Published on 8/4/2023, 3:12:00 PM
Understanding Your Second Degree Assault Charge in Maryland
Facing second degree assault charges in Maryland for the first time can be daunting. This guide provides answers to common questions about assault in the second degree and its potential consequences. Experienced criminal defense attorneys at FrizWoods LLC offer free consultations and can help you fight your charges, whether you're located in Prince George's, Anne Arundel, Howard, or any other county.
What is Second Degree Assault?
The crime of assault under Maryland Law can be confusing due to the variety of actions that could constitute the offense. This includes:
- Intentional harmful or offensive physical contact to another person (battery).
- An attempt to cause such contact (attempted battery).
- Intention to frighten another with a threat of physical contact.
Assaults involving spouses or domestic partners have special considerations, as do assaults involving deadly weapons or serious bodily injuries.
Potential Consequences of Assault
The sentencing of first-time second-degree assault offenders largely depends on several factors, such as prior convictions, physical injuries to victims, and involvement of drugs or alcohol. Sentences can range from probation and fines to a maximum penalty of 10 years of jail.
Dropping the Case
Criminal assault cases in Maryland typically involve charges from either a police officer's application or a victim's complaint. Case dismissal or postponement decisions usually take place on the trial day. If a victim does not appear or wishes not to proceed, it may complicate the State's ability to prove their case.
Types of Evidence Used by the State
Second Degree Assault charges often involve evidence such as:
- Witness/Victim Statements
- Photographs of physical injuries
- Body camera footage
Defending Your Case
Defending your second degree assault case will often require taking your case to trial. Legal defenses like self-defense can be put forward, even in cases where there is serious bodily harm.
Impact on Your Record
Assault convictions will go on your criminal record. However, if the case is dismissed or leads to a not guilty verdict, it can be expunged from your record on the same day.
Long Term Consequences
A second degree assault conviction could prohibit you from owning firearms in Maryland until the case was expunged. Those placed on "supervised probation" may need to comply with additional conditions, such as drug screenings and stay-away orders.
Dealing with First and Second Degree Charges
If you've been charged with both first and second degree assault, a preliminary hearing will be scheduled.
What is First Degree Assault?
First-degree assault involves intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical injury to another person. It carries severe punishments, with offenders potentially facing up to 25 years in prison.
Difference Between First and Second Degree Assault
In Maryland, first and second-degree assault are differentiated by the intent of the perpetrator and the severity of the injury caused or intended to be caused by the perpetrator's actions.
How to Get Assault Charges Dropped
Dropping assault charges involves legal strategies such as hiring competent legal representation, gathering evidence, and cooperating with the prosecution, among others.