Regardless of whether you are facing misdemeanor or felony charges, it is important to hire the right criminal lawyer in Maryland. The wrong legal representation can cause all sorts of problems, from embarrassment to financial hardship.
A crime lawyer in Maryland can help you fight criminal charges by using a variety of legal defense strategies. These strategies can help you get your charges dismissed or lowered.
First Degree Assault
Assault is a common offense, and one that often results from heated exchanges. The state can charge you with first degree assault if you touched another person in a harmful or offensive manner without their consent, or if you created fear that such touching would occur.
As a felony, a conviction of first degree assault could carry prison time of up to 25 years. To convict you, the state must prove that you committed the assault with specific intent to cause a serious physical injury. Testimony from medical professionals can help determine the severity of the injuries.
Defenses for this type of case include self-defense and defense of others. If you acted in self-defense, your criminal lawyer may be able to argue that you believed that you or someone else was in immediate danger of severe harm and only used force necessary to protect yourself. Defenses for defense of others can also include a lack of intent or mistaken identity.
Performing risky acts without regard for the safety of others can result in a reckless endangerment charge. The state must prove that you engaged in conduct that presented a genuine threat of death to another person or that you discharged a firearm from a motor vehicle under circumstances indicating a depraved indifference to human life for you to be convicted of this offense.
The statute defines what constitutes reckless endangerment as a failure to take reasonable care to avoid causing an accident that creates a serious risk of death or severe injury. A conviction carries a maximum prison term of five years.
If you were arrested for reckless endangerment, contact a criminal defense lawyer right away. A skilled attorney could develop a strategy to fight your charges and minimize the impact they have on your life. Benjamin Herbst has handled numerous reckless endangerment cases and is ready to begin picking apart the prosecution’s case against you.
Intent to Commit an Assault
In Maryland, second degree assault is a serious crime that can result in 10 years of prison time and hefty fines. It covers a wide range of offenses that include offensive physical contact, attempted offensive physical contact (although not successful), and placing someone in fear of immediate bodily injury.
This charge is often accompanied by a felony conviction, so having an experienced lawyer on your side is a necessity. The prosecution has to prove that you assaulted the victim with intent to cause serious physical injury or death, as well as that you had a dangerous weapon when you committed the crime. The latter includes objects that are not designed as weapons but could cause significant damage, such as metal baseball bats, bricks, and sharp silverware. A defense strategy your attorney can use is self-defense or affirmative defense, which focuses on the idea that you used force proportionate to the threat at hand. A lack of intent can also be an effective defense.
Homicide is one of the most serious crimes that can be charged in Maryland. If you are under investigation or accused of murder, you need a crime lawyer that will treat your case as a top priority. It is important to ask about the attorney’s criminal defense experience and how many cases like yours he or she has handled. If the attorney does not give you a straight answer or seems to dodge the question, move on from that Avvo Choice winner.
Murder is broken down into two degrees under Maryland’s Criminal Code SS 2-201 and 2-204. First degree murder involves a killing that was deliberate, premeditated, and willful. It can be committed in a number of ways, including lying in wait, poisoning, and during the commission of certain other felonies.
Manslaughter, on the other hand, is defined as a killing without malice aforethought. Manslaughter can be committed in a variety of ways, including in the course of committing other crimes, or due to unforeseen circumstances like being provoked or defending yourself.