Assault & Battery
Criminal Statute 3-201
Being charged with a criminal offense is an extremely scary experience for most people. In the State of Maryland, the crime of assault is commonly known as assault and battery. Maryland does not have separate charges for assault and battery. The types of assault charges in Maryland include the following offenses:
Assault in the First Degree 3-202
A person may be charged with this offense if they are accused of any of the following:
- Intentionally causing serious physical harm to another individual
- Attempting to cause serious physical harm to another person
- Committing an assault against another person with a firearm
Serious physical harm is defined as an injury that causes permanent damage, disfigurement, loss of a limb, loss of organ or poses the risk of death to another person. First-degree assault is considered a felony offense and is punishable by up to 25 years in state prison.
Assault in the Second Degree 3-203
While this is a less serious offense than first-degree assault, a person can be charged with this crime if any of the following occurred:
- They attempted to or touched another person without their consent
- They attempted to or caused physical injury to another person
This is considered a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to 10 years in state prison and a maximum fine of $2,500. If convicted of this crime, the offense will not be eligible for expungement, meaning that it will remain permanently on the person’s criminal record. If the person is charged with second-degree assault on a probation officer or law enforcement officer, the charged will be classified as a felony offense. The penalty includes not more than ten years in state prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Reckless Endangerment 3-204
The crime of reckless endangerment is classified under the assault offenses in the State of Maryland. This offense is committed when a person recklessly causes serious physical injury or the risk of death to another person. Reckless endangerment could include such actions as throwing objects at another person, inciting violence, aggressive or reckless driving, discharging a firearm in public, setting explosive devices or tampering with heavy machinery. This is considered to be a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by up to five years in state prison and a maximum fine of $5,000.
Assault by Attempted Poisoning
It is against the law in the State of Maryland to attempt to poison another individual. A person can be charged with this crime if they willfully and knowingly caused another person to ingest bodily fluid by force or threat of force without the person’s consent. The criminal code defines bodily fluid as blood, feces, seminal fluid or urine. This is considered to be a misdemeanor offense and is punishable by a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of ten years in state prison and a maximum fine of up to $2,500.
Assault by Poisoning Water/Food Contamination
It is a crime in the State of Maryland to intentionally contaminate food, water supplies or beverages. According to code, a person is guilty of this offense if they willfully and knowingly contaminate, attempt to contaminate or conspire with others to contaminate a source of water supply, which includes such things as: brooks, lakes, ponds, rivers, etc. This crime is considered to be a felony offense and carries a maximum of up to 20 years in state prison
Possible Defenses For Assault Charge
Quite often in cases involving an assault charge, the defendant may have acted in self-defense or the defense of another person. If you were attacked and fought back without using excessive force, this could be considered self-defense; if you fought back and did employ excessive force this is called imperfect self defense. In some cases, the accusation may be false and if there were no witnesses, this can bode well in the defense of your case.
Why You Need a Criminal Defense Attorney
When you are facing serious criminal charges, it is imperative that you retain an experienced criminal defense attorney. The lawyers at Robinson & Associates have over 20 years experience in defending clients against criminal charges. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at 443-524-7395
When you have been arrested on a charge of domestic assault, you are facing serious legal consequences. The court system in the State of Maryland is there to protect victims and may do so at the expense of innocent defendants. Judges can order you out of your house to protect a spouse and implement restraining orders to keep you from seeing your children if they deem in necessary to protect the kids. Once charges have been filed against a defendant, the case is assigned to a prosecutor or Deputy District Attorney. It is their job to represent the people of the State of Maryland. The victim cannot drop the domestic assault charges if they subsequently change their mind about proceeding forward, meaning the State will prosecute the matter irrespective. It is the responsibility of the State to ensure that the law is enforced and to protect the victim(s) from further abuse by the defendant.
How Domestic Assault Cases Are Prosecuted
When the prosecuting attorney examines the case, they will take into consideration the ability and desire of the victim to assist in pursuing prosecution. The case might be jeopardized due to fear of retaliation and/or threats made by the perpetrator. However, the ultimate decision as to whether or not the case will proceed remains at the discretion of the prosecutor’s office.
A conviction for a first-degree domestic violence offense carries a maximum sentence of up to 25 years in state prison. If convicted of a second-degree violence offense, you will be facing up to ten years in state prison and a fine of up to $2,500.
When the case involves serious injuries inflicted upon the victim, the prosecutor may decide to charge the defendant with assault and battery in addition to any domestic assault charges. In this scenario, assault charges may result in a felony conviction on the defendant’s permanent record.
Mounting a Defense Against Criminal Charges
In order to obtain a conviction, the prosecution must be able to prove that the defendant is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Married couples often have arguments that escalate into a heated situation. Often times it may be your word against your spouse’s. However, you can offer a solid defense by presenting any witnesses that were present at the time the altercation took place. Defense counsel may be able to impeach the credibility of your spouse’s testimony if it conflicts with the statements that were given to the officers at the time of your arrest.
The court may consider the person justified in their actions if they were in the process of protecting themselves against a perceived threat. The victim may have been harmed when the defendant employed self-defense measures in order to escape bodily injury from a drunken spouse. Once a case goes forward, it will be up to the judge or jury to decide who is telling the truth. It is important to maintain your composure during these proceedings and listen to the advice of your legal counsel.
Getting Legal Help From a Criminal Defense Lawyer
When you hire a legal professional to defend you, they will examine all the facts of the case in order to mount an appropriate defense to protect your rights. Criminal defense attorneys can explain how the judicial process works and what penalties you may be facing. Just because you have been arrested does not mean that the prosecutor will obtain a conviction. That is why it is important to retain experienced legal counsel immediately when you are facing criminal charges. Contact Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation at 443-524-7395.