Domestic Violence is a charge that is taken very seriously by Maryland prosecutors and police. Even a minor incident with a perfectly innocent explanation and tenuous evidence of violence will frequently result in an arrest for domestic assault. Domestic Violence is a very serious crime involving acts or threats of violence against one’s spouse, children, or other individual sharing a domicile.
Under Maryland law, the following crimes will be considered domestic violence when they occur between family or household members:
- Child abuse and abuse of a vulnerable adult
- Rape and other sex crimes
- False imprisonment
- Stalking, and
- Causing serious bodily harm or placing the victim in imminent fear of serious bodily harm.
Family and household members include current and former spouses, people related by blood, marriage, or adoption, people who live together, parents, stepparents, and children who live together, and people who have children together. Vulnerable adults are adults who cannot take care of themselves.
Arrests for Domestic Abuse can occur without any early warrant in the case of reasonable belief that a person has violated a protective order. The incident must have been reported to police within 48 hours, also there must be traces and evidence of the victim’s injury.
Protective order is where one who is accused of domestic violence may also be subjected to protective orders which require them to refrain from contacting or from being in the presence of the accuser or impacted minor children. Protective order prohibit individuals from threatening the accuser. Before orders of this type can become final for a period of at least a year, accused individuals must be afforded the opportunity to be heard in court.
Another Legal Option is “Pressing Criminal Charges” Which is to work with the police or a District Court Commissioner to file criminal charges against the abuser. The abuser may be arrested or summoned to court. If the abuser is charged, a state’s attorney will handle the case, and you may or may not be asked to testify. The abuser may be sentenced to jail time.
Punishment for Domestic Violence vary. Crimes that constitute domestic abuse are not punished more severely merely because they are committed against a family or household member. However, Maryland courts generally have wide discretion in deciding how much time a defendant should serve and, of course, the judge will always consider the facts of the offense in sentencing, including the identity of the victim.
Violating a protective order is a misdemeanor. The first offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Second and subsequent offenses are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. It is also considered as disobeying a court’s order to violate a temporary or final protective order, punishable by a fine or imprisonment.
It is necessary to have an attorney that has regular practice handling these types of cases and will have an understanding of the proper methodology on how to approach the case, build a defense, and get the best result for their client. If you are facing these charges, it is not ideal to wait to hire a Maryland domestic violence lawyer.
If you need a Maryland Domestic Violence lawyer to help you with your domestic violence charge in Maryland, call us at 888-437-7747. Our Maryland Domestic Violence attorneys can help you. C