Have you been charged with second degree assault in Maryland? Criminal charges are serious and may result in substantial jail time. Without the assistance of an experienced defense lawyer, you may be facing jail, probation, fines and court costs. If you have been charged, speak with our Maryland second degree assault lawyer today and learn how we can help defend you.
Second-degree assault laws can be found under Maryland Criminal Law Article §3-203. Call attorney Randolph Rice at (410) 694-7291 for immediate legal representation if you have been or believe you will be charged with assault.
Under the Maryland statute, it is a crime to commit a second-degree assault. 2nd-degree assault is classified as a crime against a person. For an assault to be charged, there must be a victim that was assaulted in the 2nd degree. Maryland second degree assault lawyer Randolph Rice explains everything you need to know about an assault in Maryland.
How is 2nd Degree Assault Defined Under Maryland Law?
2nd degree assault is the lesser offense of assault and battery. It is a criminal charge a person can face if they make touch or attempt to touch another person without legal justification or permission. Touch can take on various forms, such as hit, punch, spit on, slap, smack or make any other type of contact or attempted contact with another person.
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:
- Intent to frighten;
- Attempted battery; and
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.
Is Second Degree Assault a Felony in Maryland?
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.
- 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.
- 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 a serious physical injury.
What is the Penalty for Second Degree Assault in Maryland?
The maximum penalty for second degree assault in Maryland is 10 years. However, the fines can vary depending on the victim and injuries in the case.
- If the victim is not a law enforcement officer, then the maximum penalty for 2nd degree assault in Maryland is 10 years in jail and/or a $2,500.00 fine.
- If the victim is a law enforcement officer that sustained serious injury, then the maximum penalty for 2nd degree assault in Maryland is 10 years in jail and/or a $5,000.00 fine.
The amount of jail time you may receive for second degree assault in Maryland varies based on the facts and outcome in the case. If the defendant is found not guilty, the State dismisses the charges or a Stet is entered, then the defendant will not receive jail time for the assault.
If the defendant is found guilty or receives probation before judgment (PBJ), then the Court may sentence the defendant up to 10 years in jail. While it is hard to say how much time a person will receive for 2nd-degree assault as it varies from Judge to Judge and depends on the facts and injuries in the case. Another factor that is considered is the criminal record of the defendant. A person with no criminal record has a better chance or receiving little to no jail time compared to someone with a criminal past.
A person convicted of second degree can to jail. The length of the sentence imposed will vary based on the offender’s criminal history and the facts of the assault, including the extent of the injuries to the victim.
Difference Between First and Second Degree Assault in Maryland
The difference between 1st and 2nd degree assault in Maryland are
- Maximum penalties, and
- The elements that must be proven by the State.
First degree assault maximum penalty is 25 years in prison whereas as the maximum penalty for 2nd degree assault is 10 years in jail.
For the State to prove a 1st degree assault, they must first provide enough evidence that a second degree assault occurred and that a firearm was used to commit the assault or that the defendant (the person charged) intended to cause serious physical injury in the commission of the assault.
Can a Second Degree Assault Be Expunged in Maryland?
Yes, a second degree assault can be expunged in Maryland, but it depends on the outcome. Nolle prosequi, Stet, dismissal, and PBJ can be expunged but may take up to 3 years to complete. A guilty finding may be expunged, but the defendant may have to wait 15 years from the end of the probation period to expunge the conviction. If you want to have an assault expunged, talk to an expungement lawyer today.
Types of Second Degree Assault in Maryland?
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:
- That you committed an act with the intent to place the victim in fear of immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm;
- That you had the apparent ability, at that time, to bring about offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
- That the victim reasonably feared immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
- That your actions were not legally justified.
For the State to prove that you committed an assault under the ‘Attempted Battery’ theory, they must prove:
- That you actually tried to cause immediate offensive physical contact with or physical harm to the victim;
- That you intended to bring about offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
- That your actions were not consented to by the victim or not legally justified.
For the State to prove that you committed an assault under the ‘Battery’ theory, they must prove:
- That you caused offensive physical contact with or physical harm to the victim;
- That the contact was the result of an intentional or reckless act by you and was not accidental; and
- That the contact was not consented to by the victim or not legally justified.
Maryland Second Degree Assault Lawyers Offering Free Consultations
If you’re facing an assault charge or charges in Maryland, speak with our Maryland second degree assault defense lawyer Randolph Rice today. Mr. Rice is a former prosecutor and has defended hundreds of clients charged with assault throughout Maryland.