Aggravated Assault

Aggravated AssaultAggravated assault is not a separate crime that is defined in the criminal laws of the state.  Rather, it is a crime that is classified by the Maryland State Police as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.  If you are arrested for assault in Maryland, and there is an injury, a police officer may write on the statement of the charges that an aggravated assault took place.  It would then be up to the prosecuting lawyer the file a specific assault charge.  Aggravated assault will typically end up being filed as a first degree assault, which is a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.  If you have been arrested for aggravated assault, or charged with first degree assault the stakes are extremely high, and you should contact an experienced assault lawyer immediately.  In most aggravated assault cases there are two sides to the story, the victim’s side, and the defendant’s side.  Unfortunately, police often only believe the victim’s side of the story to justify their decision to make an arrest.  Even if a defendant is not injured, he or she may have a complete legal defense to the crime.  Contact an assault lawyer in Maryland for a free consultation about your assault charge, and an explanation about which legal defenses may be available to you.

The Maryland Uniform Crime Report published by the Maryland State Police keeps detailed yearly crime statistics, and aggravated assault is one of the crimes that is studied.  Aggravated assault is the most common violent crime in Maryland, accounting for 60 percent of reported incidents of violent crime per year.  The other 40 percent of violent crimes include robbery, murder, and rape.  Each year in Maryland almost 20 thousand aggravated assaults are reported each year with close to 70 percent of these cases ending up in an arrest or clearance by state police departments.  The clearance rate, which is a case where police determine the suspect, for aggravated assault is much higher than most other reported crimes in Maryland.  The arrest rate is higher as well, with about 40 percent of aggravated assault cases ending up in an arrest.  Simple assaults, which typically end up being charged as assault in the second degree are far more common, with around 55 thousand reported each year.  According to the crime report, about 15 percent of aggravated assaults involved firearms and 25 percent involved knives or other cutting instruments.  The use of these deadly weapons, and especially firearms could result in additional charges and or minimum mandatory jail sentences in addition to punishments for aggravated assault.  Only 25 percent of these cases in Maryland did not involve the use of some sort of object or weapon.

Aggravated assault is an extremely serious charge in Maryland, and a defendant charged with first degree assault or even second degree assault could end up being sentenced to a considerable amount of jail time.  In addition, the collateral consequences of being convicted of a violent crime or felony could have a severe impact on a person’s future.  It is important to hire an experienced lawyer if you have been charged or are being investigated for this charge.  Benjamin Herbst has experience defending serious aggravated assault charges, including a recent jury trial where his client was facing 25 years in prison, and was found not guilty on all counts and acquitted.  Mr. Herbst is available 24 hours a day at 410-207-2598 to discuss your criminal case.
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