Carroll County Assault Lawyer
Assault is a serious crime in Maryland. While Maryland Criminal law on assault is complex – with the exact type of assault depending on the circumstances and the identity of the alleged victim (among other factors), the punishments for being convicted of assault in Maryland are all severe and could result in prison time. If you have been charged with assault, then it is important to reach out to a Carroll County assault lawyer who can help advise you on your legal options. Speak with a skilled criminal attorney as soon as you can.
How Does Maryland Define Assault or Battery?
In Maryland, a person will commit assault if the individual commits the common law crimes of assault, battery, or assault and battery. Therefore, if a person physically harms (or, in some cases, threatens to harm) another person then he or she has committed assault.
Like most other states, the Maryland Criminal Code breaks assault down into two degrees which largely determine the severity of the crime. To be convicted of the crime of assault in Maryland, then the prosecution will be required to prove beyond a reasonable doubt each element of the crime.
Difference Between First and Second-Degree Assault
Assault in the first degree is a more serious crime than a second-degree assault. A person convicted of first-degree assault could face up 25 years in prison. Under Section 3-202 of the Maryland Criminal Code, an assault will be categorized as a first-degree assault in two situations:
- If the person commits the assault with the use of a firearm
- If the assault cause (or is likely to cause) serious physical injury
Defining Serious Injury
As a Carroll County assault lawyer knows, the Maryland Criminal Code defines serious physical injury as creating a substantial risk of death or permanent harm. Assault in the second degree is basically all other assaults. Under Section 3-203 of the Maryland Criminal Code, assault in the second degree is a misdemeanor – although, a serious one that carries a fine of up to $2,500, up to ten years of imprisonment, or both.
A second-degree assault on a police officer will carry more serious consequences. A person who has been convicted of assault in the second degree against a police officer in Maryland could be imprisoned for up to ten years, receive a fine of up to $5,000, or both. Unlike other second-degree assaults, a second-degree assault against a police officer is a felony.
Am I Guilty of Assault in Maryland if I was Defending Myself?
Many assault charges stem from fights and therefore many people who are charged with assault were defending themselves. Maryland law recognizes an individual’s right to defend himself or herself. Therefore, even if the prosecution proves all the elements of the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, a person will still not be found guilty of assault if they can prove the following:
- The individual actually believed they were in immediate danger of bodily harm
- They had reasonable beliefs
- They did not use any more force than reasonably necessary to defend themselves
Because the consequences of an assault conviction in Maryland can result in imprisonment of up to 25 years, it is important to reach out to a knowledgeable attorney in the local area. A Carroll County assault lawyer will be able to advise anyone charged with assault about their legal options and answer any possible questions.