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What are the Penalties for the Crime of Second Degree Assault?

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | assault |

Second degree assault, codified under Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-203,  is Maryland’s misdemeanor charge for the crime of assault, battery, or attempted battery. Now, second degree assault being labeled a misdemeanor may make it seem like it is not serious. This is not the case. A second degree assault conviction can lead to very serious consequences.

What is “assault”?

Maryland charges the crimes of assault, battery, and attempted battery under second degree assault. Battery is the most commonly thought of crime when hearing the word assault. Battery is the intentional offensive physical contact person. Offensive physical contact means that the other person did not want to be touched. This “touching” can be done either through a person’s own body, through actions such as pushes or punches, or even through a weapon, such as a broom or a baseball bat. The crime of second degree assault does not require the person to be injured from physical contact. 

What is required for the state to prove, however, is that the physical touching was intentional. This means that you actually intended to reach out and make physical contact with the other person. For instance, if you were walking down the sidewalk and tripped, accidentally knocking a person over that would not be considered battery. There was no intent to knock the person over.

Even attempted battery can be charged under second degree assault. Attempted battery is when someone attempts to make unwanted physical contact, but does not actually touch the other person. An example of this is if a person tries to punch another person but misses. The attempt to physical touch the other person is still considered second degree assault. Like battery, attempted battery requires the state to prove intent. Let us refer to the previous example.This means that if you are walking down the sidewalk and trip, almost knocking into someone, but they step out of the way that would not be considered attempted battery. There was no intent to try and hit the other person.

The last way that you can be charged with second degree assault is if the other person has a reasonable belief  that you are going to imminently  physically touch them , or try to physically touch them, without permission. Unlike the first two ways (battery and attempted battery) that you can be charged with second degree assault, the State does not have to prove that you were actually, and intentionally, going to touch, or try to touch the other person, to convict you. They only have to prove that the person believed you were going to, and that it was reasonable for the person to believe this. A reasonable belief means that a normal, everyday, average person would have believed they were in danger of battery or attempted battery.

What is the Penalty?

A misdemeanor second degree assault conviction is subject to imprisonment  not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $2,500 or both.

Second Degree Felony Assault

Less commonly known than second degree misdemeanor assault is second degree felony assault. This is when a person commits the crime of assault, battery, or attempted battery, and causes physical injury to a law enforcement agent, a parole or probation agent, a firefighter, an emergency medical technician, a rescue squad member, or any other first responder when they are engaged in their official duties. 

In order to be convicted of second degree felony assault the state has to prove that you intentionally caused a physical injury to the person and either knew or had reason to know that they were law enforcement, a parole and probation officer, or an emergency first responder.

What is the penalty?

The penalty for second degree felony assault is imprisonment not exceeding 10 years or a fine not exceeding $5,000 or both. 

How can Maronick Law help?

The attorneys at Maronick Law are ready and eager to vigorously represent and defend you if you face a Second Degree Assault charge.

Second Degree Assault charges are serious matters and you can be facing potential jail time in your case. However, the attorneys here at Maronick Law are experienced in defending clients from second degree assault charges and can work to provide you with the best defense possible. To find you guilty of second degree assault the state has to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed the crime of battery, attempted battery, or assault. The Maronick Law attorney team has the training, knowledge, and experience in dealing with second degree assault cases to provide you with the strongest representation possible in your case, and are fully prepared to defend you at trial if necessary. 

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