Although the overall number of assaults in Montgomery County is low compared to the rest of Maryland counties, Silver Spring accounts for a majority of assaults due to the large population and urban setting of the downtown area. In Maryland, there are two levels of assault: first degree and second degree.
Second Degree Assault
2nd degree assault is generally a misdemeanor with a maximum potential sentence of 10 years. A 2nd degree assault will be charged as a felony if committed on a law enforcement or probation officer. There are three disjunctive factors for second degree assault, which means the state only needs to prove one of the three in order to get a conviction.
The three factors include:
- Intent to frighten
- Attempted battery
In order to prove intent to frighten, the state must prove knowledge of the fear, or in other words, that the victim saw the defendant coming at them. For attempted battery, there must be a substantial step toward offensive contact with specific intent to cause offensive contact. A battery is a harmful or offensive contact of another with specific intent to put another in fear or apprehension of an unwanted touching.
First Degree Assault
1st degree assault is a felony with a maximum potential sentence of 25 years. 1st degree assault can be proved if there is actual or intended serious physical injury or if there is a firearm. You can be charged with 1st degree assault if you have committed any of the three parts of 2nd degree assault with a firearm or with actual or intended serious physical injury.
Contact an Experienced Assault Attorney
Our attorneys believe everyone deserves a thorough and vigorous defense. If you have been charged with assault, you must immediately retain an experienced and aggressive criminal defense attorney in order to protect your rights. The attorneys at Portner & Shure have successfully defended several cases involving allegations of assault. For service in Maryland, call us at (410) 995-1515 or (301) 854-9000. We also serve clients in Virginia (call (703) 734-8790 and Washington, D.C. call (202) 554-1449.