First responders arrive at chaotic scenes frequently. The prompt arrival of firefighters and paramedics to an emergency could save a person’s life. Chaos and confusion at the scene might lead to confrontations and first responders could become the unfortunate victims of an assault. In Maryland, lawmakers decided to increase the penalties for those who assault first responders.
Tougher sentencing for those who attack first responders
In Maryland, anyone who causes physical injury to another person with clear intent could face assault charges. So might someone who attempts to hurt someone physically. Punching or kicking another person may lead to assault charges.
When a first responder attempts to treat someone, the person could become violent and headbutt the first responder. Assault charges could follow after a deliberate attack.
Under Maryland law, anyone who assaults a first responder could face felony charges of assault in the second degree. The maximum penalties are up to 10 years in prison and $5,000 in fines. The statute also extends to police officers and probation and parole officers.
Defending the assault charges
Although someone could face charges of assaulting a first responder, the facts may tell a different story. An accidental headbutt by a semi-conscious accident victim might cause injury, but the intent doesn’t appear to exist. Still, an arrest for the incident could occur. Providing criminal defense evidence that supports the accidental nature of the headbutt may lead to charges being dropped.
Pleading guilty to lesser or fewer charges might be preferable to someone who struck or attacked a first responder. Leniency at sentencing may be an option. The court could review all the facts in the case before rendering a sentence.