According to Maryland’s criminal law code, assault is defined as the harmful or unwanted touching of another person. Maryland’s second degree assault statute combines the two crimes of assault and battery. The main difference is the actual presence of harm (battery) versus the threat of harm (assault). Someone can only be charged with battery if they have caused real physical harm to another person, while a person can be charged with assault if a threat of imminent harm is present.
If you were to try to punch someone in the face – but your punch is in the air and doesn’t make physical contact – that’s assault. But when the punch lands on someone – that’s a battery.
Have you been charged with assault? Do you need help understanding what to do next?
The Southern Maryland law firm Sasscer, Clagett & Bucher (SCB) is ready to defend your case. Getting representation as soon as possible following an assault charge is the best way to get a positive result at trial. These charges are considered very serious. Only an experienced Maryland criminal defense lawyer can successfully defend your case.
Types of Assault Charges
Different types of assault charges are based on the severity of the incident and include first degree assault, second degree assault, and reckless endangerment. Each type of assault reflects different circumstances and specific penalties.
First Degree Assault
First degree assault is the most severe. Actions that lead to charges for first degree assault in Maryland include:
- attempting to cause serious physical harm to another person
- intentionally causing serious bodily harm to another person
- using a firearm in an assault
In these cases, serious physical harm includes injuries that cause permanent damage or death. First degree assault in Maryland is considered a felony and carries a sentence of up to 25 years in prison.
Second Degree Assault
Second degree assault applies to those assaults that don’t quite meet the requirements of first degree assault. While this offense is considered a misdemeanor, it still carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
The punishment for second degree assault changes if the victim is an on duty law enforcement or probation officer.ant should have been aware of the risk to human life but wasn’t actually aware of the risk.
In Maryland, reckless endangerment is defined as placing another individual at risk of serious physical injury or death, or discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle.
Reckless endangerment does not consider intent. You can be charged even if you never intended to hurt the victim because you did nothing to prevent the individual from being harmed.
Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor and carries a sentence of up to five years in prison, a fine up to $5,000, or both.
Contact A Maryland Criminal Defense Lawyer.
Whether you are convicted and whether or how much time you actually spend in jail may depend on how good your lawyer is. If you or a loved one has been charged with assault in the state of Maryland, it is imperative that you contact a Maryland criminal defense lawyer immediately. An attorney can help you make important decisions that may impact you and your loved ones for the rest of your life. If you do not have an attorney advising you about what to say, who you have to answer to, and what you should do, you run the risk of answering a question in a way that could incriminate yourself.
If you would like to speak with a member of the firm, or have any question about our practice, please contact our offices to arrange a consultation. Call 301-627-5500.