The basic assault charges in Maryland are categorized as assault in the first or second degrees.
ASSAULT IN THE FIRST DEGREE
Assault in the first degree is defined as intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical injury to another .
- A person may not intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another.
- A person may not commit an assault with a firearm.
Serious physical injury means injury that:
- Creates a substantial risk of death; or
- Causes permanent or protracted serious:
- loss of the function of any bodily member or organ; or
- impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ
This charge also encompasses assault with the firearms or other weapons with maximum imprisonment of not more than 25 years.
SECOND DEGREE ASSAULT
Assault in the second degree is considered a misdemeanor and is defined as intentionally causing physical injury to another.
Physical injury means any impairment of physical condition, excluding minor injuries.
This charge is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.
Assault on a police officer or a parole officer depending on the injuries caused may fall under the second degree assault. Specifically:
A person may not also intentionally cause physical injury to another if the person knows or has reason to know that the other is:
- A law enforcement officer engaged in the performance of the officer’s official duties; or
- A parole or probation agent engaged in the performance of the agent’s official duties.
A person may not recklessly:
- Engage in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another; or
- Discharge a firearm from a motor vehicle in a manner that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another.
Violation of this section is considered a misdemeanor and on conviction is subject to imprisonment not exceeding 5 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ASSAULT
Maryland prosecutors generally exercise zero tolerance when it comes to bringing charges in the domestic cases. A charge that involves or stems from a domestic relationship is generally defined as a domestic violence charge or case.
Maryland domestic violence cases have most often a baseline charge of assault, destruction of property, or on the civil side, protection orders.
As these cases most often involve contemporaneous civil filings, it is imperative to have an experienced Maryland domestic violence lawyer engaged with your case from the very outset.
Often times conviction of a domestic violence charge could have ramifications in the ensuing civil cases, such as divorce, custody, or even child support.
If you are charged with a domestic assault, violation of a peace or protection order, or any other domestic criminal or civil charge, contact our offices for an immediate consultation.
Your rights will be protected and you will be defended to the full extend of the law.
Often times there are valid defenses to assault charges, commonly self-defense or even reasonable defense of others. An experienced Maryland assault lawyer will investigate all viable defenses and will uncover all exculpatory evidence to exonerate you or to have the charges dismissed.
The basic elements of self-defense are:
- Reasonable belief that there is an imminent danger of death or serious bodily harm from an assailant;
- Actual belief that there is danger of being harmed,
- Absence of provocation or aggression by the person claiming self-defense,
- Reasonable use of force, not more than demanded by the situation, a factual analysis.
Maryland is one of the jurisdictions that requires duty to retreat, that is: outside of a person’s home the individual defending themselves has the duty to retreat, unless doing so is unsafe or impossible.
Inside the home, the castle doctrine applies, which implies: in a person’s own home there is no duty retreat, one can stand ground however the use of force applied must still be reasonable.
Contact our Maryland Criminal Lawyer/MD Assault Lawyer today to schedule initial case evaluation and analysis.