Assault in the first degree is a serious charge in Maryland. If you’ve been arrested and face these charges, getting help and a strong defense is important.
What is assault in the first degree?
Assault in the first degree is an offense that can be charged when a person intentionally causes serious bodily injury to someone else. The crime can be committed with or without the use of a deadly weapon.
What are the elements of assault in the first degree?
Certain elements must be in place for a charge of assault in the first degree to stick. In order for the prosecution to prove that a defendant is guilty of committing assault in the first degree, they must prove that the person deliberately and intentionally caused, or attempted to, serious bodily harm to another person. The assault could have occurred using a deadly weapon such as a firearm. However, it could also be carried out without a weapon.
Because intent is an element of assault in the first degree, it must be proven that the defendant deliberately, willfully and intentionally carried out the assault on the victim. If the defendant was arguing with someone and that person attacked them first and then the defendant reacted, it could not be proven as assault in the first degree. There would be a lack of intent in that situation.
What are the penalties for assault in the first degree?
Assault in the first degree is a very violent crime that requires intent. As a result, if a person is convicted, they would face a sentence of up to 25 years in prison. For a second conviction, there is also a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years.
If a person has as many as four convictions, they could face life in prison without parole.