Assault Charges in MD: What to Know If Arrested
Assault charges in MD are classified as either a misdemeanor or a felony, and the consequences of either can be devastating. Learn more here.
The Basics of Assault Charges in MD
The law in Maryland is complicated, and the specific details related to assault charges are intricate for a layperson to understand. If a police officer has accused you of this crime, it’s important to note that law enforcement officers are held to the same standards as anyone else in the state.
A law enforcement officer cannot arrest an individual unless they have probable cause to believe that person has committed a crime. If police officers don’t comply with such legal guidelines, the evidence they gather during this arrest will be thrown out.
A person can also claim self-defense in an assault case if they have been accused of this crime. However, the criteria for successfully asserting this defense will be much more stringent in an assault case than when someone claims self-defense against a property crime.
Those facing assault charges in MD due to actual violence should contact a reputable Maryland assault lawyer for a free consultation to discuss their legal options.
How Are Assault Charges in Maryland Classified?
Assault charges in Maryland will be classified differently by the legal system depending on the nature of each transgression. Maryland law states that the sentence for a person convicted of these crimes will vary based on this classification.
For instance, someone charged with second-degree assault will face a more lenient penalty than someone accused of this offense in the first degree. The consequences for either could involve a hefty fine or a sentence of several years in prison.
Types of Assault Charges in MD
Nearly all types of assault charges in MD could be dropped with the right defenses provided by a competent assault lawyer.
Because of the way the existing laws are defined, if the prosecution doesn’t have enough evidence to prove that the bodily harm inflicted on the alleged victim was intentional, the defendant may be able to walk free from police custody.
This is why it is so important to contact a Maryland criminal defense lawyer for an attorney-client relationship as soon as someone has been accused of an assault crime.
First-Degree Assault Maryland
First-degree assault in Maryland is classified as a felony punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
Cases where one person commits (or threatens to commit) an act of violence against another person in hopes of causing them serious physical injury are treated as severe felonies. Using a firearm or other weapon in a battery attempt usually escalates the case to first-degree assault.
Second-Degree Assault Maryland
On the other hand, second-degree assault in Maryland is considered a misdemeanor. Misdemeanor assault still carries harsh legal penalties, including a prison sentence of up to 10 years.
Second-degree assault is the charge that would apply to any offensive physical contact that occurred without the victim’s consent, which did not necessarily result in a bodily injury.
If you face accusations of either degree, you should contact a Maryland criminal defense attorney immediately for legal advice.
Child Assault Charges in MD
Anytime there has been unwelcome or offensive physical contact done to another person, particularly a child, whether or not it has resulted in a severe bodily injury, the aggressor faces a substantial risk of being charged with assault.
The nature of the crime, factoring in such things as intent, method, and results, will determine whether the assault charge is a misdemeanor or a felony. From there, the legal repercussions will proceed accordingly.
Child assault charges in MD can carry particularly severe penalties, including a sentence of up to 5 years in prison.
Assault Charges on Teens in MD
When prosecuting assault charges on teens in MD, the victim’s lawyer will need to prove that the defendant made unwelcome physical contact with the victim and that they did it with the intent to harm them or cause a bodily injury. If the prosecution does not have enough evidence, the defendant cannot be convicted under the law.
Maximum Sentence for Assault Charges
When considering the consequences for breaking the law, one needs to be mindful of the maximum sentence for these criminal acts so that the courtroom’s stakes are clear.
A skilled Maryland criminal defense attorney will do their best to reduce the penalty for their client as much as possible. However, the accused should still be aware of the consequences and maximum sentence for assault charges.
Maximum Penalty for Assault
The maximum penalty for assault in the second degree in Maryland is 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
Based on the unique circumstances of your case, the Maryland criminal justice system may issue a more lenient sentence if you are convicted. Still, this is the worst-case scenario for the defendant for a second-degree misdemeanor.
Felony Assault Jail Time
Maryland assault cases classified as crimes in the first degree are associated with much harsher punishments and longer jail sentences. The maximum penalty can result in felony assault jail time of up to 25 years. If you find yourself charged with this offense, you’ll need to contact a reputable law firm to discuss your options.
How Long Do You Have to Press Charges for Assault in MD?
If you have been the victim of an act of aggression in any county in Maryland, the statute of limitations dictates how much time you have to take legal action. But how long do you have to press charges for assault in MD?
The law states that if you do not file a claim with the law enforcement officers after one year from the actual date of the incident, the law can no longer prosecute the accused. Contact a lawyer who is well versed in criminal law if you have any questions.
How Assault Laws Impact Criminal Sentencing
Depending on the existing assault laws and other law enforcement conventions in your county, as a defendant in a case like this, your attorney may use various strategies to prove your innocence or mitigate your sentence.
Certain factors, such as the defendant acting in self-defense or without using a firearm or other device that could cause serious injury, may cause the judge to be more lenient during sentencing.
What to Do If You’re Facing Assault/Battery Charges
No one facing assault/battery charges should attempt to go through the court proceedings without an experienced assault lawyer by their side. A criminal defense lawyer with an in-depth understanding of the law related to physical injury and interpersonal conflict could mean the difference between exoneration and years of jail time.
Get Help With Maryland Assault Charges
If you find yourself fighting against Maryland assault charges, don’t waste any time. Get in touch with a qualified attorney as soon as possible to go over your legal options.