Articles Posted in Assault

As an Aggressive and Experienced Criminal Defense Attorney and former Assistant State’s Attorney, I have prosecuted and defended well over a thousand First and Second Degree Assault Cases. These serious cases can carry substantial penalties to include lengthy jail sentences upon conviction – particularly when a serious injury is involved. The maximum penalties are 25 years and 10 years respectively. Many people are shocked to learn that second degree assault carries such a long jail sentence in spite of it being a misdemeanor.

I recently secured an acquittal for a Maryland school teacher who was charged in such as case. The incident, which I will describe below, resulted in the alleged victim sustaining a traumatic brain injury and was charged as a First Degree Assault. Needless to say, given the serious injury to the victim, the State was aggressively prosecuting the case. He are the facts:
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As a Baltimore Maryland Criminal Attorney, I regularly represent defendants who are charged with Assault in the First Degree and Assault in the Second Degree. These are extremely serious offenses under Maryland Law carrying maximum sentences of 25 year for the felony and up to 10 years for the misdemeanor charge.

As I have discussed in previous blogs, it is a common misperception amongst many of my clients that the doctrine of self defense is not recognized under Maryland Law. This is simply untrue. The doctrines of self-defense, and its close cousin, “defense of others”, are recognized in Maryland as well as every other State in the Union. In fact, I successfully defended a client in Baltimore City District Court utilizing both of these defenses just last week. My client was charged with Second Degree Assault resulting from an altercation he had with another motorist after a traffic incident. Here are the facts:
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Assault Cases are among the most common cases Aggressive Maryland Criminal Defense Attorneys handle. These are among the most serious cases that we see, particularly when the case involves significant injury or a vulnerable victim. The maximum penalty for just misdemeanor Assault, known as Second Degree Assault is a whopping 10 years! Of course people do not often the maximum penalty for this crime, but people are regularly incarcerated for assault cases in Maryland.

I had a case in Baltimore County last week involving a fight between two women. Prison was a distinct possibility for my client in the event of a conviction as the so called victim in the case was both seriously injured and at least claimed to be a vulnerable victim. Here are the facts of the case.
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I have blogged my times about the need to hire and Experienced and Aggressive Criminal Attorney if charged with a criminal offense in Maryland. I usually begin these blogs by positing the question, “Did you hire the right lawyer”. The reason for this is that so many people do not inquire into the experience and qualifications of an attorney before hiring him or her. Sometimes the lack of qualifications is a basic as the lawyer is simply not a criminal attorney but instead is a divorce lawyer or a personal injury lawyer. Sometimes it is lack of experience in a particular type of case or in the jurisdiction in which the defendant is charged.

Hiring the wrong lawyer is obviously a mistake regardless of the type of case at issue, but in a criminal case, the mistake can cause lifelong negative consequences. Unfortunately I witness this happening in court virtually everyday. I recently resolved an assault case that is a good example of this. Here are the facts:
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As an Aggressive Baltimore Maryland Criminal Attorney, I have successfully defended hundreds of individuals who have been charged with assaulting police officers. The garden variety assault on a police officer case usually involves a defendant who is being arrested for another reason and the police officer claims that the defendant resisted that arrest and assaulted the officer in the process. These cases are usually relatively easy to deal with so long as the police officer was not seriously injured as most judges are aware of the tendency to exaggerate these incidents by the police.

I successfully defended a client who has charged in a not so typical assault on a police officer in the Circuit Court for Baltimore City this past week. The client was found not guilty in spite of the fact that my client had in fact punched a police officer who was sitting on a bar stool in a bar and the fact that the entire incident was caught on the establishment’s security video system. Here are the facts:
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As a Baltimore Maryland Criminal Attorney/Lawyer I have blogged many times on the issue of choosing the right lawyer for a given case. In criminal matters, it is particularly important to research the background of an attorney before hiring him or her to represent you given the high stakes that are generally involved in criminal cases. Unfortunately, many if not most people do not do any research into the background or experience level of an attorney before hiring him and this can often lead to catastrophic results for the client.

