In Maryland, the legal term “assault” covers a wide variety of offenses. Although many assault cases involve serious violence, many people are not even aware that their actions qualified as assault until charges are brought against them. If you have been accused of or charged with assault, you need to understand your situation and learn about your legal rights. This article will explain the basics of assault laws in Maryland and help you make an informed decision about your next steps.
Overview of Assault Laws In Maryland
Assault crimes and sentences vary from state to state in terms of their definition, severity of the crime, and severity of the sentence. In Maryland, an “assault” crime is listed as any offense which might fall under both “assault” and “battery” in other states.
Assault crimes in Maryland can be either felonies or misdemeanors, depending on the severity of the accusation. If you are being accused of assault in Maryland, it is important that you know your legal rights and seek qualified help from professional attorneys with proven experience in Maryland criminal law.
First Degree Assault
In Maryland, there are only two types of assault: first and second degree. First degree assault is a much more serious assault charge. In Maryland, first degree assault is classified as a felony, and may be punishable by up to 25 years in prison.
You can be charged with first degree assault in Maryland if you are accused of intentionally causing serious physical injury to another person, attempting to cause serious physical injury to a person, or committing an assault using a firearm. You can also be charged with First Degree Assault if you seriously hurt someone or tried to hurt them, but caused no permanent harm to them. Under the right circumstances, a push or a shove could qualify as a first degree assault. Pointing a gun at someone also automatically qualifies as a first degree assault.
Second Degree Assault
Second degree assault charges in Maryland are reserved for all other assault charges that do not fall under the classification of first degree assault. A charge of second degree assault is less serious than first degree assault, but you should still never take this charge lightly. While second degree assault is only a misdemeanor, it still carries a maximum potential sentence of 10 years in prison.
For these reasons, second degree assault is one of the most frustrating charges you can receive in the state of Maryland. A person can be found guilty of this offense for an action as violent as a bar fight or as seemingly minor as spitting on someone or threatening to punch them—even if they never swung their fists. Although these situations seem very different, all three of these examples would receive the exact same penalty under assault laws in Maryland.
How Do I Get Help for Assault Charges in Maryland?
The best way to defend yourself against assault charges in Maryland is to seek the help of a qualified professional attorney. The litigators at Zirkin and Schmerling Law can assist you with both criminal and civil assault cases. If you have been charged under assault laws in Maryland, call us today at 410-753-4611. One of our attorneys will be happy to speak with you about your case during a free initial consultation.