Assault Offenses


Assault charges need to be treated seriously, whether the accused feels like they are being falsely accused, acted in self-defense, or feels like they didn’t do anything wrong. But don’t lose hope about your assault charge. I have had clients accused of assault where they were the ones who were actually the victims, and they were falsely charged by the police or their accuser made up charges to retaliate against them. I have had success getting cases like these outright dismissed. In other cases, I may be able to negotiate with the prosecutor so that a client takes an anger management course or completes community service in order for the charges to be dismissed. Regardless of the case, my office will investigate the facts of the case, identify potential witnesses, research the case, and provide the best defense possible for that particular case. Sometimes these cases have to be fought and won at trial and we treat and prepare every case as if it will go to trial, even if we ultimately negotiate a settlement beneficial to the client which avoids trial.

Assault is one of the most commonly charged crimes in Maryland, because it ranges anywhere from an offensive touch or a push to a serious injury with a dangerous weapon. Assault can even be charged where no physical contact takes place. All that is required is an act that places someone in fear or apprehension of an offensive touching.

First Degree Assault

The difference between first degree assault and second degree assault is one of severity. First degree assault occurs where someone causes or attempts to cause “serious physical injury” to another. In Maryland, first degree assault is a felony that carries a maximum sentence of up to 25 years.

Second Degree Assault

Second degree assault just requires that someone causes or attempts to cause “offensive physical contact” to another. Second degree assault is a misdemeanor in Maryland and carries a maximum sentence of 10 years.

Reckless Endangerment
This crime is different from assault because it does not require that the actor have specific intent to cause offensive contact to another. In Maryland, reckless endangerment is defined as discharging a firearm or otherwise engaging in conduct that creates a substantial risk of death or serious physical injury to another. Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor in Maryland that carries a maximum sentence of 5 years.