What is Second Degree Assault?

Where You Need a Lawyer:

(This may not be the same place you live)

At No Cost! 

 What Is Assault?

Assault generally refers to the intentional act of causing fear of physical harm or offensive physical contact to another person. Assault involves the threat of violence or actual physical violence that causes fear or harm to the victim.

Assault can take many forms, including physical violence, threats of violence, and verbal abuse. It can also include the use of weapons or other objects to intimidate or harm the victim. Assault can occur in public places, in the workplace, or in domestic relationships.

Assault is a criminal offense, and those found guilty of assault can face serious legal consequences. It’s also a serious violation of a person’s rights and can cause significant emotional trauma and physical harm to the victim.

What Is Second Degree Assault?

Second-degree assault is a criminal offense that involves intentionally causing physical harm to another person. It is typically classified as a felony, although the specific penalties and charges can vary depending on the jurisdiction.

To be charged with second-degree assault, the defendant must have intentionally caused physical harm to the victim or caused the victim to fear for their safety. This harm can include bruises, cuts, broken bones, and other injuries. The defendant must have acted intentionally or recklessly, meaning that they knew or should have known that their actions would cause harm.

First-degree assault is a more serious offense than second-degree assault, typically involving the use of a weapon or causing serious bodily harm.

Third-degree assault, on the other hand, is generally less serious and may involve causing minor injuries or threatening behavior.

The exact definitions and penalties for assault offenses vary depending on the jurisdiction, so it’s important that you research your local laws and legal resources for more specific information.

What Are Some Second Degree Assault Examples?

Here are some second-degree assault examples:

  1. Punching someone in the face, causing them to suffer a broken nose or other facial injuries.
  2. Using a weapon, such as a knife or gun, to threaten or harm someone.
  3. Pushing someone down a flight of stairs, causing them to suffer broken bones and other injuries.
  4. Striking someone with a blunt object, such as a baseball bat or stick, causing them to suffer injuries.
  5. Choking someone, causing them to lose consciousness or suffer other injuries.
  6. Throwing a glass or bottle at someone, causing them to suffer cuts and other injuries.
  7. Hitting someone with a car or other vehicle

These are just a few examples of the many types of behavior that can lead to a second-degree assault charge. The specific circumstances of each case will determine whether an assault charge is appropriate, and the penalties for a conviction can vary widely depending on the jurisdiction and other factors.

Is Second Degree Assault a Misdemeanor or Felony?

Second-degree assault is generally classified as a felony offense, making it a more serious category of criminal offense than a misdemeanor.

The specific classification of assault offenses and the associated penalties vary depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case. However, in general, 2nd degree assault punishments include significant fines, probation, community service, and prison time.

The length of any prison sentence depends on the severity of the assault, the jurisdiction where the crime was committed, and the offender’s criminal history.

In Maryland, second-degree assault is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $2,500. However, in cases where the assault is committed with a firearm or other dangerous weapon, the offense can be elevated to a felony and carry a more severe penalty.

In New York, second-degree assault is a Class D felony offense punishable by up to seven years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. However, if the assault was committed with intent to cause serious physical injury, the offense can be elevated to a Class C felony, which carries a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

In many cases, convictions for second-degree assault jail time results, particularly if the assault caused significant physical harm or was committed with a weapon. However, the specific penalties for a second-degree assault conviction can vary widely depending on the jurisdiction and the circumstances of the case.

Are There Defenses to Second Degree Assault?

Several defenses may be available in cases of second-degree assault. A defense is a legal argument presented by the defendant or their attorney that seeks to justify or excuse the alleged criminal behavior.

One possible defense to second-degree assault is self-defense. If the defendant believed that they were in immediate danger of being physically harmed and used a reasonable amount of force to protect themselves, they may be able to argue that their actions were justified.

However, this defense is often difficult to prove, and the defendant must be able to demonstrate that they acted in accordance with the law and used no more force than was necessary to defend themselves.

Another possible defense is the defense of others. If the defendant acted to protect someone else from immediate physical harm, they might be able to argue that their actions were justified. This defense is similar to self-defense but requires the defendant to show that they were acting on behalf of another person.

Other possible defenses to second-degree assault may include lack of intent or mistaken identity. For example, if the defendant did not intend to cause physical harm to the victim or if the victim misidentified the defendant as the perpetrator of the assault, these arguments could potentially be used as defenses.

In some cases, dropping criminal charges may be an option if the victim decides they no longer wish to pursue the case. However, this decision is typically made by the prosecuting attorney, who has the discretion to drop charges if they believe there is not enough evidence to secure a conviction or if they feel that pursuing the case is not in the best interests of justice.

In cases where the victim does not want to pursue charges, the prosecutor may take this into consideration when making their decision, but they are not required to drop the charges simply because the victim no longer wants to press charges.

Should I Hire an Attorney?

If you are facing charges of second-degree assault, it is important to seek the advice and representation of a qualified criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible. A skilled attorney can review the specific details of your case, investigate the circumstances surrounding the alleged assault, and develop a strategic defense strategy to protect your rights and minimize the potential consequences of a conviction.

A criminal defense lawyer with experience handling assault cases can also help you navigate the complex legal process, explain your options and potential outcomes, and represent you in court if necessary. They can work to negotiate plea bargains, argue your case before a judge or jury, and fight to protect your freedom, reputation, and future.

Don’t leave your future to chance. If you are facing charges of second-degree assault, contact a criminal lawyer today to schedule a consultation and learn more about your legal options.

LegalMatch is an online attorney-client matching service that helps clients find excellent legal representation. Use LegalMatch to find the right lawyer for you today.


16 people have successfully posted their cases

Find a Lawyer