Baltimore Second Degree Assault

Have you been charged with assault second degree in Maryland and you have questions?  Second degree assault is a serious offense in Maryland that carries the possibility of jail, fines, and probation. Second degree assault laws can be found under Maryland Criminal Law Article §3-203. Call attorney Randolph Rice ay 410.288.2900 for immediate legal representation if you have been or believe you will be charged with assault.

Assault Second Degree Definition in Baltimore

Second degree assault in Maryland is defined as a battery or an attempted battery. For the purposes of understanding an assault in Maryland, there are three circumstances in which a person would be charged with assault.  Those are:

  1. Intent to frighten;
  2. Attempted battery; and
  3. Battery.

A person can be charged with second degree assault under either one of those circumstances. With each scenario, the State must prove you committed all of the elements of the crime for a Judge or jury to find you guilty.

What must the state prove to convict me of assault second degree?

Depending on which theory the State will try and convict you under, they must prove all elements of the crime.

Intent to Frighten

To prove that you committed an assault under the ‘Intent to Frighten’ theory, the State must prove:

  1. That you committed an act with the intent to place the victim in fear of immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm;
  2. That you had the apparent ability, at that time, to bring about offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
  3. That the victim reasonably feared immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
  4. That your actions were not legally justified.

Attempted Battery

For the State to prove that you committed an assault under the ‘Attempted Battery’ theory, they must prove:

  1. That you actually tried to cause immediate offensive physical contact with or physical harm to the victim;
  2. That you intended to bring about offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
  3. That your actions were not consented to by the victim or not legally justified.

Battery

For the State to prove that you committed an assault under the ‘Battery’ theory, they must prove:

  1. That you caused offensive physical contact with or physical harm to the victim;
  2. That the contact was the result of an intentional or reckless act by you and was not accidental; and
  3. That the contact was not consented to by the victim or not legally justified.

Can my spouse not testify against me in Court?

Yes, your spouse can choose to not testify against you in Court if you’ve been charged with second degree assault. However, there are some exception to this rule. Read more about marital privilege or spousal privilege in Maryland.  A couple of the main points are your spouse can only invoke this privilege once in Maryland and you must be married at the time of your trial date.

Assault Second Degree in Maryland

Is assault second degree a felony?

In Maryland, second degree assault is classified as both a misdemeanor and a felony.  To determine if you are charged with a felony or misdemeanor you must determine the classification of the victim and the injuries to that victim in the case.  If the victim is a ‘law enforcement officer’ and that law enforcement officer sustained ‘physical injury’ then you are facing a felony charge.  If the victim is not a law enforcement officer or is a law enforcement officer but did not sustain physical injury, then assault second degree is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland.

What is ‘Physical Injury’ for the purposes of second degree assault in Maryland?

Physical injury as defined in Maryland Criminal Law article §3-203 is any impairment of physical condition, excluding minor injuries. For example, a minor scratch or a simple wound that would only require minimal medical care may be considered a minor injury.  Whereas a serious injury like a broken bone or a permanent scar may be considered a physical injury.

Is assault second degree a misdemeanor?

Assault second degree is a misdemeanor in Maryland if the victim of the assault is not a law enforcement officer or is a law enforcement officer and did not sustain serious physical injury.

Is assault second degree assault a felony in Maryland?

Assault second degree assault is classified as a felony in Maryland if the victim is a law enforcement officer and that officer sustained physical injury as a result of the assault.

What is the definition of a law enforcement officer in Maryland?

A law enforcement officer is defined in Maryland under the Maryland Criminal Law article §3-201(c) as an individual who is in an official capacity is authorized by law to make arrests; and is a member of one of the following law enforcement agencies the Department of State Police, the Police Department of Baltimore City, the Baltimore City School Police Force, the Baltimore City Watershed Police Force, the police department, bureau, or force of a county, the police department, bureau, or force of a municipal corporation, the office of the sheriff of a county in Maryland, the police department, bureau, or force of a bicounty agency, the Maryland Transportation Authority Police, the police forces of the Department of Transportation, the police forces of the Department of Natural Resources, the Field Enforcement Bureau of the Comptroller’s Office, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City Police Force, the Crofton Police Department, the police force of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the police force of the Department of General Services, the police force of the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, the police forces of the University System of Maryland, the police force of Morgan State University, the office of State Fire Marshal, the Ocean Pines Police Department, the police force of the Baltimore City Community College, the police force of the Hagerstown Community College, the Internal Investigation Unit of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the Warrant Apprehension Unit of the Division of Parole and Probation in the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, the police force of the Anne Arundel Community College, a correctional officer at a correctional facility, or an officer employed by the WMATA Metro Transit Police

What are the Assault Second Degree Penalties in Maryland?

What is the second degree assault sentences in Maryland?

Misdemeanor Second Degree Assault

The sentences for second degree assault differ depending on whether you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor. If you are charged with a misdemeanor second degree assault in Maryland, the maximum sentence is imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500.00, or both. That means, if you are convicted of second degree assault in Maryland, the maximum sentence is 10 years in jail and or a $2,500.00 fine.

Felony Second Degree Assault

If you are charged and convicted of felony assault second degree in Maryland, the maximum sentence is 10 years imprisonment or a fine not exceeding $5,000.00 or both. Remember, this only applies if the victim of the assault is a law enforcement officer as define above and you cause physical injury to that law enforcement officer.

What is second degree assault of domestic violence?

In Maryland, there is no distinguishing factors that are imposed as a result of the assault be domestic violence related. This merely refers to the victim having some sort of relationship to the alleged defendant.

What is the penalty for assault second degree in Maryland?

What are the typical sentences for a second degree assault in Maryland?

Typical sentences for second degree assault in Maryland vary depending on the defendant’s record, prior contacts with the justice system, the seriousness of the injury to the victim and many other factors the Judge may consider. Some defendants, after being convicted of assault, will receive a probation before judgment.  This means the defendant has not been convicted but will likely be required to complete probation and possibly some type of class or treatment. However, serious offenses that result in injury to the victim can cause the defendant to spend considerable time in jail.

2nd degree assault first offense

There is no guarantee that a first offense of second degree assault will result in jail or probation before judgment.  It all depends on the type of assault and the injury to the victims. The assistance of counsel is important if you’ve been charged with assault because your lawyer can cross-examine the State’s witness to determine if you actually did commit an assault.

If you’ve been charged with assault second degree in Maryland, contact attorney Randolph Rice at 410.288.2900. Randolph Rice is a former Assistant State’s Attorney and has defended hundreds of clients charged with assault in Maryland.

Featured Testimonial

"Last year, while visiting the Baltimore area, I was involved in a “Bar Fight” which ended unfavorable for me. I was charged with 2nd Degree Assault which can lead to imprisonment of up to 10 years. As a successful Business Manager, I was devastated and had never felt so lost in a city unknown to me. After being detained overnight I contacted the law office of Mr. Randolph Rice. He not only counseled me about the laws of the state of Maryland but mentally too as I suffer from anxiety. My case finally went to court and ended with a complete dismissal. Throughout the 6 month wait to go to court he answered every email or voice mail I sent. If you are reading this review you are most likely in need of legal assistance. Search no further!"
Reviewing: Maryland Assault Defense Attorney
Date published: 2015-10-14
Rating: ★★★★★ 5 / 5 stars
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