What Is First-Degree Assault in Maryland?

Assault in Maryland is a complex charge, as depending on the situation the accused could end up with a misdemeanor or a felony. The most serious conviction that you can receive for assault is assault in the first degree. What is considered first-degree assault in Maryland?

What Defines First-Degree Assault in Maryland?

The law defines first-degree assault as intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm to someone else. If you commit assault with a firearm (handguns, rifles, shotguns, antique guns, machine guns, etc.), it is automatically considered a first-degree assault. Anyone who is convicted of first-degree assault in Maryland is considered a felon and can be sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Maryland views people who try and fail to commit assault with the same level of culpability as if they had successfully committed the assault. As a result, people who have attempted first-degree assault in Maryland can be eligible for the same sentence or penalty as those who committed first-degree assault. It’s also important to note that there does not need to be serious bodily harm done in cases of first-degree assault. Pointing a gun during a robbery, for example, could be a first-degree assault conviction.

The Intent to Assault in Maryland

The critical distinction between first-degree and second-degree assault is intent. It is not enough to show that harm was committed. Instead, you must also show that someone intended to commit the harm that they did. The court does not need to see that there was malice towards the victim, but only that the defendant intentionally acted as they did.

The Penalties for First-Degree Assault

The mandatory minimum sentence for first-degree assault in Maryland is 10 years of prison time for a second offense and 25 years of prison time for a third offense. If someone is convicted four times, they must be sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole. Because of the severity of the crime, judges cannot elect to lessen or not impose those mandatory minimum sentences.

Contact Mobley & Brown, LLP for Help with First-Degree Assault Charges in Maryland

If you are searching for the right attorney in Maryland and unsure where to turn, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs. Call us now at (410) 385-0398.