Maryland recognizes different levels of assault charges, and the facts of individual criminal cases can change what charges prosecutors elect to pursue against alleged defendants. This post does not provide any legal advice to its readers. Its commentary on assault charges in Maryland should be read as informational and not as legal guidance.
The elements of assault
Assault is a serious criminal charge that involves threats, offensive contact, and in some cases, allegations of physical violence. Assault should be distinguished from battery, another criminal charge. Victims of assault often allege that they endured physical harm, or that they were threatened with physical harm.
Different assault charges
The manner in which an alleged assault is committed, and the facts surrounding the alleged incident, can impact the type of assault charge that is sought by prosecutors. For example, if an alleged assault involves a threat of or actual action that could result in a substantial risk of death, a more serious assault charge may be pursued. Similarly, when certain members of the population (peace officers and firefighters) are the alleged victims of assaults, more serious charges may be filed.
The use of a weapon, such as a firearm, during the commission of an alleged assault can enhance the charges and penalties that a defendant may face when confronting allegations of assault in Maryland. Specific information about different assault charges should be sought from knowledgeable criminal defense attorneys.
Assault charges are significant and serious. They should not be disregarded or ignored. Decisions about rights and legal options concerning criminal defense cases should be reviewed with attorneys who know and practice criminal defense law.