Assault charges are an everyday occurrence.
A Harford County, Maryland man, the father of a high school wrestler was arrested and charged recently for allegedly assaulting his son after the boy didn’t make weight for a wrestling tournament, according to court records. A Baltimore County man was arrested after a man was assaulted with a baseball bat or lead pipe in a Lansdowne parking lot last summer. Four people were charged in November with attempted rape and assault of a fellow member of Fallston Volunteer Fire & Ambulance Company, according to a story in the Baltimore Sun.
In most instances, assault charges stem from some type of dispute or altercation.
Assault is defined in Maryland law as the offensive touching of another person without consent that places that person in immediate fear. If you are involved in a disturbance that escalates into a physical altercation and the other person involved truly believes they are in immediate danger then that is an assault.
Or to use another definition, assault is the attempted touching of another person, without that person’s consent. It includes the act of placing someone in fear of an intentional touching.
In many instances, if someone hits you and you hit them back, you can be charged with assault.
Battery is the unlawful and offensive touching of another person without that person’s consent. You’ve probably heard the phrase “assault and battery.” Under Maryland law, an assault includes the crimes of assault, battery, and assault and battery.
Maryland assault charges are broken down into two categories: first degree assault and second-degree assault. Second-degree assault is not as serious as first degree assault.
First degree assault occurs when there is an attempt or an actual serious physical injury. Serious physical injury can include a substantial risk of death, disfigurement or loss or impairment of a limb or organ. It can happen through actual physical contact or the use of a weapon. For example, if you get into a fight with another person and you break a bone, you will probably be charged with first degree assault. In instances where the physical threat comes from a firearm or weapon, that could be considered first-degree assault. For example, if you pull a gun or some other type of weapon on another person.
Second-degree assault is an offensive touching or an attempt to cause offensive physical contact. There might be a minor, but not serious, physical injury. Second-degree assault is a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for second-degree assault in Maryland is 10 years. However, if the assault was committed on a police office, probation officer or some other type of law enforcement officer, then the assault charge will be entered as a felony.
The state proves assault by the prosecutor calling the alleged victim to testify. The victim will have to testify that they were either physically injured or threatened in such a manner that was offensive to them and that they believe that there was a substantial risk of injury or death.
Self-defense can be a defense to an assault charge.
If you are charged with assault in Maryland, you should talk to a Maryland criminal defense attorney. Often, a Baltimore assault lawyer can arrange for the charge to be pled down to something less serious. For instance, if you are originally charged with second-degree assault and you have a clean or fairly clean criminal history and the prosecution agrees, the charges can be reduced to misdemeanor reckless endangerment or a disorderly charge. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Thomas J. Maronick have experience handling these cases. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.934.3007 or via our website for a free consultation.