Oropeza Law Firm, PLLC.

A Personal Approach to Law:
Oropeza Law Firm, PLLC.

Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockville, MD

"A Personal Approach to Law is what we strive for because in every case that we work on,
we know a life will be affected by the outcome of that case."

Call Us: (202) 558-6530



§ 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 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 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.


Even 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.


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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.

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 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.


Burglary 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. 


Burglary 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 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.


Breaking 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.


This 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.

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Many 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


A 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 202-217-1457 for assistance with these or other traffic related criminal charges.


Driving under the influence is one of the most common criminal offenses charged in the state of Maryland, and the penalties associated with a conviction escalate dramatically with any subsequent violations. According to Section 21-902 of the Maryland Transportation Code, you can be charged with a DUI if you are found to be operating a vehicle on public property with a blood alcohol content at or above .08%.A first offense could carry up to a year in jail, fines of up to $1,000. With a second conviction the potential jail time and the fines double to two years and $2,000 respectively. A third conviction could lead to three years in prison and a $3,000 fine. Every conviction starting with the first also carries a potential prolonged loss of driving privileges.A DWI carries less significant penalties than a DUI because the standards to be charged are far less. A DWI can be issued if your blood alcohol is less than .08 depending on the circumstances that led to you being pulled over. The maximum penalties for a first time DWI are two months in prison and up to $500 in fines. For more information Contact us by phone or by filling out the form located below to schedule a free consultation.

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About Hector Oropeza
Hector Oropeza is admitted to practice law in Maryland, Washington, DC, and New York

Hector Z. Oropeza is the founding owner of Oropeza Law Firm, PLLC. Mr. Oropeza’s personal injury practice is concentrated in the areas of medical malpractice, automobile accidents, pedestrian accidents, products liability, and other personal injury accidents. Mr. Oropeza’s criminal defense practice is concentrated, but not limited to, DUI/DWI, driving with a suspended license, Civil Protection Orders, Peace Orders, Possession, CDS Possession and Assault. Mr. Oropeza has been listed on the Continental Who’s Who Registry of National Business Leaders and is a member of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (“HBA-DC”), Maryland State Bar Association (“MSBA”), and the Bar Association of the District of Columbia (“BADC”). Mr. Oropeza also serves as a Good Samaritan Advocate at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, MD. As a Good Samaritan Advocate he represents indigent members of Montgomery County who have various legal needs for free. Mr. Oropeza also acts as an Appointed Attorney in Montgomery County and Baltimore City where he advocates for the rights of indigent defendants in their Bail Hearings before Judicial Officers.

After law school, Mr. Oropeza worked at Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson, LLP for two years. At Fried Frank, Mr. Oropeza structured and reorganized hedge funds and private equity funds, filed Quarterly and Annual Reports, and incorporated many entities in different jurisdictions. While at Fried Frank, Mr. Oropeza also fought for the rights of Guantanamo Bay Detainees Pro Bono.Prior to the Oropeza Law Firm, PLLC, Mr. Oropeza was a partner at Castro & Oropeza Law Firm, PLLC. for six years. Prior to Castro & Oropeza Law Firm, PLLC., Mr. Oropeza worked as an associate at Cohen & Cohen, P.C. and as Vice President of Legal Affairs for Capital Reporting Company.Mr. Oropeza spent much of his career advocating for the rights of the underrepresented and unrepresented and looks forward to advocating for the rights and interests of his clients.


– B.A. in Communication focusing on Speech and Public Rhetoric, 2002 – J.D. Howard University School of Law, 2006

Bar Admission

– State of Maryland – District of Columbia – State of New York – Admitted to the Federal Courts in Maryland


Compassionate & Tactical Representation

Also Serving:

Montgomery County, Prince George's County, Baltimore City, Takoma Park, Wheaton, College Park, Langley Park, Columbia, Silver Spring, Hyattsville, Upper Marlboro and Rockville, Bethesda, Friendship Heights, Kensington, Chevy Chase, Four Corners, and Gaithersburg.
Washington D.C.:

Columbia heights, Dupont Circle, Navy yard, Northwest, South East, Anacostia, Downtown, Northeast, Southwest, Thomas Circle, Adams Morgan, Mount Pleasant, Shaw, U Street, and H Street

Fairfax, Alexandria, Arlington, Shirlington, Manassas, Tysons Corner, Seven Corners, Rosslyn, Leesburg, Vienna, Mclean, Fairfax County and Arlington County

*Serving VA with co-counsel licensed in Virginia.


or call us now at (202) 558-6530