Unfortunately, it is very difficult to get second degree assault charges dropped in Maryland before the trial date. Once an individual is charged with second-degree assault, the state picks up the charges and is the party that is prosecuting the case. So, when asking, “How To Get Second Degree Assault Charges Dropped?” The best answer is: retain a Maryland assault defense lawyer to meet with the State’s Attorney and defend the alleged charges at trial.
How To Get Second Degree Assault Charges Dropped in Maryland
There are a couple of ways that someone could be charged with second-degree assault in Maryland. If the police are called and respond to a scene and have probable cause to arrest an individual then second degree assault charges can be filed. Another way that second degree assault charges can be brought is if an alleged victim files paperwork with a Maryland commissioner.
If the commissioner finds probable cause to charge the defendant, then second degree assault charges will be filed. Once the assault charges are filed the case is then forwarded to the State’s Attorney for that jurisdiction. Since most second degree assault cases originate in the District Court, the state’s attorney will assign a prosecutor to that case.
Often, victims of second-degree assault will try and contact the State’s Attorney’s office and request that the second degree assault charges be dropped. However, if the prosecutor assigned to the case or the State’s Attorney’s Office believes there is sufficient evidence to proceed to trial, they will not drop the charges.
When asking “how to get second degree assault charges dropped,” the state’s attorney will rarely drop the case prior to the trial date. The reason for this is, the state’s attorney wants to speak to the victim as well as any witnesses that may be involved in the case in person. In addition, the state typically does not like to drop cases prior to the trial date because they want to place the reason for the dismissal on the record.
There may be circumstances where there are additional witnesses other than the victim in a second degree assault case. Therefore, even if the victim does not want to go forward, the state may have sufficient evidence to elicit from witnesses or the police officer to pursue the second degree assault charges.
There are also circumstances in Maryland where a victim who is married to the defendant can invoke their spousal or marital privilege. Spousal privilege can be invoked one time in Maryland for similar type charges and the defendant and victim must be married at the time of the trial. This invocation precludes the spouse from testifying against the defendant and therefore the state cannot use the statements made by the victim or evidence that the victim may present a trial.
This is not always the case if the victim has provided a written statement or an excited utterance to a police officer at the scene of the alleged crime and assault. There are also scenarios where both the victim and the defendant are charged with second-degree assault. If the state does not have strong enough evidence against either party then the victim and defendant or cross complains may be able to invoke their Fifth Amendment right to self-incrimination.
When parties who have mutual assault charges filed or enter a Fifth Amendment invocation, they are choosing not to testify in fear that they may self-incriminate themselves. Second degree assault charges are serious in Maryland since they carry the possibility of 10 years in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine.
It is appropriate and wise to hire a criminal defense lawyer if you have been charged with second-degree assault in Maryland. Since you may be asking how to get second degree assault charges dropped, an assault defense lawyer may be able to mitigate and facilitate the state dropping the charges at trial.
If you are facing second degree assault charges or you want to have second degree assault charges dropped contact attorney Randolph Rice today to discuss the case and the best steps to have the charges dropped.