Domestic Assault Laws In Maryland: The Basics

The criminal justice system in Maryland takes allegations of domestic violence and assault very seriously. In fact, if convicted, you face potential jail time as well as having a guilty verdict on your record for the rest of your life.

With more than 10 years of legal experience, I, attorney John Pikulski, understand the significant implications of a domestic assault conviction, and I will do everything possible to protect your rights and help develop the most effective criminal defense strategy available. From beginning to end, I will work with you one-on-one and provide you with the information you need to make informed legal decisions.

Once Police Are Involved, There Is Often No Turning Back

One thing to remember about domestic violence cases is that once the police are called, you may face charges regardless of whether your spouse actually wants to pursue them or not. For instance, if police are called in the heat of the moment, and cooler heads prevail by the time they arrive, it is still likely that one or both parties can be charged.

Quite simply, once police are involved and charges are filed, it is the State of Maryland versus you. Your spouse is now just a witness for the state and often cannot drop the charges even if he or she wants to. Once you are charged by the state, you need legal representation as soon as possible to deal with the case, even if the parties reconcile.

Facing domestic assault charges? Contact The Law Offices of John J. Pikulski, IV, LLC, and schedule your FREE consultation today. You can reach out to me online or call me at 301-476-6944, 24 hours a day. While my office is located in Upper Marlboro, I represent individuals living throughout Prince George's County and the surrounding areas.

Understanding The Difference Between First-Degree Assault and Second-Degree Assault

In Maryland, domestic assault charges are governed by the same statutes that apply to other assault offenses. Therefore, a first-degree domestic assault case will usually involve allegations that an individual intentionally inflicted, or attempted to inflict, serious physical injury on another member of the household. It may also include circumstances in which an individual uses a handgun or other firearm when committing the alleged assault.

Second-degree assault, on the other hand, typically involves less serious forms of domestic violence, and is often categorized as inflicting, or attempting to inflict, bodily harm on another. Probably the largest difference between first-degree and second-degree domestic assault is the possible criminal penalties of each, which include:

  • First-degree assault: A felony, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 25 years
  • Second-degree assault: A misdemeanor, punishable by a prison sentence of up to 10 years and a fine of up to $2,500

While the penalties for these two offenses differ a great deal, both are nevertheless quite severe. Given these penalties, you should always seek the guidance of a lawyer no matter the assault charges you may be facing.