Assault charges carry heavy penalties in Maryland. You risk years in prison if convicted, depending on the nature of your charges and the circumstances of your offense. For instance, assault in the first degree carries up to 25 years in prison.
Therefore, it helps to mount a formidable defense against such charges to avoid the potential legal consequences. Below are some common defenses to violent crimes like assault and battery.
Everyone has a right of self-defense, and you can legally use force to protect yourself, your property or others from imminent harm. However, for your self-defense claim to stand, the threat to your life or safety must have been in immediate or imminent danger, and the magnitude of your response must have been relative to the threat.
You may use consent in your defense if an individual voluntarily consented to a particular act on which your charges are based.
Lack of mental capacity
If you did not act knowingly, recklessly or intentionally when committing the offense, you could assert a lack of mental capacity. With a lack of mental capacity defense, you do not refute that your actions were unlawful. However, you argue a lack of culpability due to a mental illness.
Get legal help with your criminal case
The defenses above may seem pretty straightforward, but arguing them in court is not as easy. The prosecution will also be ready to respond to any assertions in your defense, which is why you need to be well-prepared.
It helps to have an experienced assessment of the facts of your case to determine the best defense strategy that works for your assault charges. It could make a huge difference and increase the chances of getting a favorable verdict.