Introduction to Assault and Battery Crimes in Maryland
Charges of Assault and Battery in Maryland range from misdemeanor to felony, depending on the severity, circumstances, and involved parties, among other factors. Assault crimes include actually committing battery, attempted battery, or threats of battery. Battery is defined as any unwanted physical contact, with or without the intent to harm. This also includes unintentional but reckless physical contact, such as accidentally striking an individual.
Assault charges may be made even without actual physical contact. If there was a threat of unwanted contact in order to intimidate an individual but there was no actual contact or injury, this may still be determined to be assault.
Maryland Assault and Battery Laws
Misdemeanor Assault and Battery
A misdemeanor assault charge in Maryland carries a maximum of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $2,500. Generally, misdemeanor assault is a second degree crime, and the most common defense is self-defense. Any assault that is not defined as a First Degree Assault (see below) will be considered second degree, provided the alleged assault did not involve a law enforcement officer, firefighter, medic, or other public official. Any second degree assault involving the aforementioned parties are felonies.
Felony Assault and Battery
Felony assault is intentionally attempting, or causing, serious harm to another person. Any use of a firearm in an assault is considered a felony regardless of the additional circumstances. In addition, any assault on a police officer, a prison official, Emergency Medical Technician, Firefighter, or any other public official is elevated to Assault in the First Degree as well. Felony Assault, or first degree assault, carries a maximum penalty of 10 years imprisonment and/or a $2,500 ($5,000 for assault of an on-duty law enforcement officer).
Hiring a Criminal Defense Attorney for an Assault and Battery Crime in Maryland
Whether you are charged with a misdemeanor or felony assault charge, finding the right defense attorney for your case is very important. The circumstances of all assault cases vary depending on many different circumstances, and your defense will depend on all of them. Some common defenses for Assault charges, whether misdemeanor or felony, include (but are not limited to) self-defense, affirmative defense, mistaken identity, or no credible threat. In the case of self-defense or affirmative defense, you act either out of your own self-preservation in response to being attacked (self-defense) or committed the assault only to prevent imminent harm to you or another party. In the event of No Credible Threat, the assault in question does not indicate that the other party was in fear of injury, such as the case that the party consented to the situation. In the event of a mistaken identity, the assault may have involved a large group where no specific individual may be determined to have taken place in the action.
Regardless of your potential defense, The Flynn Law Firm PLLC will work to find the best solution for your situation. Contact us today for a free consultation so we may begin to build your defense immediately.