I discussed in another guide the notion that a second degree assault is maybe the most frequently charged, and overcharged, crime in Baltimore. Criminal defense attorneys in Baltimore know this is true, in part, because it is in essence a catchall, and very easy to prove. What I've seen over the years is that assault is often added in to a group of other charges, or, if it's not clear, what, if anything, happened between two people, an assault is the default charge. First degree assault is a different matter. With second degree assault, the state must prove the defendant intended to touch someone.
To sustain a conviction for first degree assault, the State must prove the defendant intended to hurt some one, seriously, or brandish a firearm.
It's not necessary that the intended harm actually occur, although there are certainly any number of cases where the contemplated serious bodily injury does indeed, occur.
-This Article was updated by Eric Kirk on 2/18/20.