Under Maryland law, a person may not commit an assault. The consequences of an assault vary depending on the circumstances involved in the conduct. A conviction on assault charges can affect you for the rest of your life. Every time you apply for a job, you will have to answer “yes” if you are asked whether you have been arrested or convicted of a crime. In today’s world, few employers would want to hire someone who has been convicted of assault.
- Misdemeanor Second-degree Assault in Maryland
- Felony Second-degree Assault in Maryland
- First-degree Assault in Maryland
- Defenses in Assault Cases
The misdemeanor second-degree assault statute applies to assaults that are not considered to be felony assaults in the first or second degrees. Under the misdemeanor second-degree assault statute, a person is prohibited from committing an assault. A violator is subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.
Assault means the crimes of assault, battery, and assault and battery, which are defined through case law.
According to the Maryland State Commission on Criminal Sentencing Policy, there were 20 convictions for felony second-degree assault in the State’s circuit courts during fiscal 2013 and 15 convictions in fiscal 2014. The Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services (DPSCS) conducted intakes at its correctional facilities for 1,036 individuals convicted of second-degree assault (felony or misdemeanor) in fiscal 2015.
For 853 individuals in this group, second-degree assault (felony or misdemeanor) was their most serious offense. The average sentence for these individuals was 44.7 months. During fiscal 2015, DPSCS conducted 5,030 probation intakes for individuals found guilty of second-degree assault.
A person commits a felony second-degree assault if he/she intentionally causes “physical injury” to another if the person knows or has reason to know that the other person is a:
- law enforcement officer or parole or probation agent engaged in the performance of the officer/agent’s official duties; or
- a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a rescue squad member, or any other first responder engaged in providing emergency medical care or rescue services.
“Physical injury” means any impairment of physical condition, excluding minor injuries. Violators are subject to imprisonment for up to 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $5,000.
A person commits the first-degree assault if he/she:
- intentionally causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another person:
- commits an assault with a firearm, including a handgun, assault pistol, machine gun, or other specified firearms.
A person who commits a first-degree assault is guilty of a felony and subject to imprisonment for up to 25 years.
Police investigating an assault case are not necessarily interested in who started the fight. If you injure another person in an altercation, you can be charged with assault even if the other person swung first. However, there are defenses:
- You did not knowingly or purposely cause the injury.
- You were defending yourself or another.
- Did you have the ability to retreat?
- Who had witnesses? Are they credible?
- Did any party file Protective Orders?
- The Department of “Social Services or Child Advocacy may play a part in the prosecution if a child is involved.
My reputation as an aggressive advocate for my clients lets prosecutors know that if they don’t treat you fairly, they will face an experienced trial lawyer in court. It is important to gather all evidence, including witness statements, as soon as possible. Our legal team knows how to handle these situations and we will fight to make this situation right for you.
Attorney for Assault Crimes in Baltimore, Maryland
James Crawford is a criminal defense attorney in Baltimore, MD. He has more than two decades of experience as a trial lawyer defending people against Maryland state charges including violent crimes charged as either a felony or a misdemeanor. He represents clients charged with serious crimes of violence including assault and battery in Baltimore, Arbutus, Catonsville, and Annapolis, Maryland.
He knows the tactics used by the law enforcement officers investigating these crimes. He also understands the methods used by prosecutors with the Offices of the Maryland State’s Attorneys who presents the state’s case in criminal trials in the District Courts. To protect your reputation and your future, then contact an experienced attorney before you talk to police or anyone else about the accusation.
The attorneys at James E. Crawford, Jr. & Associates are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and operate four offices for your convenience, including two offices in Catonsville and Arbutus, MD. If you have been arrested for any drug crime including crimes related to the distribution of marijuana in Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County or Harford, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney.
Call 443-709-9999 to talk about your case and your best defense to the criminal charges.