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Maryland Criminal Defense Trial Lawyers | First Degree Assault

What is a Maryland First Degree Assault? First Degree Assault Maryland explained.

The crime of Assault in the First Degree, also referred to sometimes as aggravated assault or assault with a deadly weapon, is a more serious version of Assault in the Second Degree, but at base, it is just the same type of Maryland assault with aggravating factors. It can be separated into three categories.

What is the the law on First-Degree Assault Maryland?

Criminal Law Article Section 3-202 indicates that a person commits the crime of Assault in the First Degree if that person intentionally causes or attempts to cause serious physical injury to another.

"Serious physical injury" means a physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death or causes permanent or protracted serious disfigurement, loss of function or impairment of function of any bodily member or organ.

What are common first-degree assault cases in Maryland Courts?

1. Whenever significant injuries result from an assault

These cases often involve a party requiring hospitalization of one party or broken bones, or photos showing significant severe injuries, the charge of Assault in the First Degree is usually levied against the person alleged to have caused those injuries in MD.

2. Whenever a weapon is present or brandished, even if the weapon doesn't cause an injury.

That makes sense if the weapon is a regulated firearm, or gun, given that the second type of Assault in the First Degree is that a person may not commit an assault with a firearm.

In that case, by statute, even if you just point a gun at someone without an intent to cause serious physical injury, it is considered First-Degree Assault. The same doesn't hold true with respect to a knife, a bat, or other weapon.

The mere presence of a weapon does not equate to an intent to cause serious physical injury, and the matter can often be litigated successfully in a preliminary hearing depending on the circumstances.

3. Strangulation - An assault caused by a person choking another person.

That type of assault does not require the additional intent to cause serious physical injury, just the action of applying pressure to another person's throat or neck. This is a fairly new form of assault, but these cases are becoming more common.

What is First Degree Assault in Maryland?

First Degree Assault is a felony carrying a maximum penalty of twenty-five years of incarceration. In addition, the crime is considered a crime of violence for purposes of parole, which means that a person given a sentence of incarceration for Assault in the First Degree would have to serve over 50% of the actual sentence before becoming eligible for parole.

To give you a comparison, sentences that are not crimes of violence and otherwise are parole eligible become parole eligible at 25% of the sentence.

How can a defense attorney beat the case?

Defenses to First Degree Assault in MD are primarily the same as Second Degree Assault in MD, albeit, some are less believable if the injuries sustained by an alleged victim are severe.

Self Defense - Physical

Defenses to First Degree Assault in MD are primarily the same as Second Degree Assault in MD, albeit, some are less believable if the injuries sustained by an alleged victim are severe.

Self Defense - Physical Injuries to Defendant

However, if there is enough evidence to generate specific defenses, a Defendant can argue that they only assaulted the alleged victim because they were defending themselves, "self-defense", or defending a third party, defending their personal property, or defending their home. Self defense is a common defense used in Maryland Assault cases.

Consent to the Assault

The defense that an alleged victim consented to the assault is less likely to be successful in cases where severe injuries are present, as the State will often successfully argue that even if a person consents to a fight, they don't consent to an escalation that results in hospitalization. Self-defense is often a defense to first-degree assault charges under MD law.

Motive to lie about the assault

Domestic violence allegations are the source of most first-degree assault charges in MD, which presents a unique dynamic. Many times alleged victims make fabricated injury claims to generate first-degree assault charges under MD criminal code. If you're not careful, you could end up with a criminal conviction for a felony with the wrong lawyer.

Bring a trial lawyer to Court, not a divorce lawyer.

When charged with a first-degree assault in MD, you should look to retain an attorney that has experience in preliminary hearings and jury trials in that jurisdiction and throughout the criminal justice system in MD.

Preliminary hearings occur in District Court according to criminal procedure rules in Maryland. In that hearing the District Court makes a determination whether there is enough evidence to send the matter to Circuit Court.

While rarely successful given the low standard of proof in most cases, it is an excellent source of early evidence, and a criminal lawyer can often lock in testimony of a witness that can be later relied on in a second degree assault trial. Assault in the First Degree are defensible, even in cases where injuries are severe. Proving a person intended to commit assault isn't as easy as it sounds.

Experienced Maryland Criminal Defense attorneys are able to argue against "serious bodily injury" claims sustained during mutual fights.

Attorneys, like Max Frizalone and Luke Woods, who have successfully litigated and tried cases involving significant injuries and fatalities, have the expertise to navigate medical records, conflicting testimony, defense and legal justification, to provide excellent defense in allegations of Assault in the First Degree.

Locations we serve

Whether your case is in Frederick County, Prince George's County, Howard County, Baltimore County, or Anne Arundel County, we can help fight your charges. No matter if it's a jury trial or a bench trial, we have the ability to establish reasonable doubt in your case - in Baltimore City or Ellicott City.

Locations we serve

Whether your case is in Frederick County, Prince George's County, Howard County, Baltimore County, or Anne Arundel County, we can help fight your charges. No matter if it's a jury trial or a bench trial, we have the ability to establish reasonable doubt in your case.

In addition to these counties, our skilled lawyers also serve clients in Cecil County, Carroll County, and other surrounding areas in Maryland. Our dedicated criminal defense team has experience handling assault cases, including first-degree assault and second degree assault, as well as other criminal charges. We understand Maryland law and the complexities of the criminal justice system.

We win MD Assault Cases

When facing assault charges in Maryland, it is crucial to have a knowledgeable defense attorney by your side to protect your rights and fight for the best possible outcome. Our team at FrizWoods is committed to providing our clients with personalized attention, thorough case preparation, and aggressive representation in court.

Criminal Defense for every case

If you or a loved one is facing first-degree assault or other criminal charges in Maryland, don't hesitate to contact our experienced criminal defense lawyers for a consultation. We will carefully review your case and develop a strong defense strategy to help you navigate the criminal justice system and achieve the best possible outcome for your situation.

To get started, visit our contact page or call us today to schedule a consultation with one of our dedicated Maryland criminal defense attorneys.

Don't let a single mistake or false accusation ruin your life. Trust the experienced criminal defense team lawyer Maryland at FrizWoods to fight for your rights and your future.