Westminster Violent Crime Lawyer
Providing Effective & Affordable Defense in Maryland
Some of the most serious criminal offenses in Maryland are considered violent crimes. A conviction can carry harsh penalties, including jail or prison time, costly fines, and a permanent mark on your criminal record.
At Albers & Associates, we understand the gravity of violent crime charges and the potential consequences they carry. Our experienced team of Westminster violent crime lawyers is dedicated to providing aggressive and strategic defense tailored to your unique situation.
What is a Violent Crime?
Generally, violent crimes are offenses that involve the use or threat of force against another person or their property.
In Maryland, common examples of violent crimes may include:
- Assault: Intentionally causing or attempting to cause physical harm to another person, or acting in a way that puts someone in fear of immediate bodily harm.
- Aggravated Assault: Assault that involves the use of a weapon or causes severe bodily injury.
- Robbery: Taking property from another person through force, violence, or intimidation.
- Homicide: Unlawfully causing the death of another person, which can be classified as first-degree murder, second-degree murder, voluntary manslaughter, or involuntary manslaughter.
- Rape and Sexual Assault: Forcing another person to engage in sexual acts against their will or without their consent.
- Kidnapping: Illegally restraining or abducting another person against their will.
- Domestic Violence: Any violent act or threat of violence against a family or household member, such as a spouse, partner, or relative.
- Carjacking: Using force or intimidation to steal a vehicle from its owner.
- Arson: Intentionally setting fire to property or structures.
Common Legal Defenses for Violent Crimes
Legal defenses to violent crimes are strategies used by defendants to challenge or negate their criminal charges. Your attorney could help you determine which defenses apply to your case and help you obtain the most favorable outcome in your case.
Here are some common legal defenses to violent crimes:
- Self-Defense: This defense asserts that the defendant used force against another person to protect themselves or others from imminent danger or harm. The force used must be reasonable and proportionate to the perceived threat.
- Defense of Others: Similar to self-defense, this defense argues that the defendant used force to protect someone else from immediate harm or danger.
- Defense of Property: This defense is applicable when the defendant used force to protect their property from being taken or damaged unlawfully. However, the use of force must be reasonable and not excessive.
- Insanity: The insanity defense is used when the defendant can demonstrate that they were legally insane at the time of the crime, meaning they were unable to understand the nature of their actions or distinguish right from wrong.
- Mistake of Fact: This defense asserts that the defendant committed the act in question but did so based on an honest and reasonable mistake of fact. For example, they believed they were defending themselves from an attack when the situation didn't warrant it.
- Alibi: The defendant claims that they were not present at the scene of the crime when it occurred, providing evidence or witnesses to support their claim.
- Duress: This defense argues that the defendant committed the crime under the threat of serious bodily harm or death, and they had no reasonable opportunity to avoid committing the offense.
- Necessity: The necessity defense applies when the defendant committed the crime to prevent a greater harm, such as saving lives during an emergency situation.
- Intoxication: Depending on the jurisdiction, voluntary intoxication may be a defense if it can be shown that the defendant was so intoxicated that they lacked the required intent to commit the crime.
- Entrapment: This defense is used when law enforcement officials induced the defendant to commit a crime they would not have otherwise committed.
- Consent: In cases of certain violent crimes, the defense may argue that the alleged victim consented to the act, negating the element of force or lack of consent.
What to Do if You've Been Charged with a Violent Crime
If you have been charged with a violent crime, you need to take action right away. Time is of the essence, and the sooner you retain our firm, the sooner we can get to work on your case. We will work to protect your rights, build strong defenses, and fight to get your charges dropped or reduced.