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Assault Crimes

Charged with a criminal assault crime?
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Assault and other crimes against the person are taken very seriously in the State of Maryland.  These offenses all carry a potential period of incarceration and/or significant fines.  Additionally, if you are found guilty of assault or a related offense, you will have a criminal conviction on your record that will be visible to employers, housing authorities, and other entities.  No matter how minor or insignificant the event that led to the charge may have seemed, the charge should not be taken lightly.  An experienced Baltimore County criminal defense attorney can help you by protecting your rights and asserting any applicable defenses to avoid having a conviction on your record. 

First-Degree Assault

First-degree assault is the most serious form of assault in the State of Maryland.  It is a felony offense that is punishable by up to 25 years of incarceration if you are convicted. 

What is First-Degree Assault?

In order to be convicted of first-degree assault, the State must prove each and every one of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the Defendant caused or attempted to cause serious bodily injury to another person;

  2. That, at the time, the Defendant had the apparent present ability to inflict serious bodily injury to another person;

  3. That the Defendant intended to cause serious bodily injury to another person; and,

  4. That the Defendant’s actions were not legally justified.

What is a Serious Bodily Injury?

A serious bodily injury is one that creates any of the following:

  • A substantial risk of death

  • A permanent or prolonged disfigurement

  • A serious permanent or prolonged loss or impairment of the function of any bodily member or organ

When May First-Degree Assault be Legally Justified?

First-degree assault may be legally justified under the following circumstances:

  • Self Defense

  • Defense of Others

Second-Degree Assault

Second-degree assault is the less serious form of assault in the State of Maryland.  It is a misdemeanor offense (unless the alleged victim is a law enforcement officer or first responder – then it is a felony) that is punishable by up to 10 years of incarceration and/or a substantial fine if you are convicted. 

What is Second-Degree Assault?

In order to be convicted of second-degree assault, the State must prove each and every one of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the Defendant caused or threatened to cause a harmful or offensive contact to another person;

  2. That the harmful or offensive contact to another person was the result of an intentional or reckless act of the Defendant and was not merely accidental;

  3. That the Defendant’s actions were not consented to nor legally justified.

When May Second-Degree Assault be Legally Justified?

Second-degree assault may be legally justified under the following circumstances:

  • Self Defense

  • Defense of Others

  • Consent

Reckless Endangerment

What is Reckless Endangerment?

In order to be convicted of reckless endangerment, the State must prove each and every one of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the Defendant’s conduct created a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another person;

  2. That the Defendant’s conduct amounted to a gross departure from the standard of conduct that a reasonable, law-abiding person would observe in the Defendant’s position under similar circumstances; and,

  3. That the Defendant engaged in the conduct while being conscious or was otherwise aware of the risk of death or serious physical injury.

Child Neglect

What is Child Neglect?

In order to be convicted of child neglect, the State must prove each and every one of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the alleged victim was a minor child under the age of eighteen;

  2. That the Defendant was a person having permanent or temporary care or custody of the child or a person having responsibility for the supervision of the child;

  3. That the Defendant intentionally neglected the child by failing to provide necessary assistance and resources for the child’s physical needs or mental health that created a substantial risk of harm to the child’s physical health or a substantial risk of mental injury to the child.

False Imprisonment

What is False Imprisonment?

In order to be convicted of false imprisonment, the State must prove each and every one of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the Defendant detained or confined the alleged victim;

  2. That the detainment or confinement of the alleged victim was against his or her will; and,

  3. That the Defendant used force or threat of force or deception or fraud to detain or confine the alleged victim.

Kidnapping

What is Kidnapping?

In order to be convicted of kidnapping, the State must prove each and every one of the following elements beyond a reasonable doubt:

  1. That the Defendant detained or concealed the alleged victim against his or her will;

  2. That the Defendant carried or moved the alleged victim from the place where he or she was detained to some other place against his or her will;

  3. That the Defendant used force or threat of force or deception or both to detain or confine and to carry or move the alleged victim; and,

  4. That the Defendant carried or moved the alleged victim with the intent to have him or her carried or moved to some other place against his or her will or to conceal him or her against his or her will.