Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Charged with Assault in Maryland --Three Things You Need to Know Before Talking to a Lawyer

1.     Don't bring your friends to your meeting with the attorney.
  • This should go without saying in any type of case, but especially in an assault case if your friends were at the scene of the alleged assault, or were involved in any way.  
  • If you and some of your friends or acquaintances are all charged in an assault, don't make the mistake of thinking you're all "in this together."
  • Why?  Your best defense might be that the real perpetrators of the assault were the other individuals there, not you.  Or, that you were just trying to break up a fight that was being instigated by someone else.
  • Two: The attorney, if he knows what he's doing, won't have a meeting with both of you, because he knows there's a conflict.  One of you will get sent home and you don't want that person to be you.

2.     Assault is a very serious charge in Maryland.  Don't take it lightly.
  • First degree assault is a felony and punishable by up to 25 years in prison. 
  • Second degree assault, which is the more common form of assault charge we see, is a misdemeanor - but still punishable by 10 years in prison and a $2,500 fine.
  • A first degree assault conviction requires proof that you intended to cause serious bodily harm to the victim. On the other hand, you can be convicted of second degree assault for what the law calls an "offensive touching" or for simply putting someone in fear of bodily harm.  Relatively minor altercations and disputes can easily result in assault charges.

3.     Don't just assume your case will be dropped without a fight.

  • It's really common for people charged with assault to be convinced that there's no way the alleged victim is going to show up in court, and then lo and behold, they appear in court ready for trial.
  • I don't care what you think about the alleged victim's credibility, the State is going to take their allegations seriously.
  • You might have to go through an entire trial to prove your innocence.  You do not want to be caught without any attorney in this situation.
If you have been charged with a crime in Maryland, call us today to speak to one our experienced Maryland criminal defense attorneys for a free consultation or if you would like more information please feel free to contact our office at (301) 854-9000 and schedule an appointment at our office in Baltimore or throughout Maryland, or visit us on the web at http://www.portnerandshure.com/Maryland-Criminal-Defense/

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