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Maryland Second Degree Assault Attorney

Second Degree Assault Law in Maryland – Maryland criminal defense attorney Randolph Rice explains.

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Have you been charged with second degree assault in Maryland? Do you need to hire a lawyer for second degree assault charges in Maryland?

Contact attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900 for immediate legal help with your 2nd degree assault charges.

Assault Second Degree Law

If you’ve been charged with second degree assault, you probably want to know: What is the second degree assault law in Maryland?  Well, here is what the Maryland Criminal Law section 3-203 defines as second degree assault in Maryland:

§3-203. Assault in the second degree 
(a) Prohibited. – A person may not commit an assault.
(b) Penalty. — Except as provided in subsection (c) of this section, a person who violates subsection (a) of this section is guilty of the misdemeanor of assault in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $ 2,500 or both.
(c) Law enforcement officer.
(1) In this subsection, “physical injury” means any impairment of physical condition, excluding minor injuries.
(2) A person may not intentionally cause physical injury to another if the person knows or has reason to know that the other is:
(i) a law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of the officer’s official duties; or
(ii) a parole or probation agent engaged in the performance of the agent’s official duties.
(3) A person who violates paragraph (2) of this subsection is guilty of the felony of assault in the second degree and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $ 5,000 or both.

That really doesn’t tell you what second degree assault is in Maryland, so we have to look at what a Judge or Jury would have to find beyond a reasonable doubt to convict you of second degree assault.  To do that, we would look at the Maryland Pattern Jury Instructions.  There are three scenarios in which you could be convicted of second degree assault in Maryland.

Second Degree Assault Legal Theories

1. Intent to Frighten

The first theory under which the State could proceed against you for second degree assault in Maryland is the “intent to frighten” theory.

The intent to frighten theory states that for the State to proved beyond a reasonable doubt, they must meet these elements (for the purpose of continuity, the person charged with second degree assault will be referred to as the “Defendant”) :

Assault is intentionally frightening another person with the threat of immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm. In order to convict the defendant of assault, the State must prove:

  1. that the defendant committed an act with the intent to place the victim in fear of immediate or offensive physical contact or physical harm;
  2. that the defendant had the apparent ability, at that time, to bring about offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
  3. that the victim reasonably feared immediate offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
  4. that the defendant’s actions were not legally justified. (to be used if there is a defense such as “self-defense.”

2. Attempted Battery

The second theory under which the State could proceed for a charge of second degree assault is the “Attempted Battery” theory.  The attempted battery theory states:

Assault is an attempt to cause offensive physical contact or physical harm. In order to convict the defendant of assault, the State must prove:

  1. that the defendant actually tried to cause immediate offensive physical contact with or physical harm to the victim;
  2. that the defendant intended to bring about offensive physical contact or physical harm; and
  3. that the defendant’s actions were not consented to by the victim or not legally justified. (self-defense, defense of others, etc.)

3. Battery

The third theory under which the State could proceed for a charge of second degree assault is the “Battery” theory.  This is probably the most common and is sought when a defendant makes contact with the victim.  For the State to succeed, they must prove beyond a reasonable doubt:

Assault is causing offensive physical contact to another person. In order to convict the defendant of assault, the State must prove:

  1. that the defendant caused offensive physical contact with or physical harm to the victim;
  2. that the contact was the result of an intentional or reckless act of the defendant and was not accidental; and
  3. that the contact was not consented to by the victim and not legally justified. (i.e. self defense, defense of other, etc.)

Assault Second Degree Maryland Attorneys

Who should you call if you’ve been charged with second degree assault in Maryland?  Contact criminal defense attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900 or email the office for immediate legal help.

What is the maximum penalty for second degree assault in Maryland?

If you are convicted of second degree assault in Maryland, you could face up to 10 years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.00 or both.

Is second degree a misdemeanor or felony in Maryland?

Second degree assault is classified as a misdemeanor in Maryland.

Contact the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC, at 410-288-2900 for immediate legal help with your second degree assault charges in Maryland.  Attorney Randolph Rice is a Super Lawyers – Maryland Rising Star, Avvo ranked 10 out of 10 and Lead Counsel Rated.  He is a former Assistant State’s Attorney and has been defending clients charged with second degree assault in Maryland since 2009.

If you would like to look up your criminal charges in Maryland, visit the Maryland Judiciary Case search for more information.

Where is the Law Offices of G. Randolph Rice, Jr., LLC


Maryland second degree assault attorneys – Randolph Rice 410-288-2900.

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