Being charged with assault, even if it is only a misdemeanor, is a serious matter. If it’s your first time being charged with assault, you may not know what to expect or what you should do.
But what if you knew what assault was, but weren’t acting intentionally? Would you still be charged with assault? To help you better understand the answers to these questions, you need to know exactly what assault is.
What is Assault?
If you’ve been charged with assault, you need to know exactly what you are being charged with. In Maryland, assault can mean you have caused harm to another person or offensive physical contact. Maryland considers the attempt to cause injury or offensive physical contact to another person and assault. Threatening another person, or presenting the fear of physical harm can also constitute an assault.
Types of criminal assault include: second degree misdemenor assault, reckless endangerment, second-degree assault, domestic assault, sexual assault, and assault on a Law Enforcement Officer.
Knowingly Committing Assault
If you knowingly committed assault, you were aware of the circumstances and what you were doing, even if it was not intentional. This means if you were to put a person in fear of bodily harm, or physically strike the person, you are knowingly committing an assault.
Recklessly Committing Assault
If you recklessly committed assault, you were aware of the situation and had a conscious disregard for the risk you posed to those around you. Much like knowingly, if you shoved another person, you were aware it was assault but continued to act recklessly.
Intentionally Committing Assault
If a person was intentionally committing assault, this means that their purpose was to harm another person. If you intentionally pushed or hit another person, you would then be charged with assault.
The Process of Being Charged with Assault
No matter which type of assault you are being charged with, you will want to know what happens next.
The Criminal Case
Because assault is a crime in Maryland, the criminal case will result in criminal proceedings being filed against the individual. More likely than not, after you assault the victim, you will be arrested, processed, and charged with assault. During your bail hearing, a judge will decide if you are granted bail and how much the bail bond will be. If the judge feels you are a danger to the community, you may not be granted bail, or you may be granted bail with restrictions.
While you are waiting for the criminal trial, if you were granted bail, you can continue your normal life and proceed to build a defense for your case. If you were not granted bail, you will have to await your trial in jail, where you will still be able to see a lawyer.
Once the trial for your case is scheduled, you must appear for the trial date. Failure to appear will result in the court issuing a warrant for your arrest. After the case is prosecuted, if you are found guilty, whether by a judge or a jury, you will then be sentenced to a punishment.
Punishment for Assault
Punishment for assault can vary. If you are found guilty in your criminal case, you will be faced with potential jail time, fines, and/or a period of probation. Additionally, a person found guilty of assault may be ordered to pay the medical bills (restitution) for the person they have injured. Compensation can mean a variety of things, but for the most part, it means you will be paying for something, such as medical bills, therapy for emotional trauma, and other emotional damages.
How Can You Benefit from a Defense Lawyer?
If you’ve been charged with assault, a local defense lawyer, like the Law Office of C. Gregory Coburn, can help you with defending these charges. A criminal charge and conviction can have lasting consequences, even if you are only charged with a misdemeanor, which is where a defense attorney can help.
When you choose to work with a criminal defense attorney, they can help you present the best argument for your case, navigate the criminal justice system, and possibly reduce your assault charges. Assault is a serious crime and should be treated as such. A criminal defense lawyer can help reduce these sentences.
If you’ve been charged with assault in the Ocean City area, local defense lawyer C. Gregory Coburn can help with your case. Our attorney and our law office are prepared to present a strong defense for your case. Feel free to call us today to schedule a consultation with our criminal defense lawyer.