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We Want to Defend Your Rights!

The consequences of being accused and convicted of assault can be devastating. Assault is a violent crime, so a conviction can result in the loss of your reputation in your community, job termination, a lifelong criminal record, and possible incarceration. Preparing an effective defense increases the chances of a favorable outcome, which is why a Bel Air, Maryland assault and battery lawyer should be retained as soon as possible. Choose our experienced attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A., who have been successfully representing clients in assault and battery cases for more than 30 years.

Our lawyers are ready to defend you. Call (410) 995-1515 now.

History of Assault Laws in Maryland

The current assault statute is based on two common law crimes: assault and battery. The basis of assault definitions in the law is that the accused attempted or threatened to harm the accuser. There is no mention of actual physical contact in most assault statutes. Battery, on the other hand, occurs when an actual and harmful physical contact is made. The current assault statute has codified common law assault and common law battery into one overall charge in most cases.

Assault Charges in Bel Air, Maryland

Maryland State law classifies assault into two degrees:

  • Second-degree assault: 2nd-degree assault is a misdemeanor and is defined as placing another person in fear of imminent offensive contact, taking a substantial step towards offensive contact, or an offensive contact. An offensive contact could be nearly any type of contact, such as spitting or spilling a drink on another person. 2nd-degree assault carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or a $2,500.00 fine.
  • First-degree assault: 1st-degree assault is a felony and has the same elements as 2nd-degree assault. The primary difference is that 1st-degree assault involves an intent by the accused to cause serious physical injury, the use of a firearm during the assault, or a serious physical injury occurred. 1st-degree assault carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.

Understanding Your Assault & Battery Charge

Prosecutors routinely charge people with 2nd-degree assault because it can cover a range of “unwanted” physical contacts, such as pushing or spitting. While the underlying facts surrounding an assault charge may seem frivolous, prosecutors may pursue these cases with the hope of intimidating the accused into accepting plea deals. To make certain that you are not being bullied by prosecutors, you should work with an assault defense lawyer as soon as you can.

What Defenses Can We Use for Your Assault Case?

People who are accused of crimes mistakenly believe that they have to prove their innocence. The reality is that people are legally presumed to be innocent, and the state needs to prove that they are guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. A review of the evidence in your assault and battery case may reveal that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to meet this burden or that the alleged victim lacks credibility.

The affirmative defense of self-defense might work for your assault case. To successfully assert self-defense, you will need to prove that you used a reasonable amount of force to stop an attacker from hurting you or hurting you further. However, the force used must be proportional to the threat. For example, a self-defense argument can fail if the defendant used a gun when defending themselves during a fistfight.

Why Hire Portner & Shure, P.A. Today?

Our experienced and dedicated Bel Air assault and battery attorneys at Portner & Shure have been successfully representing criminal defense clients for decades. In addition to excellent reviews from prior clients, our reputation in the legal community can be seen with the numerous awards our attorneys have earned throughout their years of practice. For example, The American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020 recently recognized Portner & Shure as one of Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms” due to our excellence in criminal defense cases!

To schedule a free consultation regarding your Bel Air assault and battery case, call us at (410) 995-1515 or contact us online.


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