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) 694-7291 for immediate legal representation if you have been or believe you will be charged with assault.
Under 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 assault in Maryland.
What is the Definition of 2nd Degree Assault in Maryland?
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 the State of 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 serious physical injury.
What is the Penalty for Second Degree Assault in Maryland?
The penalty for second degree assault in Maryland varies depending on the victim 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, 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 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 get time for the assault. If the defendant is found guilty or receives a Probation before Judgment (PBJ), then the Court may sentence the defendant up to 10 years in jail.
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.
What is Second Degree Assault of a Law Enforcement Officer?
If the victim of a second degree assault in Maryland is:
- a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of the officer’s official duties;
- a parole or probation agent engaged in the performance of the agent’s official duties; or
- a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a rescue squad member, or any other first responder engaged in providing emergency medical care or rescue services.
Then the penalty increases and the crime is classified as a felony.
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.
What Are the Various 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.
As discussed above, second degree assault can be pursued under 3 separate theories. Those theories are:
- Intent to frighten;
- Attempted battery; and
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.
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.
Second Degree Assault Lawyers
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.