault charges are false. We are here to fight the charges on your behalf to help avoid the consequences of an assault conviction as much as possible. We are also here to guide you through the judicial system.
It is vital that you contact Carey Law Office immediately after you have been charged with a crime. A Bowie criminal defense lawyer will get to work right away to protect your rights and formulate a robust defense on your behalf. Let us advocate for you, and help you get your life back.
Experienced Bowie and Crofton criminal defense lawyer for assault charges
If you have been charged with assault, Carey Law Office is ready to help. With locations in Bowie and in Crofton, we serve clients in Anne Arundel County, Prince George’s County, and the surrounding areas. You are welcome to call 301-464-2500 or fill out the contact form to schedule a consultation now.