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Distinguishing self-defense from unlawful violence in Maryland

On Behalf of | May 3, 2024 | CRIMINAL LAW - Criminal Defense, CRIMINAL LAW - Felonies, CRIMINAL LAW - Violent Crimes

Getting into a fight with another person can have varying outcomes. Sometimes, it ends with little to no issues, especially if someone else intervened and de-escalated the situation. Other times, the argument can become physical, making the altercation’s participants face assault charges and other violent crimes. These offenses can be felonies in Maryland, possibly resulting in severe penalties based on state law.

However, the details surrounding these incidents can significantly impact how the court convicts each party involved in the fight. In some scenarios, the court can consider their action as a form of self-defense if specific elements exist, such as the following:

  • The involved party did not start the fight and took no part in provoking or instigating other parties.
  • The individual had enough reason to believe that they were facing a significant threat during the incident, possibly leading to severe physical harm or death.
  • During the fight, the involved party did not doubt they were in danger.
  • The party used force reasonably proportionate to the threat they faced.

Making a claim could be impossible if one or more self-defense elements do not exist based on the case details. Since establishing this claim requires facts, thorough investigation plays a vital role in these cases, helping the court paint a clearer picture of what led to the altercation.

Knowing what to do after getting involved in a physical fight

Fights are usually emotionally charged scenarios, making them prone to getting out of control. When the encounter results in physical harm and injuries, seeking legal counsel immediately can be helpful.

Having experienced guidance can help clarify what happened before and during the incident, allowing parties to figure out crucial details that may have legal implications. Doing so can help involved parties address charges and consider options that could be appropriate.