Baltimore Assault & Battery Lawyer
Defenses Need to Be Strong When Heavy Charges are Brought
When you or a loved one is charged with assault in Baltimore, effective legal representation is essential. Assault is a crime of violence under Maryland State law. The Office of The State’s Attorney for Baltimore City resolutely prosecutes assault cases. An assault conviction can change your life by causing you to lose your job, reputation, and freedom.
The experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. can help you or a loved one prepare an effective defense to an assault charge. Our Baltimore, Maryland assault and battery lawyers know that the stakes are high. Retaining an experienced attorney can help tip the scales in your favor.
Contact Portner & Shure, P.A. today to speak to one of our Baltimore assault and battery attorneys about your case. Call (855) 954-4141 or contact us online for a free, confidential consultation.
History of Assault Charges in Maryland
The statutory crime of assault has its history in the common law crimes of assault and battery. Assault was previously defined as an act that places another person in fear of imminent offensive contact. Battery was previously defined as an offensive contact. The current statutory version of assault combines common law assault and common law battery.
Maryland has two statutes governing assault: 1st Degree assault and 2nd Degree assault. Maryland State law defines 2nd Degree assault as an act that places another person in fear of imminent offensive contact or taking a substantial step towards offensive contact, or an offensive contact. Maryland law broadly defines the term “offensive contact”.
Stated more clearly, “offensive contact” can include:
Maryland State law defines 1st Degree assault as an intentional act that causes serious physical injury, or the use of a firearm by an individual while committing 2nd Degree assault. The main difference between 1st Degree assault and 2nd Degree assault is that 1st Degree assault involves an intent by the accused to commit a serious physical injury. 1st Degree assault is a felony and carries a potential penalty of 25 years in prison.
How Assault and Battery is Charged
2nd Degree assault is one of the most frequently charged crimes due to the broad definition of “offensive contact.” While the facts surrounding an assault case may seem senseless, prosecutors frequently charge people with 2nd-degree assault to obtain a tactical advantage and intimidate people into accepting unfavorable plea deals. Prosecutors do not want people to realize that the case against them may be weak.
Defenses to Assault Charges in Maryland
Depending on the specific facts of an assault case, a variety of defenses may be available. A review of the evidence may reveal that the alleged victim lacks credibility. The evidence may also reveal that a self-defense argument is available. For a self-defense argument to succeed, an individual must put forth evidence showing that they reasonably believed that they were facing imminent physical harm and they had the right to use reasonable force to stop an attacker from hurting them. However, the force the individual used to defend themselves must be have been proportional.
Building a strong defense early on can make the difference in an assault and battery case. The experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. know how to investigate the facts surrounding an assault case and identify possible defenses. For over 25 years, we have been proudly providing our legal services to the Chinese (Mandarin and Cantonese), Vietnamese, Korean, and Hispanic communities. We know that our clients depend on us to safeguard their freedom and their future.
To schedule a free consultation regarding your Baltimore City assault and battery case, contact us at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.