Maryland Aggravated Assault Lawyer

Aggravated assault is a violent attack with enhanced characteristics of crime that elevates its vicious nature. The statute defines this kind of conduct as extreme indifference to human life where a person engages in behavior that creates either a grave risk of serious harm or causes severe bodily injury.

Unlike simple assault, for law enforcement to charge someone with aggravated assault, there must be evidence of serious injuries, and the person must act in a manner that was extreme enough to cause further severe bodily harm or consequences to the alleged victim.

If you have been accused of harming someone in a violent attack, contact a Maryland aggravated assault lawyer immediately to start building a case in your defense. A skilled assault attorney could assess the circumstances of your case and work to minimize the consequences you may be facing.

The Role of Knowledge or Intent Aggravated Assault Cases

Knowledge and intent are critical in an aggravated assault case because state law requires a prosecutor to prove that an accused individual intentionally or knowingly engaged in conduct which created a grave risk of serious bodily injury to the plaintiff to get a conviction. Simply put, if a defendant was ignorant of the consequences of their actions at the time of the alleged assault, a seasoned defense attorney could argue that there was no way for them to know that their actions could result in serious bodily injury and, therefore, that they should not be convicted.

However, the behavior in question does not have to be intended to injure a specific person for a prosecutor to present a valid case, such as if the defendant was alleged to be shooting bullets into an open field where there may be people. Even if they were not aiming for a specific person, this reckless act could clearly cause death or serious bodily injury, which might constitute aggravated assault. A Maryland aggravated assault attorney could help a defendant build a defense based on a lack of intent or knowledge.

Serious Bodily Injuries

Additionally, for someone to be convicted of aggravated assault, they must inflict significant, life-threatening injury. State law defines serious bodily injury as the harm that involves the substantial risk of death, unconsciousness, extreme physical pain, disfigurement, or prolonged loss or impairment of a function of a body part, organ, or mental faculty.

It is imperative to note that while the definitions overlap, serious bodily injuries are not necessarily catastrophic injuries. Catastrophic injury is a term that comes from civil law and its definition implies long-term impairment that can involve permanent disabilities of some degree, whether it is mental or physical. Serious bodily injury, however, does not require permanency for harm of any kind to fall under its definition.

Penalties and Long-Term Consequences

In Maryland, aggravated assault is considered a felony with a maximum penalty of 25 years in prison. Once someone serves their jail sentence, their penalties may also involve a serious and long term of probation.

Additionally, an aggravated assault conviction may not be expunged, sealed, or removed from an individual’s criminal record, which may have a significant impact throughout the rest of that person’s life. For instance, every job application, housing application, application for professional licensing, and background check may include someone’s criminal record, which could impact their ability to move forward.

An aggravated assault conviction also may affect someone’s ability to receive federal and local funds for education, public benefits, or housing. Because these consequences can be severe, an accused individual should consult a Maryland lawyer who has experience litigating aggravated assault cases if they are facing these charges.

Assault with a Deadly Weapon

Assault with a deadly weapon is another type of crime that involves an elevated violent attack. This offense is also considered a felony and involves someone using a weapon to endanger another person and put them at risk of bodily harm.

State law defines a dangerous weapon as any object that is designed to be or could be used to threaten or cause serious bodily injury or death. Some common examples of deadly weapons may include guns, knives, or swords. However, this definition also includes objects that are not designed as weapons but could still cause significant damage. For example, metal baseball bats, bricks, and sharp silverware could all potentially cause serious harm.

Contact a Maryland Aggravated Assault Attorney

If you have been accused of violently attacking someone, you should speak with a Maryland aggravated assault lawyer immediately. The consequences of an assault conviction could last a lifetime, but a legal representative could work to reduce those penalties. To learn what legal counsel could do for you, call today.

Maryland Assault Lawyer