Ocean City Assault Defense Attorney Serving The Eastern Shore
Assault in Maryland is treated differently than in many other states. In other states, assault is separated from battery, with each having a different legal definition. Typically, assault refers to the threat of harm, while battery refers to actual physical harm itself.
However, this is not the case in Maryland. The state considers assault to be both a threat and physical harm and simply puts each crime into a different category based on the circumstances surrounding the crime.
Common Assault or Second-Degree Assault In Maryland
Common assault or second-degree assault is considered to be the “lesser” of the two primary types of assault. Thistype of assault is generally characterized by the threat of offensive, unwanted physical contact (or the threat of it). Second-degree assault is further divided into misdemeanor or felony:
- Misdemeanor second-degree assault is punishable by up to 10 years of incarceration and up to $2,500 in fines.
- Felony second-degree assault is punishable by up to 10 years of incarceration and up to $5,000 in fines.
Maryland First-Degree Assault:
- First-degree assault is considered to be the most serious type of assault and is characterized by grave physical injury (or the threat of it) versus offensive contact.
- First-degree assault is charged as a felony and is punishable by up to 25 years of incarceration.
Assault by an Inmate: Assault by an inmate has its own Maryland criminal code but carries the same penalties as misdemeanor second-degree assault.
How Is Assault Characterized?
Beyond the basic definitions of assault, there are other factors that law enforcement officers may use to determine how severe the charge should be. For example:
- A misdemeanor second-degree assault may be upgraded to a felony if the victim was a public servant such as a firefighter or a police officer.
- A Felony second-degree assault may be upgraded to first-degree assault if deadly weapons are used, such as firearms.
What Are Some Potential Defenses to Assault Charges?
There are many defenses to both second and first-degree assault. One of the most common defenses is that of self-defense or the defense of others – that the alleged victim of the crime provoked the assault by causing the perpetrator to fear for his or her life or the lives of others. In other cases, it may be prudent to argue actual innocence or that the perpetrator did not intend to commit the assault. It’s important to discuss potential defenses with an experienced assault attorney to determine the best course of action.
Contact Richard J. Brueckner Today
Whether you have been charged with a misdemeanor assault or felony assault, your life is on the line when you’re facing criminal penalties. If convicted, your career, reputation, and relationships could be impacted. Don’t wait to get the help of an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer when it matters most – call Richard J. Brueckner today for a consultation at (410) 430-1464.