Maryland Assault Law

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Maryland Assault Attorneys

Confronting assault charges in Maryland can be a daunting and frightening experience, but it is important to remember that you do not have to navigate this process on your own. By enlisting the support of our skilled assault defense attorneys in Maryland, you can leverage every available legal avenue to defend yourself against the charges. This significantly enhances the likelihood of achieving a dismissal of your case in court or, if that is not possible, reducing the charges to the greatest degree feasible.

Definitions of Terms in Maryland Assault Charging Documents

The definitions of various terms used in Maryland’s criminal codes pertaining to assault and related crimes can be found in Section 3-201. According to this code, assault encompasses the crimes of assault, battery, and assault and battery. This includes any intentional action taken with the intent to harm another person, regardless of whether actual harm occurs.

Additionally, this code defines a law enforcement officer as any individual with law enforcement authority, including correctional officers, WMATA Metro Transit Police officers, sheriffs and sheriff’s deputies, as well as local and state law enforcement agents.

The term “serious physical injury” is frequently used in Maryland’s criminal code regarding assault and related crimes. As per code Section 3-201(d), serious physical injury is defined as any physical injury that results in long-term or permanent impairment or loss of a body organ or limb, disfigurement, or poses a significant risk of death. Expert testimony, such as that of a medical professional, is admissible to establish serious physical injury, although it is not always necessary for its proof.

One of our experienced assault lawyers in Maryland will assist you in comprehending the terminology present in your charging documents and explain its relevance to your specific case.

Assault in the First Degree in Maryland

First-degree assault offenses are addressed in Maryland’s criminal code Section 3-202. This code stipulates that it is unlawful for an individual to intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to another person.

Furthermore, section 2 of this code designates any assault committed with the use of a firearm as first-degree assault, regardless of whether it involves serious physical injury or an attempted infliction of such injury. The definition of a firearm includes:

  • Handgun
  • Regulated firearm
  • Shotgun or short-barreled shotgun
  • Rifle or short-barreled rifle
  • Assault pistol
  • Machine gun

The penalty for Assault in the First Degree is a felony conviction, with a maximum prison sentence of 25 years. A skilled Maryland assault lawyer can develop a strong defense strategy for your case, leveraging all available legal resources to minimize the charges and potential penalties you may face.

Assault in the Second Degree in Maryland

Second-degree assault offenses in Maryland are addressed under state code Section 3-203. This code prohibits any form of assault against another individual. The penalty for second-degree assault can include up to 10 years of imprisonment, a fine of up to $2,500, or a combination of both.

However, section (c) of code Section 3-203 imposes harsher penalties for individuals who commit second-degree assault against a police officer. If the offender is aware or has reason to believe that the victim is a law enforcement, probation, or parole officer engaged in official duties, the offense is elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony. Additional penalties may include a fine not exceeding $5,000 and a maximum prison term of 10 years.

In many cases, actions that may seem harmless can lead to unwarranted second-degree assault charges. A skilled Maryland criminal defense attorney can vigorously defend against such charges. Even in more complex cases, your attorney will utilize extensive knowledge of Maryland law and prosecutorial procedures to pursue the best possible outcome during your trial.

Poisoning and Intentional Contamination in Maryland

Maryland’s criminal code Section 3-214 addresses laws pertaining to the intentional contamination of food, beverages, and water supplies. According to part (a) of this code, it is illegal to willfully and knowingly contaminate, conspire to contaminate, or attempt to contaminate sources of water used for domestic purposes, such as reservoirs, rivers, streams, ponds, lakes, brooks, springs, and wells. The prohibited contaminants include bacteria, germs, poison, and poisonous substances.

Similarly, part (b) of this code prohibits individuals from willfully and knowingly contaminating, conspiring to contaminate, or attempting to contaminate any food supply, food product, or drink with the same types of substances.

The penalty for these crimes is a felony conviction, carrying a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

The related crime of attempted poisoning is covered under criminal code Section 3-213. This code prohibits individuals from attempting to poison others. The penalty for this crime is a felony, with a prison term ranging from 2 to 10 years.

Finally, the crime of willfully and knowingly causing another individual to ingest bodily fluid by force, threat of force, or without consent is addressed in criminal code Section 2-215. Bodily fluid is defined as urine, feces, blood, or seminal fluid. The penalty for this crime is a misdemeanor, accompanied by a fine of up to $2,500 and a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Assault by Inmate in Maryland

Under Maryland criminal code Section 3-210, it is unlawful for an inmate of a jail or prison to assault another inmate, a correctional officer, or any employee of a sheriff’s office or correctional facility.

The sentence imposed for this crime runs consecutively to any existing sentence the inmate is serving and cannot be served concurrently. Additionally, the additional sentence for the assault committed by the inmate may not be suspended.

Life-Threatening Injury by Driving Under the Influence in Maryland

Maryland’s criminal code Section 3-211 covers crimes that could be described as “assault by DUI.” According to this code, it is illegal to negligently operate a motor vehicle or boat while under the influence of alcohol, causing a life-threatening injury to another individual. Being “under the influence of alcohol” means having a blood alcohol concentration greater than 0.08 grams per 100 ml of blood. The penalty for this crime is a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum prison sentence of 3 years and a fine not exceeding $5,000.

If the same crime is committed while the individual is impaired by alcohol but does not exceed the 0.08 standard, the penalty remains a misdemeanor, with a maximum prison sentence of 2 years and a fine of up to $3,000. The penalty is the same if the crime is committed while the individual is impaired by drugs or controlled dangerous substances.

Reckless Endangerment Law in Maryland

Reckless endangerment, a crime closely related to assault, is addressed in Maryland’s criminal code Section 3-204. According to this code, it is unlawful to engage recklessly in conduct that creates a substantial risk of serious physical injury or death to another individual. This code also prohibits discharging a firearm from a motor vehicle in a manner that presents the same risk. However, this code does not apply to the sale, production, or manufacture of goods or products, nor to individuals defending themselves or others from a violent crime.

If multiple individuals are endangered by the offender’s conduct, separate charges can be brought for each victim. The penalty for reckless endangerment in Maryland is a misdemeanor, carrying a maximum prison sentence of 5 years and fines of up to $5,000.

Having Assault Charges Dismissed in Maryland

Under certain circumstances, assault charges may be dismissed prior to reaching trial, as outlined in Maryland’s criminal code Section 3-207. Dismissal of your assault case is the desired outcome your Maryland defense attorney will strive for.

According to this code, the court may dismiss your assault case if both you and the alleged victim agree to the charges being dismissed and the court deems it appropriate to do so.