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Self Defense

If you’ve been charged with assault in Maryland, you probably have a lot of questions about self defense.  Attorney Randolph Rice, a Maryland criminal defense attorney has provided a list of the various self defenses in Maryland. To schedule a free consultation with attorney Randolph Rice, contact his at his office at (410) 288-2900.

Below are the condition that must be met or overcome for each defense in Maryland.

Defense of Others – Maryland

In Defense of others is a defense, and the Judge or jury are required to find the defendant not guilty if all of the following four factors are present:

  1. The defendant actually believed that the person he was defending was in immediate and imminent danger of bodily harm;
  2. The defendant’s belief was reasonable;
  3. The defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary in light of the threatened or actual force; and
  4. The defendant’s purpose in using force was to aid the person he was defending.

In order to convict the defendant, the State must prove that the defense of others does not apply in this case. This means that you are required to find the defendant not guilty unless the State has persuaded you, beyond a reasonable doubt, that at least one of the four factors of defense of others was absent.

Defense of Habitation — Deadly Force

In Maryland, defense of one’s home is a defense, and the Judge or jury are required to find the defendant not guilty if all of the following five factors are present:

  1. Person entering the home entered or attempted to enter the defendant’s home;
  2. The defendant believed that person entering the home intended to commit a crime that would involve an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm;
  3. The defendant reasonably believed that the person entering the home intended to commit such a crime;
  4. The defendant believed that the force that he used against the person entering the home was necessary to prevent imminent death or serious bodily harm; and
  5. The defendant reasonably believed that such force was necessary.

In order to convict the defendant, the State must show that the defense of one’s home does not apply in this case by proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that at least one of the five factors previously stated was absent.

Defense of Property — Nondeadly Force (Maryland)

In Maryland, defense of property is a defense and the Judge or jury are required to find the defendant not guilty if all of the following three factors are present:

  1. The defendant actually believed that the person entering the home was unlawfully interfering or was just about to unlawfully interfere with the defendant’s property;
  2. The defendant’s belief was reasonable; and
  3. The defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend against the victim’s interference with the property. A person may not use deadly force to defend his property. Deadly force is that amount of force reasonably calculated to cause death or serious bodily harm.

In order to convict the defendant, the State must show that the defense of property does not apply in this case by proving, beyond a reasonable doubt, that at least one of the three factors previously stated was absent.

Maryland self defense lawyer G. Randolph Rice, Jr., is a former Assistant State’s Attorney, is recognized as a Maryland Super Lawyer – Rising Star, an Avvo 10 out of 10 and Lead Counsel Rated in Criminal Defense.

Self Defense

in Maryland, self defense is a complete defense and a Judge or jury are required to find the defendant not guilty if all of the following four factors are present:

  1. The defendant was not the aggressor or, although the defendant was the initial aggressor, he did not raise the fight to the deadly force level;
  2. The defendant actually believed that he was in immediate and imminent danger of bodily harm;
  3. The defendant’s belief was reasonable; and
  4. The defendant used no more force than was reasonably necessary to defend himself in light of the threatened or actual harm.

If you’ve been charged with assault in Maryland and you believe you have a self defense argument for either a first degree assault or second degree assault, contact attorney Randolph Rice at 410-288-2900 or email the office to schedule a free consultation.

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