Wheaton Assault/Battery Attorney
Providing the Strong Legal Defense You Need
Assault is one of the most commonly charged crimes in Montgomery County and throughout Maryland. The penalties associated with assault can be steep. As it is a crime of violence, an assault conviction can result in a lifelong criminal record, loss of employment, and the loss of freedom. If you are facing assault charges, you are also likely facing jail or prison time, as well as significant fines and other criminal and social consequences.
At Portner & Shure, P.A., we have been zealously representing those accused of assault for over 25 years. Our Wheaton assault attorneys are ready to protect you and your rights. Continue reading to learn more about assault (and “battery”) in Maryland, or reach out to us directly to speak to an attorney at our firm about your case.
Call Portner & Shure, P.A. at (855) 954-4141 or contact us online.
Maryland Assault Law
Under Maryland State Law, there are two assault statutes. In order to understand what “assault” actually means, the common law history of “assault” must be examined.
At common law, assault was defined as an act that was meant to place another individual in fear of imminent offensive contact (assault) or a substantial step toward offensive contact (attempted battery). Common law battery was defined as an offensive contact. The modern statutory definition of second degree assault covers all these common law crimes.
Second-degree assault is defined as causing physical injury, or any impairment of physical condition, to another person. This statute covers any form of unconsented contact. For example, spitting or spilling a drink on another person constitutes unconsented contact.Second-degree assault is the act of placing another in fear of imminent offensive contact or taking a substantial step toward offensive contact. The maximum penalty is 10 years and / or a $2,500.00 fine. If the victim is a law enforcement officer, the fine increases to $5,000.00.
First-degree assault is the intentional causing or an attempt to cause serious physical injury to another individual. Stated more clearly, First-degree assault is the same as Second-degree except that a serious physical injury occurred or the intent to cause serious physical injury was present. Additionally, the use of a firearm is also considered First-degree assault even if no injuries occurred. The maximum penalty is 25 years.
What Is Reckless Endangerment?
Reckless endangerment is a related statute. Reckless endangerment is defined as recklessly engaging in any type of conduct that creates a substantial and unjustified risk of imminent death or serious bodily harm. The maximum penalty is 5 years.
How Assault & Battery Is Charged in Maryland
Due to the all-encompassing nature of assault, particularly second-degree assault, prosecutors routinely charge individuals with this crime. Stated simply, while the facts surrounding the incident giving rise to the charge may seem ridiculous, prosecutors charge individuals with this crime in order to frighten them and to obtain leverage in plea negotiations.
If you have been charged with assault and/or battery in Wheaton or throughout Montgomery County, turn to the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. for trusted legal representation.
Defenses to Assault Charges
Several defenses are available in an assault and battery case. The most common defense is that of self-defense. Under this defense, if an individual reasonably believes that they are facing imminent physical harm, they have the right to use reasonable force to stop an attacker from hurting them. However, the force used must be proportional. A self-defense argument fails if a person uses a gun to defend him/herself in a fist fight.
Another defense that is available is defense of others. Under this defense, if a person reasonably believes that a third party is being threatened and that the third party would be permitted to defend themselves, then the person has the legal right to protect the third party. Again, the force used must be reasonable.
The facts surrounding an assault and battery case are often complex. In order to identify whether these defenses apply, it’s important to request a thorough review of the case from an experienced Wheaton assault and battery lawyer.
What Sets Portner & Shure, P.A. Apart?
For more than 25 years, our experienced legal team has been defending those accused of assault and battery in Montgomery County courts. We understand how the law works and what defenses are appropriate in a given case. Our aggressive approach has helped us earn the respect of local law enforcement, prosecutors, and judges, as well as countless five-star reviews from past clients. Additionally, our firm has earned numerous awards for our commitment to a high level of client service. Most recently, we were named among Maryland’s “10 Best Law Firms” by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys of 2020.
To request a free and confidential consultation, contact Portner & Shure, P.A. online or call us at (855) 954-4141 today.