Going out with your friends to a party or a bar is a great way to pass a night on the weekend. You can meet new people and blow off some steam. Unfortunately, some people take their partying too far and wind up doing something that hurts someone else.
Parties often involve more informal and even physical interactions between people than they would have in banal daily circumstances. Sometimes, people cross boundaries and end up breaking the law with unruly behavior at a party or club.
Not understanding boundaries or misunderstanding someone’s words or body language might lead to behavior that technically constitutes assault. There are at least three ways that enthusiastic partiers could violate Maryland laws about assault.
They might kiss or grope someone who does not want that touch
Assault does not have to cause physical harm. It only has to involve nonconsensual or offensive bodily contact. Any action that someone might interpret as abusive or sexual could constitute assault. If someone grabs someone else’s genitals while dancing or kisses someone without consent, they could wind up facing second-degree assault for offensive physical contact.
They might become verbally aggressive during an argument
When things get heated between two people, someone might say something that they later regret. People often say things in the heat of the moment that they don’t mean. Unfortunately, when it comes to threatening language, the intention matters far less than the feelings of the person who feels threatened.
If one person makes threats of physical violence against another, and the other person fears for their physical safety, that behavior could also constitute second-degree assault under Maryland’s assault law even if they never get physical.
They might get into a fight with one person or even a group
Physical fights often go hand-in-hand with intoxication and large gatherings. However, sometimes, they leave one person seriously hurt. Other times, the police show up and arrest the person who instigated the situation or caused serious bodily harm to others.
Those who get into physical fights, just like those who make threats or who touch someone inappropriately, could find themselves charged with assault. There are often defense options available to those accused of assault, although a careful review of the situation is necessary to determine the best strategy.