While assaults can arise from random encounters with unknown individuals, they most often begin with a verbal confrontation with someone you know or love. Being charged with assault can throw your life upside down in the blink of an eye. If you are accused of assaulting your significant other or someone you reside with, you can be ordered to leave your home, have no contact with this person, or the children you may have together. Also, it is not unusual for the person accused of assault to have to pay a bond to be released pending trial.
In Maryland, you can be charged with assault in either the first or second degree. The most common type of assault is assault in the second degree, which is a misdemeanor. A conviction for this crime carries a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500.00 fine. It is clear from the way that judges’ view and sentence people convicted of assaults that Maryland takes this crime very seriously.
Assault in the second degree can occur in one of three ways:
- intentionally frightening another person with the threat of immediate offensive or harmful contact;
- attempting to cause offensive or harmful contact; or
- causing offensive or harmful contact to another person.
Assault in the first degree, a felony, is the most serious form of assault and carries the potential sentence of 25 years in prison. Assault in the first degree occurs where the accused uses a firearm or intends to cause serious physical injury in the commission of the assault.
There are numerous defenses to allegations of assault, including mistaken identify and self-defense, to name a few. Many times the alleged victim, especially between people in relationships, will decide that they do not want to pursue the charges. This is not a defense. The State, and not the alleged victim, decides whether or not to pursue the charges.
The attorneys at Ortega Law, LLC understand how scary and frustrating these types of allegations can be to your freedom and reputation in the community. A finding of guilt cannot only lead to potential jail time, but to the inability to carry a firearm. If you’re charged with assault in any degree, you need an attorney who will aggressively defend you. There are two sides to every story. Let the attorneys at Ortega Law, LLC help you tell yours.
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