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Assault is one of the most common crimes in Maryland. This crime ranges from a misdemeanor to a felony and can result in serious consequences. Assault can be charged if a person is physically harmed or placed in a situation where he or she could be harmed. As per the law, there need not be the intention to cause harm present in this type of offense. A complete definition of assault is covered by Section 3-201.

The penalties for assault in Maryland can range from moderate to severe, but all will leave a mark on your criminal record. Something as insignificant as a black eye can cause you to spend days in prison. Domestic assault (children, spouse) is also very common, with numerous cases registered every day. Additionally, many people are wrongfully accused or charged with assault, when an accuser desires revenge or to gain control over a situation such as custody. Assaults are generally of three types in Maryland. These include:

  • Offensive physical alteration
  • Attempt to physically harm someone
  • Putting someone in a harmful situation

First Degree Assault

An assault that includes the use of firearm is a first degree assault and can result in prison time (up to 25 years). Firearms can include a handgun, machine gun, assault pistol, rifle, shotgun and regulated firearm.  The penalties also include heavy fines and jail time.

Second Degree Assault

The penalty for this type of assault is a maximum fine of $2500, 10 years incarceration, or a mixture of both. A double fine is implemented if the party assaulted belongs to a law enforcement agency and the party charged had this knowledge. Although not as serious as first degree assault, the punishments are still exceptionally harsh.

Food Contamination

Poisoning or contaminating food to cause harm to any party is barred by law and such an act is considered a felony and is punishable in Maryland with fine or jail time (up to 20 years). Section 2-215 also covers forcing someone to ingest harmful substances. Such an offense may result in jail time (up to 10 years) and heavy fine (up to $2500) or a combination of both.

Other cases that could result in an assault charge include reckless driving causing a life threatening injury to the other party, assault by inmate and reckless endangerment.

Defending an Assault Charge

Rhodes Law Firm, LLC has a long and successful history of building strong defenses in assault cases including threats, domestic assaults, simple assaults, restraining order violations and charges of criminal contempt. To frame a solid defense, we look at the underlying conditions surrounding each and every case. This includes finding whether:

  • A false accusation was made.
  • The assault victim had any ulterior motives.
  • The client acted in self-defense.

Keeping a Clean Record

After we build a defense based on independent investigation, we proceed to negotiating with the prosecution regarding reduction or dismissal of the charges. If necessary, we have the experience and skill required to fight for a verdict of not-guilty at trial as well. Our primary goal is to petition for the dismissal of the charges outside the court with the mutual consent of both parties. Attorney Shauna Rhodes can help. Call today for a consultation at (301) 332-4774.