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Columbia Assault Defense Attorneys

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, MD.

At Albers & Associates, we understand the complexities and seriousness of assault charges. Our firm has a proven track record of successfully defending clients against a wide range of assault-related offenses in Maryland.

Call (443) 665-8030 or fill out our online contact form today to learn how we can defend you.

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 on someone’s lap would be considered assault. This event includes offensive touch and the intent to offend and thus, could be considered assault.

Considered second-degree 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.

What is Aggravated Assault?

Aggravated assault in Maryland is often referred to as "first-degree assault." It involves intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical injury to another person, and it is considered a felony offense.

Several key elements define aggravated assault in Maryland:

  • Intent to Cause Serious Injury: To be charged with first-degree assault, the defendant must have the specific intent to cause serious physical harm or injury to the victim. This intent distinguishes it from simple assault, where the intent may be to cause any physical harm or apprehension of harm.
  • Serious Physical Injury: The term "serious physical injury" refers to injuries that are significant, severe, and may lead to long-term or permanent damage. This can include injuries such as broken bones, disfigurement, internal injuries, or injuries that require surgery or hospitalization.
  • Aggravating Factors: In some cases, first-degree assault may involve aggravating factors, such as the use of a deadly weapon, which can further elevate the charge. Assault with a deadly weapon carries even more severe penalties.

The primary difference between simple assault (second-degree assault) and aggravated assault (first-degree assault) is the level of intent. In simple assault, the intent may be to cause any physical harm or apprehension of harm, while in aggravated assault, the intent is specifically to cause serious physical injury.

Simple assault also may involve minor injuries or the mere threat of harm, whereas aggravated assault involves serious physical injury or an attempt to cause such injuries. The more severe the harm, the more likely it is to be considered aggravated assault.

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 carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years, 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.

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.

Other common legal defenses against assault charges include:

  • Lack of Intent: Assault charges often require the prosecutor to prove that you had the intent to cause harm. If you can establish that you did not intend to harm or threaten the alleged victim, it may serve as a defense. This defense is especially relevant in cases of mistaken identity or accidents.
  • Alibi: If you can provide evidence that you were not present at the location where the assault allegedly occurred or that you were with other people at the time in question, it can establish an alibi defense. This may challenge the prosecution's ability to prove your involvement.
  • Consent: In some situations, consent can be a defense against assault charges. If the alleged victim willingly participated in the activity that led to the injury, and the level of force used was within the bounds of the agreed-upon activity, consent may be a valid defense.
  • Mental Incapacity: If you can demonstrate that you were mentally incapacitated at the time of the alleged assault (e.g., due to a mental disorder, involuntary intoxication, or a medical condition), it may be a valid defense. The argument here is that you lacked the requisite intent due to your mental state.
  • False Accusation: You can assert that you are being falsely accused of the assault. This defense strategy often involves challenging the credibility and motives of the accuser and presenting evidence that contradicts their version of events.
  • Castle Doctrine: The "castle doctrine" allows individuals to use force, including deadly force, to protect their homes from intruders or threats. If the alleged assault occurred in your home, this doctrine may be a relevant defense.

We’re Ready to Help You

If you’re facing assault charges in Columbia, MD, 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.

When you choose us as your legal advocates, you can expect:

  • Experience: Our team of seasoned lawyers has a deep understanding of Maryland's criminal laws, including assault statutes. We have handled numerous assault cases, from simple assaults to more serious charges, and have achieved favorable outcomes for our clients.
  • Dedication: We are committed to protecting your rights and best interests throughout the legal process. We work tirelessly to build a strong defense strategy tailored to your unique circumstances.
  • Personalized Attention: We treat every case with the individualized attention it deserves. Our lawyers will take the time to listen to your side of the story, assess the evidence, and craft a defense strategy that aligns with your goals.
  • Proven Results: Albers & Associates has a track record of obtaining favorable verdicts, reduced charges, and dismissals for our clients. We have the knowledge and experience to navigate the legal system effectively.

Contact us today for more information and to set up a free consultation.

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