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Maryland Assault Lawyer
If you’ve been charged with assault in Maryland, a qualified criminal lawyer can examine the details of your case to secure the best possible outcome for you in court. Assault can be charged in either the first or second degree, depending on the circumstances. First degree assault charges are always more serious than second degree assault charges. However, when second degree assault is perpetrated on a police officer or other law enforcement officer, the consequences are more severe than in other cases of second degree assault.
Being charged with assault in Maryland can be emotionally, socially, professionally and financially devastating. You could be faced with a misdemeanor of felony conviction based on the details of your case. The penalties associated with either of these conviction types can be serious and life-altering, particularly if the circumstances of the case are severe. With the help of a reputable Maryland assault lawyer, you can successfully fight second or first degree assault charges and move on with your life as normal.
An assault charge in Maryland can be classified as either a misdemeanor or felony, as described in Subtitle 2 of Title 3 in the Maryland criminal code. With the help of a qualified Maryland assault lawyer like Mr. Edward Tayter who will examine every intricate detail of your case in order to build a strong defense, you can fight for the best possible outcome for your case in court whether it’s a reduction of the associated penalties or a dismissal of the case entirely.
- First Degree Assault Defense in Maryland
- Second Degree Assault Defense in Maryland
- Required Evidence for Assault Charges in Maryland
First Degree Assault in Maryland
In Maryland, first degree assault is defined as causing serious physical injury to another individual. That also includes the common law definition that assault is a battery, an attempted battery and putting another in fear of imminent battery. According to state code Section 3-201, “serious physical injury” is defined as creating a substantial risk of death, and/or permanent or protracted disfigurement, loss of bodily function or impairment of bodily function. In addition, any assault involving a firearm or other dangerous weapon (bat, knife, box-cutter etc.) is considered first degree assault. Under state code Section 3-202, a firearm can be defined as a handgun, rifle, shotgun, antique firearm, short-barreled shotgun or short-barreled rifle (Section 4-201); an assault pistol (Section 4-301); a machine gun (Section 4-401); or a regulated firearm (Section 5-501).
The penalty associated with a first degree assault conviction in Maryland can include up to 25 years in prison, as well as a felony conviction reflected on your permanent record. Other penalties could include probation, house arrest, restraining orders, driving restrictions and more, depending on the circumstances of your case.
Our experienced Maryland assault lawyers will take first degree assault charges very seriously, examining each aspect of your case in order to build a solid defense that leads to your acquittal or a reduction in your charges and/or penalties.
Second Degree Assault in Maryland
Second degree assault is defined as causing physical injury, or any impairment of physical condition, to another person. This is covered by Maryland state code Section 3-203.
The penalty for second degree assault, contained under code Section 3-203(b), is a misdemeanor conviction, up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine not to exceed $2,500.
If the victim of the alleged second degree assault crime is a law enforcement, probation, or parole officer, the penalties are more severe and can include up to 10 years in prison as well as a fine not to exceed $5,000. As per code Section 3-203(3), second degree assault on a law enforcement officer results in a felony conviction as opposed to a misdemeanor, making future employment and obtainment of housing extremely difficult for the convicted.
In comparison to many crimes, the penalties associated with both first and second degree assault in Maryland (covered by Title 3, Subtitle 2 of the Maryland criminal law code) are highly severe and could alter the course of your life forever. By hiring a Maryland assault attorney with a solid track record of success, you’ll have the best possible chance of fighting the charges and receiving a favorable outcome on the day of your trial.
Required Evidence for Assault Charges in Maryland
Maryland state code Section 3-208 defines the requirements for evidence of “serious physical injury,” which is needed in order for a first-degree assault conviction. According to this state code, expert testimony is admissible in court in order to prove that the plaintiff has sustained a serious physical injury. In most cases, this expert testimony would come from a doctor or some other medical professional who examined the injuries of the plaintiff following the alleged assault. However, this very same state code states that expert testimony is not required to validate a serious physical injury. This means that a plaintiff could seek a first-degree assault charge against you even if an expert is not willing or able to testify against you or if no such expert testimony is available.
Instances such as these are why it’s so important to have the assistance of an experienced Maryland assault defense lawyer who will work directly with prosecution and law enforcement officers in order to build a strong legal defense based on the exact facts of your case. The help of a qualified attorney will maximize your chances of having the most favorable outcome when your court date actually arrives.
In addition to assault, Mr. Tayter represents individuals for other criminal offenses including drug and gun charges, as discussed here.
For a greater explanation of assault laws in Virginia, visit our Virginia assault lawyer page.