Assault, or an accusation of assault, happens everywhere and everyday in Maryland. Whether you live in Baltimore City, Easton or Frederick you are vulnerable to being charged with assault. Whether it’s a bar fight, a domestic argument, or an interaction with the police, you can be charged with assault. And whether true or false, it is easier to be charged with this crime than any other.
In Maryland there are two types of assaults: first degree assault and second degree assault. You may find yourself charged with one or both.
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.
Violation of Probation (Section 19.2-306)
Some criminal defendants are lucky enough to avoid jail time in their case, and instead, they are sentenced to probation. Other criminal defendants that are sentenced to jail time will usually be on probation after their sentence ends. Any person that fails to comply with a judge-ordered condition of probation or is arrested for a new crime during an active probation period will be deemed to have violated probation. A violation of probation (VOP) can result in the judge awarding any suspended jail time or if you completed your jail sentence in full, you may face a longer probationary period, a fine, or additional jail time.
Virginia's statute states: If the Court, after a violation of probation hearing, finds good cause to believe that the Defendant violated the terms of suspension or probation, then the Court shall revoke the suspension and pronounce whatever sentence might have been originally imposed.
It is more important than ever to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney for your violation of probation hearing. The resulting penalties for a violation of probation are significant because it is possible for someone to go from a small jail sentence to a very long one.
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 a skilled and aggressive criminal defense attorney in order to protect your rights. The attorneys at Portner & Shure will guide you through the legal process. We have successfully defended several cases involving allegations of first and second degree assault. For a free consultation 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.