Maryland Assault Lawyer
First and second degree assault charges in Maryland are serious. Contact an experienced Maryland assault lawyer to learn more the steps you and an attorney can take to protect your freedom and record.
Maryland assault charges are sometimes the result of a random, unprovoked attack, but most frequently, this type of charge comes after a dispute or altercation. In these cases, the victim is frequently difficult to identify by law enforcement due to conflicting versions of events and the varying degrees of injuries. The person arrested may not be the instigator and may have been acting in self defense, but without context for the altercation or corroborating witness statements, police make an arrest based on their best judgment in evaluating conflicting stories by the involved parties. If you have been charged, your first step in building a strong defense is to contact a skilled Maryland assault lawyer.
How Does Maryland Handle Assault?
Assault includes not only intentional physical contact without the consent of the victim, but also attempted contact or the threat of intentional assault. In Maryland, there are two types of assault with which an individual may be charged: second degree and first degree. Second degree is penalized by up to ten (10) years incarceration. First degree assault is characterized by the use of a weapon, or by serious injury or attempted serious injury to the victim, and is punishable by up to twenty-five (25) years behind bars. With the assistance of an assault attorney, you can fight your charge and avoid the life- altering consequences of conviction.
Misdemeanor assault cases are generally heard at the district court in the county where you were charged.
The terms used by the state of Maryland to define these various crimes can be confusing. The best way to ensure that you have a total and complete understanding of the charges that you are facing is to contact an assault attorney that can help lead you through the entire judicial process. You don’t have to go through this alone. Let a Maryland assault lawyer help you understand the challenge lying before you, and the best ways to obtain a positive result.
To speak with attorney Seth Okin about your second degree or first degree assault case, call (410) 782-0742 for a free consultation.
How Is First Degree Assault Treated?
First-degree is a felony because it involves firearms, and / or involves the offender inflicting or attempting to inflict serious physical injury. In this case, serious physical injury is defined as an injury creating substantial risk of death or permanent harm.
Maryland law defines first degree assault as:
- Intentionally causing, or attempting to cause, serious physical injury to another
- Committing an assault with a firearm, including a handgun, antique firearm, rifle, shotgun, short-barreled shotgun, or short-barreled rifle
- The law states that a person who is found “guilty of the felony of assault in the first degree . . . is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 25 years.”
- Second degree assault in Maryland is defined as: the intentional creation (with something other than words), of a reasonable fear in the mind of the victim that they are about to encounter bodily harm.
Second Degree Assault
An example of second degree assault in Maryland could be swinging a baseball bat at a victim, or attempting to punch them. It’s important to remember that it means the victim reasonably feels threatened. Therefore, the perpetrator’s mindset is irrelevant – only the victim’s mindset is taken into account.
The term “assault” is sometimes heard with “battery.” Battery” means offensively touching someone without their permission. But in Maryland, “battery” is combined with “assault,” so that the former term means both touching and placing someone in a state of fear.
According to Section 3-203 of the Maryland code, the maximum sentence for second-degree is 10 years in prison and a fine not to exceed $2,500, or a combination of both. The potential fine someone faces doubles if the victim is a police officer or other member of the law enforcement community. That list also includes a parole or probation agent that is trying to do their job at the time. The penalties for this type of crime are serious; please contact a Maryland assault lawyer immediately if you have been charged with any of these crimes to begin establishing a strong defense strategy.