Maryland Assault lawyer Randolph Rice has been defending clients charged in Maryland with assault since 2009. Assault is the unlawful touching of another person in Maryland. According to data in 2015 there were 15,850 assaults in Maryland. That was an increase from 2014, where there were 15,215 aggravated assaults in Maryland.
Maryland law enforcement as well as State’s Attorney’s offices throughout Maryland take assault cases seriously and prosecuted especially if there is an allegation of domestic violence. Domestic violence occurs when the parties know each other or there is a relationship between the victim and the alleged offender.
If convicted of assault in Maryland, there are various outcomes, some of which can include jail, probation and substantial fines and costs assessed by the Court.
Contact our office today to speak with a criminal defense attorney in Maryland.
What are the Types of Assault in Maryland?
In Maryland, assault is defined as the offensive touching of another individual. That touching has to be intentional and not accidental. A person can also be charged with assault if they attempt to make contact with another person or make that other person believe they are going to be assaulted.
First Degree Assault
For a person to be convicted of first degree assault in Maryland, the State must prove all the elements of second degree assault and that the defendant used a firearm or the assault intended to cause serious physical injury to the victim. Maryland first degree assault laws are very specific and the State must cross a high hurdle to convict an individual of first degree assault.
Second Degree Assault
Second degree assault in Maryland can be proven under one of three theories by the State. Those theories of second degree assault in Maryland are:
- Intent to frighten;
- Attempted battery; and
For the State to prove and assault under the intent to frighten of the Maryland Assault laws, these elements must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt:
- that the defendant committed an act with the intent to place the victim in fear of immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm;
- that the defendant had the apparent ability, at that time, to bring about offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
- that victim reasonably feared immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
- that the defendant’s actions were not legally justified.
A Maryland assault lawyer can show that the acts were unintentional or the victim did not actually fear the acts by the defendant in the assault case.
If the State chooses to pursue assault charges in Maryland for attempted battery, then they must show beyond a reasonable doubt that:
- that the defendant actually tried to cause immediate offensive physical contact with or physical harm to the victim;
- that the defendant intended to bring about offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
- that the defendant’s actions were not consented to by the victim or not legally justified.
And finally, if the State tries to convict a person of second degree assault under the battery theory, they must prove:
- that the defendant caused offensive physical contact with or physical harm to the victim;
- that the contact was the result of an intentional or reckless act of the defendant and was not accidental; and
- that the contact was not consented to by the victim or not legally justified.
Reckless endangerment, although may not require contact or the same types of facts for an assault in Maryland does have serious penalties if convicted. For the State to succeed on reckless endangerment charges, they must prove the defendant engaged in conduct that created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another or the defendant discharged a firearm from a motor vehicle in a manner that created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person in Maryland.
Penalty for Assault in Maryland
What is the penalty for assault in Maryland. It depends on the charges and the facts of the case. For a second degree assault, which is a misdemeanor, the penalty is 10 year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. If alleged the defendant assaulted a law enforcement officer in the second degree, the person is facing a felony and 10 years in jail and/or a $5,000 fine. Speak with a Maryland assault lawyer today to determine if you have been charged with a felony or misdemeanor assault in Maryland.
First degree assault, being a felony, if convicted, a person is facing a maximum penalty of 25 years in jail. Felony and misdemeanor convictions can make getting a job difficult and prevent a person from obtaining other services based on a conviction.
Defenses to Assault in Maryland
There are various defenses to assault in Maryland. They include:
- Defense of others;
- Defense of habitation – Deadly force;
- Defense of property – Non-deadly force; and
- Self defense.
If you believe you have been charged with assault incorrectly and you had a defense or reason to commit the assault, contact the Maryland Assault lawyer Randolph Rice to discuss your options in Maryland. Self defense assault is one of the most common types of defenses used in Maryland. For a defendant to assert self defense, the defendant must should that he/she was not the aggressor. The defendant must also show that he believed he was in immediate and imminent danger of bodily harm. Also, the defendant must prove that his self defense was reasonable and not use any more force than reasonable necessary in light of the threat.
As the character “Ace” said about Nicky in the Movie Casino, “No matter how big a guy might be, Nicky would take him on. You beat Nicky with fists, he comes back with a bat. You beat him with a knife, he comes back with a gun. And you beat him with a gun, you better kill him, because he’ll keep comin’ back and back until one of you is dead.”
For self-defense in Maryland, you can’t come back with a bat if the person you are defending yourself from is using their fists.
Contact a Maryland Assault Lawyer today
If you have been charged with assault, in any degree, contact attorney Randolph Rice today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case and defenses. Attorney Randolph Rice is a former Assistant State’s Attorney, ranked by Super Lawyer, Avvo, Lead Counsel and Lawyers of Distinction in Maryland.