In Maryland, the Legislature has categorized assault as either First Degree: serious assaults that could result in death or permanent injury; and Second Degree: which could be as “minor” as an unwanted touching. Even “minor” charges of assault, or of assault and battery can carry serious consequences. A skilled criminal defense attorney can help you understand the potential consequences of a conviction and can help you protect your rights.
If you have been charged with any type of assault offense in Maryland or in Washington D.C., Marc Emden is ready to work with you to build the best possible legal defense and to help you win your case. After practicing law for almost 30 years, Marc Emden has the skills to help you in your criminal case.
If you were arrested for assault, you will need the advice of a skilled and aggressive assault defense lawyer who will investigate your case and challenge the government’s case at every turn.
Over the many years of representing hundreds of people charged with this crime, Marc Emden recognizes that a person charged with an assault may have been acting in self-defense or in defense of another. Sometimes assault can be the result of domestic violence, or drug and alcohol abuse, which does not excuse the behavior but provides some context for the reasons why someone may have committed an assault. Marc Emden will explore questions like, how serious was the assault and how seriously was the victim harmed? Were drugs or alcohol involved? Did this occur in the party’s household? Are there mental health issues underlying your assault case?
When it is helpful, Marc Emden of Rockville, Maryland, will work closely with a psychiatrist or other experts who can evaluate the state of circumstances involving your offense. The circumstances surrounding the incident should play a key role in developing a defense strategy to fight or minimize assault charges.
Assault also includes the use of a weapon against a person, causing serious bodily harm, striking a person or simple unwanted touching. In Maryland, First Degree Assault is a felony that is punishable by up to twenty-five years in prison. Second Degree Assault is a misdemeanor that is punishable by a period of incarceration of up to 10 years. An assault conviction of either type has significant consequences beyond jail. An assault crime in Maryland can often have a significant effect on one’s security clearance, your immigration and employment, including the deportation of resident aliens. If you are charged with assault in the context of domestic violence, your exposure could also lead to civil cases including divorce and a protective order.
It is crucial that if you are charged with assault you remember not to make any statements to the police, and contact Marc Emden immediately. Please call us at (301) 762-7007.
Does using a weapon affect how someone is charged with assault in Maryland?
The use of a weapon, particularly a firearm, in any crime will cause prosecutors to increase the severity of the charge. Certainly other factors will also influence outcomes, such as whether a firearm was fired, brandished, or merely on the person of the Defendant at the time of the assault.
Is an assault on a law enforcement officer more serious in Maryland?
Yes. The assault of a law enforcement officer in Maryland is treated more severely than an assault on any other person. If you are convicted of Second Degree Assault against a law enforcement officer, it becomes a felony, and while the maximum term of imprisonment remains 10 years, the level of the fine increases.
Can you be charged with an assault even if the other person is not injured?
Yes. Under Maryland law, any unwanted touching or other physical contact can constitute an assault even where the complaining witness does not sustain an injury. An assault can also occur without actually touching the person, such as spitting at them or throwing an object at them.
For example, knocking someone’s glasses from their face could, technically constitute an assault under Maryland criminal law. Spitting on someone also qualifies as assault in the second degree.
Does an assault conviction usually mean a person will spend time in jail?
While an assault conviction can bring a 25-year sentence for First Degree and a 10-year sentence for Second Degree, many people convicted of less severe assaults, particularly first time offenders, are often given suspended sentences and a period of probation. In some cases, a probation before judgment disposition can be entered and this means the person does not have a conviction for the offense but would still be required to complete probation.
Can I ever get an assault conviction off my record?
If you are convicted of a First Degree Assault, the answer is no unless you receive a pardon from the Governor. In the case of Second Degree Assault, you can Petition the Court to expunge your record seven (7) years after you complete any sentence, including probation and/or parole.
Can I be charged with assault if it’s a case of self-defense?
Yes, in Maryland you can be charged with assault even if it is self-defense. Some states have a self-defense statute, but Maryland does not. However, in Maryland, self-defense is a defense that can be used at trial. A self-defense claim at trial can even lead to an acquittal or conviction on a lesser charge.
Am I ever allowed to assault someone in Maryland?
Yes. When an individual agrees to play football, hockey or other contact sports, he or she is aware that hard physical contact is part of the game and that agreeing to play is much like consenting to that contact. When a high school quarterback is tackled during a play, he has consented to the tackling. . When two boxers are fighting in the ring, the loser cannot file assault charges against the winner for hitting him. While in both instances the athletes in question get hit, they also have consented to the possibility of those shots as part of the sport in which they are participating.
If a juvenile was charged with assault, can he be charged as an adult?
Sometimes a juvenile charged with assault can be charged as an adult. The situation would depend on how serious the assault was, whether the juvenile was charged with other crimes at the time and the extent of their prior juvenile record.
Please note that these answers should not be construed as legal advice in all situations. You should speak with an attorney before making any decisions about your legal matter. These answers are intended only to provide general information.