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What is assault under Maryland law?

On Behalf of | Apr 18, 2022 | criminal defense |

In a recent high-profile event, a popular movie star slapped a well-known comic during a nationally televised awards show. The comic has reportedly declined to press charges but if such an event happened in Maryland, what kind of charges could result?

Maryland law defines assault as the offensive touching of another person without permission that creates fear.

The phrase “assault and battery” is often used in television shows. Battery is the unlawful and offensive touching of another person without that person’s permission. Maryland law doesn’t separately define battery. An assault in Maryland includes the crime of battery.

Assault charges in Maryland are divided into two categories:

  • First-degree assault
  • Second-degree assault

Maryland first-degree assault

First-degree assault occurs when there is an actual or attempted serious physical injury. It can happen through actual physical contact or the use of a weapon.

If you get into a fight with another person and you break a bone, you will probably be charged with first-degree assault.

If you use a gun or some other type of weapon on another person, then you can be charged with first-degree assault.

First-degree assault in Maryland is a felony and is punishable by up to 25 years of jail time.

The mandatory minimum sentence for a second offense is 10 years of imprisonment.

A third offense has a mandatory minimum sentence is 25 years jail time.

A fourth offense could lead to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.

An Ocean City assault attorney can provide more details.

Maryland second-degree assault

Second-degree assault is not as serious as first-degree assault.

Second-degree assault is an offensive touching or an attempt to cause offensive physical contact. It involves minor injuries.

Second-degree assault is a misdemeanor. The maximum penalty for second-degree assault in Maryland is 10 years.

Assault of a law enforcement officer

Assaults of a probation officer, police office or some other type of law enforcement officer are felonies.

What the state has to prove in a Maryland assault charge

The prosecutor will have the victim testify they were either physically injured or threatened in a way that was offensive and they believed there was a substantial risk of injury or death.

Defenses to Maryland assault charges

There are several possible defenses to assault such as lack of criminal intent and self-defense. A Baltimore assault attorney can provide more details.

If you are charged with assault in Ocean City or Baltimore, you should talk to a criminal defense attorney. An Ocean City assault lawyer will work to get the charges dropped or pleaded down to something less serious. For example, if you are charged with second-degree assault and you have a clean or fairly-clean criminal history, the charges can be reduced to misdemeanor reckless endangerment or a disorderly charge. This is important because a first-degree assault conviction cannot be removed from a criminal record. The attorneys at Maronick Law LLC have experience handling these cases.

Maronick Law, LLC is open during the pandemic and will continue to meet your Glen Burnie, Annapolis, Baltimore, Essex, Ocean City, Towson, White Marsh assault attorney needs.

If you have access to Zoom, we can meet with you remotely. The consultation is free. You can contact Thomas Maronick on his cellphone at 202.288.0167, the law office at 410.881.4022 or via the website.



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