Assault Crimes in Maryland

What Are the Different Charges You Can Face? What Are the Potential Penalties?

Assault Crimes in MarylandImagine yourself in a situation where someone has done something to cause you to lose your temper. You say something or you engage in a reflex gesture, maybe clenching your fists, and the next thing you know, the police are at your door, seeking to arrest you on charges of assault. It can happen.

In Maryland, assault is generally categorized as first-degree assault or second-degree assault. Assault in Maryland is defined as an “offensive touching,” made without consent or permission, that creates a reasonable fear of imminent harm. Even the slightest contact can be considered assault. Maryland law distinguishes the different levels of assault this way:

  • First-degree assault either involves the use of a firearm or causes serious injury or death
  • Second-degree assault may be charged anytime there is offensive physical contact

Unlike other states, Maryland does not differentiate between assault and battery. Accordingly, an attempt to cause bodily harm or to put a person in reasonable fear of imminent harm may constitute an assault, even if there is no physical contact.

Experienced Baltimore County Criminal Defense Attorney

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith brings more than 30 years of experience to persons facing criminal prosecution in Maryland, including people charged with any type of assault, including domestic violence. SuperLawyers has listed him as one of the top 100 lawyers in Maryland and The American Lawyer Magazine has also named him a Top-Rated Lawyer.

Attorney Smith has held an AV-rating (the highest possible) under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System for more than three decades. He has also received Martindale-Hubbell’s coveted Client Distinction Award, an accolade earned by less than 4% of all attorneys nationwide. He carries a 10.0 (Superb rating) as a trial lawyer from AVVO and has also earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with an average client review of 5 stars.

A highly experienced trial lawyer, Jonathan has a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of Maryland criminal law and procedure. He knows how to effectively gather and preserve evidence and will take all necessary measures to ensure that law enforcement officers did not violate your constitutional rights.

Contact a Proven Assault Crimes Defense Lawyer

At the law offices of Jonathan Scott Smith, we aggressively advocate for criminal defendants throughout the greater Baltimore area and across the state of Maryland. Contact us online or call 410-740-0101 to arrange a meeting. We handle cases throughout Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Howard County, Baltimore County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County in Maryland.

Assault and Battery in Maryland

Understanding the Difference

Assault and Battery in MarylandThe terms “assault” and “battery” get used together so often that many people believe they are one and the same thing; however, there is a distinction. While battery requires an unwanted or nonconsensual physical contact or touching of one person by another, assault does not. A person may be guilty of assault under any of the following circumstances:

  • The person attempts to make unwanted physical contact;
  • The person actually makes unwanted physical contact; or
  • The person puts someone else in reasonable apprehension of imminent, unwanted physical contact.

It’s important to understand that the contact need not result in physical injury—it must only be deemed unwanted, nonconsensual, or offensive to the victim. Also, the person alleged to have made the wrongful contact must have done so either intentionally or with a disregard for the risk of offensive contact (recklessness). Typically, contact, or the fear of contact, caused by carelessness or negligence does not constitute assault or battery.

Experienced Baltimore Assault and Battery Defense Lawyer

Jonathan Scott Smith, a longtime Maryland SuperLawyer, has successfully protected the rights of criminal defendants in the greater Baltimore metropolitan area and across Maryland for more than three decades, including individuals facing assault and/or battery charges. AV-rated under Martindale-Hubbell’s Peer Review Rating System, attorney Smith has also been named a Top-Rated Lawyer by The American Lawyer magazine. He’s earned AVVO’s Client’s Choice Award, with the highest rating possible (5 stars), as well as a 10.0 Superb rating from AVVO as a trial lawyer.

Attorney Smith knows the potential impact of a criminal conviction and will work hard to protect your constitutional rights. He’ll verify that there was probable cause for any search and seizure and make sure you were properly notified of all your legal rights if taken into custody.

Effective Assault and Battery Defense Attorney in Prince George’s County

To schedule a confidential consultation to discuss your options if you’ve been arrested and charged with assault or battery, contact attorney Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to set up an appointment. Attorney Smith handles criminal matters throughout Baltimore and the surrounding area, including Howard County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Frederick County, Prince George’s County and Montgomery County.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101