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How Does Maryland Law Define Malice?

In the criminal context, it is said that Malice is the intentional doing of a wrongful act to another without legal excuse or justification. It includes any wrongful act done wilfully or purposely.”

-Chisley v. State, 202 Md. 87, 95 A.2d 577 (Md. 1953)

If death results, then that act is punishable as murder.

Seasoned Baltimore Criminal Defense attorneys Attorney Eric T. Kirk know the law recognizes two forms of malice: express and implied.

How Does Maryland Law Define Malice?

  • Express malice is shown by intentionally killing another.
  • Implied malice may be inferentially deduced from the facts surrounding the killing.

Criminal defense attorneys in Baltimore that remember their law school classes know that malice had been previously defined as the

“dictate of a wicked, depraved, and malignant heart”

In the civil context, malice is a prerequisite to an award of punitive damages, and is demonstrated by showing a defendant acted with “evil motive, intent to injure, or fraud…”

-Bresnahan v. Bresnahan, 693 A.2d 1, 115 Md.App. 226 (Md. App. 1997)

I offer a free planning and strategy session to anyone accused of a crime. At this meeting, we will evaluate the evidence, examine the strength of the State’s case, and analyze the most effective defense. If the State has chosen to prosecute you, contact me today. 410 591 2935