Experienced Glen Burnie Attorney Provides Effective Support For Often-Complex Criminal Charges
No one has the right to blatantly cause physical harm to another person or even to threaten assault. However, these criminal charges are not always valid. Faced with the possibility of spending a decade or more in prison for an assault conviction, you need immediate and knowledgeable legal support to fight your charges. A call to Robert A. Siegel with the Law Office of Marla Zide, LLC, is a vital first step to protect your rights — even if you are innocent of all charges.
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.
On the surface, these laws sound relatively straightforward. However, the circumstances behind the alleged criminal behavior are typically quite complex. With more than a decade as a criminal defense attorney, I understand that each situation is different, and I am dedicated to finding the unique defense needed to secure the most favorable results for my 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. Volatile personal relationships can lend themselves to physical conflict. However, in some cases, such as during a heated divorce, accusations against the defendant of hitting a spouse or other violent act is actually a ploy to gain child custody or otherwise obtain a legal advantage. Proof of this intent is a valid defense.
- Marital privilege. In the heat of a marital dispute, a spouse may spitefully call the police to report an assault that never happened. Because of the complexity of marital relationships, police must take these reports seriously, often placing the alleged abuser under arrest. Of course, once the argument ends, the accused spouse still faces serious criminal charges. These cases must often go to trial. When a spouse refuses to testify against the defendant in court, however, this is called marital privilege, and it is legal under Maryland law.
- 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 with the Law Office of Marla Zide, LLC, in Glen Burnie at 410-760-9433 or online.