Assault charges must be treated seriously, no matter their origin. Whether you were acting in self-defense or not, addressing these charges is extremely important, as a conviction can carry serious consequences. In Maryland, there are two major types of assault charges, those in the first degree and those in the second. Let’s take a closer look at being charged with Assault in Westminster, MD.
Assault in the First Degree Versus Assault in the Second Degree
Assault in the first degree can carry more serious consequences, as it is considered the more serious offense. To be charged with assault in the first degree, a person must have used a firearm to threaten or the offender has caused or attempted to cause serious bodily harm to the victim. Assault in the second degree is characterized by “the intentional creation (other than verbally) of a reasonable fear that the victim in question is going to be physically harmed”. This scenario could be caused by swinging a fist at a person or by pushing someone. You don’t necessarily have to have actually hit someone for the crime to be considered assault.
In the event that a knife or other weapon is involved, the charges could be escalated to “Assault with a Deadly Weapon”, which will carry more serious implications.
Imminent Danger and Assault in Westminster, MD
Calling someone on the phone and threatening them with bodily harm is not likely to qualify for assault charges because the threat of danger isn’t imminent. Threatening someone in person, on the other hand, implies imminent danger, and thus may qualify. The nature of assault and battery charges are such that physical injury has either occurred or almost certainly will occur. This definition, due to its vague nature, can be interpreted in many different ways. That is to say, there are scenarios that may happen in a tense situation that you might not realize are assault until it’s too late.
The important thing to remember when dealing with the topic of assault is that the perpetrator’s intent was to cause harm, irrelevant to whether or not it actually occurred.
What is Battery?
The definition of battery is rooted in physical touch. A simple battery can include any form of unwanted or non-consensual touching and is considered a misdemeanor. When the intent to harm is included, then the charges are elevated to criminal battery. This can be as simple as pouring a drink on someone or knocking something out of their hand, which may not cause injury, but was certainly offensive. Touching other people without their consent is absolutely unlawful, and if you find yourself in the midst of such a situation, you need an assault lawyer in Westminster, MD to help you.
Call on Albers & Associates to Help You with Assault Charges in Maryland
Whether you’ve been the victim of an assault or you’ve perpetrated one, you need the aid of a legal professional on your side. Contact Albers & Associates to set up a free consultation to discuss the nature of your circumstances.