Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockville MD
MARYLAND ASSAULT LAW
§ 3-202 of the Maryland Criminal Code forbids any person from intentionally causing or attempting to cause serious physical harm to another person. § 3-202 also specifies the penalties for these charges along with the penalties for committing assault with a deadly weapon. Deadly weapons include antique firearms, machine guns, shotguns, regulated firearms and other items. Assault with a deadly weapon is almost always charged as assault in the first degree.
FIRST-DEGREE ASSAULTFirst-degree assault is a very serious charge in Maryland, carrying a possible penalty of up to 25 years’ imprisonment. In order to be charged with first degree assault, the state must prove the following:That the crime meets all elements of second-degree assault, andThe crime was committed with a firearm, or the intent of the assault was serious physical injury.Maryland defines serious physical injury as a scenario that presents a reasonable risk of death on the part of the alleged victim or results in serious injuries that disfigure the victim or impair some bodily function. If you have been charged with first-degree assault in Maryland, an experienced Maryland defense lawyer can help you understand your charges and how best to approach them.
SECOND-DEGREE ASSAULTSecond-degree assault differs from first-degree assault in Maryland in that it is a less serious charge, but it still carries a hefty potential penalty that a Maryland defense lawyer can help you fight. The maximum penalty for second-degree assault is 10 years’ imprisonment. Under Section 3-203, any unwanted physical contact can be considered assault, even if it doesn’t ultimately cause injury. Assault that poses no risk of death or serious injury is normally charged as second-degree assault, however, there are some exceptions as discussed below.
ASSAULT AGAINST A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER, PAROLE/PROBATION AGENTEven second-degree assault in Maryland can be charged as a felony if the assault is allegedly committed against a law enforcement officer, parole officer, or probation agent. Felony charges typically only result if the alleged victim was engaged in the performance of his or her official duties, or the injuries suffered were more than minor injuries (impaired a physical condition). According to Section 3-203, anyone that commits second-degree assault on a government agent, such as a law enforcement officer, is guilty of a felony, punishable by up to 10 years’ imprisonment and/or a fine not to exceed $5,000.If you are charged with assault on a law enforcement officer, you should be aware of the severity of the charges. If the assault is committed with a deadly weapon, you could face first-degree assault charges rather than assault in the second degree. A Maryland defense lawyer who has handled assault cases is vital to helping you navigate the Maryland court system.
MARYLAND RECKLESS ENDANGERMENT
According to Section 3-204 of the criminal code, reckless endangerment is illegal. This section states that a person may not:Recklessly engage in any conduct that establishes a substantial risk of physical injury or death to another personRecklessly discharge a firearm from a car or other motor vehicle in a way that establishes a serious risk of physical injury or death to another person.The penalty for this crime, according to state code Section 3-204(b), is a misdemeanor conviction as well as a fine of up to $5,000.00 and a jail sentence of up to five years.Section 3-204(c) lists the exceptions for crimes of reckless endangerment. The section regarding the reckless endangerment of another individual does not apply to the production, manufacture or sale of a commodity or product, nor does it apply to use of a motor vehicle covered by Section 11-135 of the transportation code. According to this provision, a motor vehicle is a vehicle that is propelled by overhead electrical wires or self-propelled, and is not operated on rails. This same code states that mopeds and motor scooters are not considered motor vehicles.In addition, the section regarding reckless discharge of a firearm from a motor vehicle does not apply to security guards or law enforcement officers in the performance of official duties, or individuals acting in defense of a violent crime such as an attempted carjacking.
MARYLAND BURGLARY LAW
Burglary is a criminal offense that is sometimes referred to as trespassing, housebreaking, or B&E (breaking and entering). In Maryland, Burglary is broken down into four different degrees. It is important to know that there are specific types of burglary that may be classified as a felony or a misdemeanor under certain circumstances. One example is Breaking and Entering with explosives. If convicted, the potential jail time will vary greatly depending on the severity of the crime and which degree of burglary you are being charged with committing.
FIRST DEGREEFirst degree burglary, as stated under § 6-202 of the criminal code, is the breaking and entering into a “dwelling” with some sort of intent to commit a theft or a violent crime. The intent to commit theft could be a misdemeanor or a felony. This crime is punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment and is a felony in the state of Maryland.
SECOND DEGREEBurglary is broken down into four degrees in Maryland.In Maryland, second degree burglary is similar to the first degree, with the main difference being that the crime is committed on a “storehouse” as opposed to a private residence. Generally a storehouse means any building, such as a farm barn, factory, educational facility, or public building, but it can also include certain vehicles, such as a train car, airplane or helicopter. The law also dictates in § 6-203(a) that burglary of the second degree must involve intent to commit violent crime, robbery (theft), or arson. Second degree burglary is a felony and punishable up to 15 years in prison.
