In Maryland, assault is defined as one of three scenarios.
1) Attempted Battery – an attempt to cause offensive, non-consensual physical contact with another person.
2) Intent to Frighten – intentionally creating the fear in another person of immediate, offensive, non-consensual physical contact with the other person.
3) Battery – actually causing the offensive, non-consensual physical contact with the other person.
It is important to note that you can be charged with assault without actually making physical contact with the other person. In Maryland, The punishment for an assault will depend on the injury to the other person and the risk created by the conduct. The severity of the act is broken up into three categories as follows.
First Degree Assault:
This form of assault is a felony and carries a maximum penalty of thirty years in prison. To sustain a conviction of first degree assault, the prosecutor must prove that a firearm was used during the act, or the defendant intended to cause serious physical injury to the victim. Serious physical injury involves a substantial risk of death or serious and permanent bodily harm to the victim.
Second Degree Assault:
This form of assault is a misdemeanor, but still carries a substantial maximum penalty of 10 years in state prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500. If the victim is a police officer, then the crime is classified as a felony and the fine is doubled.
An assault conviction can have important future consequences affecting employment, occupational licensing, financing, and the ability of non-citizens to remain in the United States. Contacting a Maryland assault lawyer can make navigating the legal system much easier, and help you take a proactive approach to resolve such an issue in a way that most benefits your needs.
For a greater explanation of assault laws in Maryland please consult the Maryland Official Code.