Baltimore Assault & Battery Lawyers
Maryland Laws on Assault & Battery
If you have been accused of any type of assault or battery, you could be facing either a misdemeanor or felony charge depending on the circumstances. A conviction could land you in jail or impose heavy fines and leave you with a permanent criminal record. Assault and battery crimes can occur in all kinds of situations, between neighbors, in altercations at nightclubs, bars, sporting events, and other locations, in a domestic situation, and in other public gatherings. Being arrested in any of these circumstances can be embarrassing as well as scary, especially if you have never been in trouble with the law before.
If you or someone you know has been charged with any type of assault crime in or around the greater Baltimore area, your first thought should be to secure competent legal help. Being thrown into the criminal justice system can be confusing and stressful involving language, proceedings, and decisions you may not understand. At T. Wray McCurdy, P.A., you can work with a team of Baltimore assault and battery defense attorneys who have handled more than 22,000 cases and have earned high peer-reviewed ratings in so doing.
What is Considered Assault in the State of Maryland?
“Assault and battery” is a common phrase referring to the attempt to cause physical harm (assault) as well as the actual causation of physical harm (battery) to another. While many states differentiate assault from battery with statutes and penalties defining both separately, Maryland does not. Maryland incorporates all assault and battery actions under the umbrella of “assault.”
Assault in Maryland is described as:
- attempting to physically harm another (even if you never make contact with the other person),
- putting another in imminent fear of physical harm,
- or actually committing physical harm or some type of unwanted contact against the other person.
Thus, in Maryland, you can be charged with assault by making a threat against someone, spitting on someone, throwing a rock at someone and missing, or throwing a rock that makes contact, causing a cut or bruise.
How you are charged will depend on which type of assault was involved. No injury is required for you to be charged but assaults involving injury carry greater penalties. In each case, it is a matter of severity or degree.
What Is the Difference Between Battery and Assault?
Battery and assault are two distinct but related criminal offenses in many legal systems, including the United States. They both involve harmful or threatening actions towards another person, but they differ in their elements and the level of harm or intent required. Here are the key differences:
- Assault is generally the threat or attempt to physically harm someone, coupled with the present ability and intent to carry out the threat.
- It can be both a criminal offense and a civil offense (tort). In criminal law, assault doesn't necessarily involve physical contact but can include the act of creating fear of imminent harm in the victim.
- Assault can be charged even if no physical contact occurs. For example, if someone raises their fist in a threatening manner and makes verbal threats but does not actually strike the other person, it may still be considered assault.
- Assault can be categorized into different degrees, such as simple assault (less severe) and aggravated assault (more severe), depending on factors like the level of harm threatened or intended and the use of weapons.
- Battery involves the actual, intentional physical contact or touching of another person without their consent and with harmful or offensive intent.
- Unlike assault, battery requires the actual physical contact or touching of the victim. It is the unlawful act of causing physical harm or offensive contact with another person.
- Battery can also be categorized into different degrees, such as simple battery (less severe) and aggravated battery (more severe), based on factors like the severity of the injuries inflicted and the use of weapons.
In summary, assault is typically the threat or attempt to cause harm, while battery involves the actual physical contact or touching with harmful or offensive intent. It's important to note that the specific definitions and classifications of these offenses can vary from one jurisdiction to another, so the exact legal definitions and penalties may differ depending on local laws. If you are involved in a legal situation related to assault or battery, it is crucial to consult with an attorney today to discuss your case.
What are the Penalties for Assault in Maryland?
Assault charges can include:
- Second-degree misdemeanor assault carrying penalties of up to 10 years in prison and/or fines of up to $2,500
- First-degree felony assault punishable by up to 25 years in prison; charged where a weapon was used or where serious bodily injury was attempted or caused
A “serious bodily injury” refers to physical damage that could lead to death or cause permanent harm to the victim.
Maryland also has specific statutes regarding the assault of law enforcement officers and other public servants such as firefighters, emergency medical personnel, parole or probation officers, and first responders.
Capable Legal Assistance from T. Wray McCurdy, P.A.
An assault charge could sideline your personal and professional life for a long time and make the future difficult due to a criminal record that can be easily accessed by others. Your best action is to ensure that your legal rights are protected and that you have a trusted professional pursuing your best interests throughout the entire criminal justice proceeding. All of that and more can be accomplished when you turn to our firm’s accomplished legal team. We will fight for you and be by your side every step of the way as we seek the most favorable outcome possible.