SECOND DEGREE FIREARMBurglary is broken down into four degrees in Maryland.In Maryland, second degree burglary is similar to the first degree, with the main difference being that the crime is committed on a “storehouse” as opposed to a private residence. Generally a storehouse means any building, such as a farm barn, factory, educational facility, or public building, but it can also include certain vehicles, such as a train car, airplane or helicopter. The law also dictates in § 6-203(a) that burglary of the second degree must involve intent to commit violent crime, robbery (theft), or arson. Second degree burglary is a felony and punishable up to 15 years in prison or up to 20 years if it involves breaking into a storehouse with the intent to steal a firearm.
THIRD DEGREEThird degree burglary is defined by one entering a dwelling with the intent to commit a crime. This is different than first and second degree burglary, as no specific crimes are listed. This crime is a felony and punishable by up to 10 years in prison.
FOURTH DEGREEBreaking and entering in the fourth degree, in the state of Maryland, is charged as a misdemeanor. This does not mean that one cited with this crime can take the charges lightly. Maryland state law § 6-205(a)(b) says that one who enters a dwelling or a store house by breaking in may be charged – irrespective of whether or not there is the intent to commit a crime. In other words, the act of “breaking in” alone is in violation of the law. Fourth degree burglary is punishable by up to three years in prison.
FOURTH DEGREE THEFTThis particular section of Maryland state law involves breaking and entering into a dwelling, storehouse, backyard, front yard, land or garden. There must be intent to commit theft as stated in § 6-205(c). This crime is a misdemeanor punishable by up to three years in prison.
DRIVING ON A SUSPENDED LICENSE IN MARYLANDMany people do not realize how seriously the state of Maryland and the Maryland Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA) take charges of driving on a suspended license. Driving on a suspended license in Maryland is a crime punishable by up to $1,000.00 in fines and one year in jail. In fact, repeat offenders can receive up to three years in jail with advanced penalties. Those charged with driving while suspended should contact a Maryland traffic attorney for help.There are a number of reasons the MVA may suspend or revoke a Maryland driver’s license:
- Failure to appear in court for a minor traffic violation
- Failure to pay a Maryland traffic ticket
- Failure to pay an out-of-state traffic ticket
- Too many points accumulated against license
- Failure to pay child support
- Failure to pay civil judgment related to an automobile accident
LEGAL HELP FOR DRIVING AFTER A SUSPENSION OR REVOCATION CHARGESA conviction for driving after suspension or revocation can have serious effects on your life. In addition to fines and jail time, you may find difficulty keeping employment or staying in school, difficulty securing insurance and challenges with other areas of your life. Although the law provides a specific sentence for a conviction, in reality your sentence may depend on the circumstances of your case and on the view your prosecutor and judge have of driving after suspension or revocation. An attorney who is familiar with how these charges are typically handled in your area will be best able to give you advice. CALL US NOW at 202-558-6539 for assistance with these or other traffic related criminal charges.
DEFENSES TO CRIMES OF THEFT
POSSESSION OF MARIJUANA IN MARYLAND
POSSESSION OF DRUGS IN MARYLAND
- 45 kilograms of marijuana or more
- 28 grams of cocaine or more (or a mixture that contains cocaine)
- 4 grams of opium or morphine or more, or any derivative
- 1,000 dosage units of lysergic acid diethylamide (or a mixture containing)
- 28 grams of phencyclidine or more in liquid or powder
- 112 grams of anything containing phencyclidine or more
- 1,000 dosage units or more of methaqualone
- 28 grams of methamphetamine (or a mixture containing) or more
- 4 grams of fentanyl or a fentanyl analogue or more
PENALTIES FOR DRUG PARAPHERNALIA POSSESSION
SALE, MANUFACTURE, AND DISTRIBUTION DRUG LAWS AND PENALTIES
- Manufacturing, selling, or distributing any Schedule I or II narcotic: 20 years’ imprisonment, $25,000.00 fine
- Manufacturing, selling, or distributing LSD, PCP, or fentanyl: 20 years’ imprisonment, $20,000.00 fine
- Any other controlled substance: 5 years’ imprisonment, $15,000.00 fine
- Sections 5-602 through 5-606 designate subsequent offenses (even if previous convictions were in other states) as carrying more substantial penalties:
- Second offense: 20 years’ imprisonment, $25,000.00 fine
- Third offense: 25 years’ imprisonment, $100,000.00 fine
- Fourth offense: 40 years’ imprisonment, $100,000.00 fine
- Possession of drug materials that indicate a likelihood of manufacture (such as a “meth lab” or “grow operation”) is a much more serious crime when in reference to drugs other than marijuana. Possession of materials used to grow marijuana, in sufficient amounts to indicate distribution, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one years’ imprisonment and a $1,000.00 fine. With all other materials used to create controlled substances, the charge can be a felony with a potential $25,000.00 fine and four years’ imprisonment.