What is Second Degree Assault, exactly?
While the elements of assault may vary from one state to another, they can all be of first, second, or third degree.
First Degree Assault is the intentional infliction of severe bodily harm or serious bodily injuries to another person using a deadly weapon.
Second Degree Assault is when someone intentionally causes serious bodily injury or inflicts injury with a deadly weapon or recklessly inflicts serious physical injury on another person.
Third Degree Assault: When a defendant recklessly inflicts serious bodily injury on another person or causes death with a deadly weapon.
It is important to remember that the distinction between assault degrees is dependent on the intent and the state of mind of each defendant. The severity of the punishment will increase if the offense is more deliberate.
Is Second Degree Assault considered a misdemeanor?
It depends on the facts and the place where the assault took place. Each state has its own laws. In Colorado, for example, second-degree assault can result in a 12-year sentence in prison and $500,000 fines.
Maryland’s second degree assault, however, is a misdemeanor that can carry a maximum of 10 years imprisonment. Some states have sentences as short as two years, while others can go up to 20 years. Repeat offenders might receive longer sentences and higher fines.
Is there a defense to second degree assault?
Yes. Yes. As with all criminal charges, the accused of second-degree assault can claim legal defense. Here are some common defenses.
Self-Defense: Any person who uses reasonable force against another person can assert self-defense.
Insanity: This theory states that the defendant is “insane” so he doesn’t have the intent to commit the crime.
Intoxication: A person under the influence of alcohol may not have the intent to commit the crime. They were too drunk or high to understand what they were doing, and they didn’t intend to do it.
Entrapment: This is when law enforcement incentivizes someone to do a crime he wouldn’t have done without being induced.
If a person is in custody for more than 48 hours without food or water, he can claim entrapment. The defense cannot be successful if the judge/jury believes that the defendant is predisposed for this behavior.
Do I need an attorney?
Assault charges may vary in complexity depending on the state and local laws. If you are facing any type of criminal charge, it may be necessary to find a local criminal lawyer. A lawyer can help you with your criminal defense strategy and legal research. Your attorney can also accompany you to court hearings and represent you throughout the process. Second Degree Assault Maryland