It is unlawful to touch someone without their consent or to intentionally cause harm to anyone. When this occurs, the perpetrator can be charged with Assault in Columbia, Maryland. Whether you’ve been the victim or the perpetrator of the assault, getting legal advice is going to be essential for moving forward with your case.
The Components of Assault
Assault can be a slightly confusing topic because when most people think about it, they think of someone being hit or punched. However, this is not always the case. Assault charges consist of unwanted physical touch, the intent to harm, and actual physical injuries sustained. However, the crime doesn’t have to have all of these components to be considered assault. Someone could be charged with assault with only the intent to cause harm and unwanted touch without any actual injuries. For example, pouring a drink in someone’s lap would be considered assault. This event includes offensive touch and the intent to offend and thus, could be considered assault.
Touching someone in any way without their consent can have serious consequences if the affected person decides to press charges. However, in some cases, touch isn’t even necessary for the event to qualify as assault. The threat of imminent harm or injury can be enough to charge someone with Assault in Columbia, MD.
Common Defenses Against Assault Charges
One of the most common defenses in an assault case is self-defense. The components of a self-defense argument are the threat of violence, honest fear of harm, no basis for provocation on your part, and that there was no way for you to exit the situation. In the event that the person being charged acted to provoke or escalate the situation, arguing self-defense is going to be more difficult.
Another common defense is that the defendant was acting in defense of others or of property. Like the self-defense argument, you need to prove that you were truly afraid, that you did not escalate the situation, and that you attempted to get away. Engaging in physical violence is not endorsed by the law, but if you were truly concerned about someone harming you, someone you know, or property, then there may be grounds for a defense.
Conviction for Assault Charges in Columbia, MD
The penalties for being convicted of assault can have serious, long-term effects on your life. For assault in the second degree you may face up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500. An assault in the first degree will carry even more serious penalties, even if you don’t have a prior criminal record. If the assault is against a law enforcement officer or first responder, then the crime may be treated more seriously even if it’s only in the second degree.
We’re Ready to Help You
If you’re facing assault charges in Columbia, Maryland then you need the help of a legal professional to fight for your rights. Though these charges can drastically affect your life, a good defense will make all the difference. Contact us today for more information and to set up a free consultation.