As I have noted in the past, it is important in most cases to ensure that the attorney is both experienced in criminal matters and that the attorney appears regularly in the jurisdiction in which the person is charged. This information is easy to acquire simply by reviewing the attorney’s case load on Maryland Judiciary Case Search. Most mistakes that criminal defendants’ make when selecting an attorney involve the first parameter – that is, not ensuring that the attorney is experienced in criminal matters- but the second parameter – experience in the jurisdiction in which a person is charged – can be equally important. I resolved a case last week that illustrates the importance of this second and oft overlooked component of an attorney’s qualification to handle a particular case. The facts in a moment but first some more general discussion about attorney qualifications.
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Maryland Criminal Attorneys/Lawyers are often called upon to defend people in cases involving assaults on police officers and in matters involving perverted practice charges. Rarely are we called upon to represent someone charged with both of these offenses in the same case. I had such a case in Baltimore County District Court this week. The facts of the case are really quite humorous, although until this week when the cases were stetted, my client’s failed to see the humor.

My client’s are a married couple whom I will refer to as John and Jane in this blog to protect their privacy. John is in his early forties and Jane, who never took his last name, is in her mid fifties. Neither has ever been in any trouble with the law in their lives. John is in the printing business and Jane has been a school teacher for 30 years. They have been happily married for about 15 years.
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As a Maryland Criminal Lawyer/Attorney I often counsel people that they must ” win the race to the courthouse”. What I mean by that is very often inexperienced or inept prosecutors will reflexively side with whomever earns the title “victim” (actually it is really complaining witness) by winning the race to the courthouse to file charges. The typical example is a bar fight or an altercation at some other location that is broken up or otherwise ceases prior to police arriving on the scene. Unless a weapon was used or someone was seriously injured, the police do not have the legal authority to make an arrest. This is because without a weapon or serious injury the only crime would that could be charged is second degree assault which is a misdemeanor in Maryland. The police can only arrest in misdemeanor cases if they actually witness the events. Otherwise, the police are supposed to simply write a report and advise the combatants as to the procedures for filing charges against one another.

I had a case like this in Carroll County earlier this week. The facts were that our client was riding his motorcycle and he got caught behind a slow moving tractor trailer. He rode behind the truck for between 2 to 3 miles and a line of cars developed behind my client. Although there were several places where the driver of the truck could have moved partially onto the shoulder to allow our client and the other cars to pass, he never did so. Needless to say, our client began to get impatient.
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Maryland Criminal Lawyers/Attorneys are often called upon to defend people who are charged with Assault or Child Abuse as a result of incidents of parental discipline with their children. I have blogged about this issue in the past but it is worth repeating that prosecutors and police are far more aggressive today in terms of initiating criminal prosecutions in cases that were traditionally viewed as legitimate parental discipline.

My case last week in Prince Georges’ County Maryland involved an incident between my client and his 14 year old son at a restaurant. The facts were that my client’s son was graduating from middle school this past June. Originally the ceremony was scheduled to take place at 3:00pm. However a change in the time was made by the school a few weeks prior to the scheduled date. The time was moved up to 1:00pm. My client’s estranged wife, with whom my he is currently entrenched in a bitter custody dispute, decided not to pass this information on to my client and as a result he missed the graduation.
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As a Maryland Criminal Lawyer/Attorney I frequently handle cases involving Domestic Violence Assaults. I was hired yesterday to represent an individual who is charged with a domestic violence second degree assault. He was arrested on Monday and then taken to the Court Commission who set the bail at $25,000. Unfortunately, his family did not get him bailed out prior to his bail review the next morning. Many people are not aware but a Judge can not only decrease a person’s bail at the bail review, the judge can also INCREASE THE BAIL.

This is exactly what happened in this particular case. The judge not only increased his bail, she ordered him to be held without bail. This is the second time that I have seen this happen in the last few weeks on relatively minor cases. I blogged about a client who was ordered to be held without bail by a judge in a DUI/DWI case last week in Baltimore City District Court. As in that case the client’s only option is to file a petition for habeas corpus bail review in the Circuit Court for Baltimore County and try to convince a Circuit Court Judge that holding a person who is charged with a misdemeanor assault without bail is unreasonable and amounted to an abuse of the District Court Judge’s discretion, which I certainly think is the case here.

However, these motions take at least a week to get into court so even if we are successful in getting the bail reduced, which I believe we will be, the client will have to remain in jail for that week. This may cause him to lose his job or have other serious consequences for him. This case is yet another example of why people who are charged with criminal or serious traffic charges need to get representation as soon as they are arrested so their rights can be protected. An experienced Maryland Criminal Lawyer would likely have been able to have prevented the bail from being revoked in this case which would have saved this individual from spending a week or more in prison on a case in which he is unlikely to be incarcerated even if convicted.

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