1st (First) degree assault cases can be complicated and difficult to litigate and defend. 1st-degree assault charges are strongly pursued by law enforcement and the state’s attorney for the jurisdiction in which the crime allegedly occurred, particularly in cases that involve domestic violence in which the assault occurred with an underlying relationship between the victim and the accused assailant.
If you are searching for a lawyer to defend you or a loved one against assault charges, call the office today at (410) 694-7291 to speak in a free initial consultation with an experienced Baltimore, MD assault attorney or visit our contact page for email options.
First-Degree Assault Defined
First-degree assault is a crime where the state alleges the defendant intentionally or attempted to cause serious physical injury to another person. It is considered a first-degree assault any time a firearm is used in an assault. The crime of first-degree assault can be found under Maryland Criminal Law 3-202.
The act of assaulting another person in the state of Maryland can be charged as either a felony or misdemeanor depending on the severity and evidence of the case. However, first-degree assault is defined as a felony in Maryland, with the maximum penalty if you are convicted of first-degree assault in Maryland being twenty-five years of jail time.
Statute of Limitations for First-Degree Assault in Baltimore, MD
Since 1st-degree assault is classified as a felony in Maryland, there is no statute of limitations. That means the State may charge the defendant at any time during the life of the defendant.
Common Assault Crimes in Maryland
If you’ve been charged with assault, there is likely defense to the crime. Maryland assault lawyer Randolph Rice has defended hundreds of clients charged with first-degree assault in Maryland. He’s used such defenses as “self-defense” and “defense of others” to help his clients in court.
The goal in almost every case is to avoid jail, fines and probation by winning with a “not guilty” verdict. Usually, assault cases require the victim to testify. The court will need to determine the credibility of that witness. Since assault charges are very technical and rely on substantial evidence to prove, there are various defenses that can be presented to increase the likelihood of success at trial.
Reckless endangerment, though not considered assault, is conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury to another person. It is not necessary for the state to prove the defendant had the intention to do harm but acted in careless disregard.
Reckless Endangerment in Maryland is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland. The crime of reckless endangerment is defined in Maryland Criminal Law 3-204. The maximum penalty, if convicted, for reckless endangerment in Maryland is five years.
How to Handle a First-Degree Assault in Maryland
It may be tempting to tell your side of the altercation to law enforcement officers during an arrest. Remember that using your right to remain silent until legal counsel arrives may help you in the long run. Any time a person is arrested and charged with assault it is critical that they obtain help from an experienced criminal defense attorney, like Randolph Rice, right away. The right attorney will guide you through the legal process and work to create the best possible results.
If you are charged with assault in Maryland, there are a number of steps you should take to protect your legal rights.
- Speak with a lawyer as soon as possible to assess the situation and determine the best defense for your case. A lawyer will be able to give you advice on what you should and should not do pending the trial.
- Don’t talk to the victim or person that filed the charges against you. This is probably a condition of your pre-trial release, so you should not speak with or contact the person that has filed the charges against you.
- Do not post anything about your case on social media or the internet. Information about your case could be used against you at trial. You may be providing more evidence against yourself.
- If you were assaulted, you should file charges against the person that assaulted you. It is not uncommon for the police to arrest only one person after an alleged assault. However, you may have been a victim as well. You should contact the police or visit a commissioner’s office to file cross charges.
First-Degree Assault Trials in Maryland
If you’ve been charged with first-degree assault in Maryland, you should consult and retain an experienced Maryland assault lawyer. Most individuals charged with assault in Maryland have questions about the trial. If charged with first-degree assault in Maryland, the trial date will be scheduled in one of the District Courts for the jurisdiction where the incident occurred.
The clerk’s offices will set the trial date between 30 and 90 days after the alleged event in a District Court. This is because the prosecutor or State’s Attorney in the case typically likes to talk to the victim who is alleged to have been assaulted. Oftentimes a prosecutor will want to speak in person to the alleged victim and get a feel for the allegations and the evidence they may testify to at trial.
When approaching the trial date for a first-degree assault charge in Maryland, it is not uncommon to not know what will happen until you arrive at court. Your lawyer will certainly prepare for all potential outcomes, including trial. However, there is an exception to every rule. In serious cases or complicated cases, the prosecutor may try to make a decision prior to the trial date. The prosecutor and the defense attorney we’ll talk or meet prior to the trial day to determine the direction of the case.
Obviously, the defense attorney is trying to have the charges dropped or nolle prosequi. Or the defense attorney is trying to convince the state’s attorney to enter a stet. In some cases, the attorney may be attempting to negotiate a plea or preparing for a trial before a district court judge.
Probation for First-Degree Assault in Maryland
In addition to facing possible time in jail or prison, District Court and Circuit Court Judges in the state of Maryland can place you on a period of probation from One (1) day to Five (5) years (maximum period of probation for District Court is limited to 3 years). Probation may require you to check-in with a Maryland Parole and Probation agent daily, weekly, monthly or on a bi-monthly basis.
Probation may also be supervised or unsupervised and that will be decided by the Judge that the case is heard before. Supervised probation requires your presence at one of the many parole and probation offices located around the state of Maryland. Limited probation or unsupervised probation may only require an occasional phone call to a probation agent or no contact at all with parole and probation.
Baltimore, MD First-Degree Assault Defense Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you have been charged or arrested with 1st-degree assault in Maryland, you need an experienced, skilled, trusted, and knowledgeable assault criminal defense attorney. Without the assistance and help of an experienced attorney, you have little chance of winning your case if it goes to trial. At Rice, Murtha & Psoras, we will conduct a thorough investigation of your case. We have the ability to investigate the witnesses and victims of each assault case in Maryland.
Our office will subpoena and summons the needed witnesses to best defend your case. We will formulate the most appropriate argument for your assault defense and ensure that the Judge or jury hear the facts as they really happened. Don’t go to court alone. A criminal conviction can affect the rest of your life. You could spend years in jail, pay expensive fines,
Call Attorney Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 to schedule a free criminal defense consultation. We have years of experience and have helped thousands of client, let our experience got to work for you in the courtroom.