Ellicott City Domestic Violence Lawyer
Few would dispute the fact that difficulties within intimate or familial relationships produce uncertainty, heartache and stress. However, when such issues take a violent turn, the upheaval and legal ramifications can prove devastating.
If you have been accused of committing an act designed to harm a member of your household and wish to mount a thorough and determined legal defense, contact a distinguished criminal attorney right away. An Ellicott City domestic violence lawyer can develop strategies aimed at facilitating a positive outcome.
Domestic Violence Crimes
The Maryland legislature’s definition of domestic violence encompasses a broad array of conduct occurring between members of the same household or family, as is evidenced by Md. Code. Ann., Family Law §4-501. Falling under this umbrella are events such as:
- Rape and attempted rape
- False imprisonment
- Acts of physicality that result in serious harm
- Conduct creating fear of immediate harm
Though it is common for the term domestic violence to conjure thoughts primarily of spouses embroiled in a physical altercation of one sort or another, the fact is that charges in this realm can also be lodged against romantic partners who cohabitate, blood relatives, relatives via marriage, natural children, adopted children, step-parents and those living in the household who lack the required physical or mental capability to meet their own routine needs.
What is the Impact of a Domestic Violence Accusations?
According to Md. Code Ann., Family Law §4-509, law enforcement officers may have the ability to make arrests without warrants, as long as the incident at issue is the subject of a police report within the first 48 hours afterward. All that is required is that the officer have a reasonable belief that assault occurred that the accused poses a risk of further harm, may tamper with evidence or may flee.
Perhaps even worse for accused individuals is the fact that protective orders against them may be issued immediately, preventing them from being in contact with the alleged victim and any involved minor children. In such scenarios, accused parties may be unable to live in their own home, see their kids or maintain other important rights.
For an order of this sort to remain in effect for a year or more, a formal hearing is required as provided by Md. Code Ann., Family Law §4-506, and when that occurs, the assistance of an Ellicott City domestic violence lawyer is critical.
Penalties for Family Violence
In addition to the indisputably negative ramifications of a domestic violence charge and/or conviction that include damaged reputation, job loss, familial disruptions and more, the formal sentences routinely imposed in such matters are onerous indeed.
By way of illustration, domestic violence involving assault can bring up to 25 years’ imprisonment, cases implicating rape or other sexual offense may yield a life term and stalking can result in upwards of five years in prison.
Defense Considerations in Domestic Violence Cases
A charge of domestic violence is almost always an emotionally-charged event fraught with panic, anger, and sadness. Given the profound harm a conviction in this realm of the law can cause entire families, it is essential that all viable defense strategies be explored with the help of a seasoned practitioner.
There are two sides to every tale of domestic violence, and there is no substitute for an attorney’s comprehensive exploration of the facts that includes witness interviews, forensic evidence, examination of medical records, psychiatric histories and more.
How an Ellicott City Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help
If you have been accused of a serious and highly personal domestic offense, keep in mind that solid defense strategies often exist in such cases. Whether you protect your freedom and good name by arguing self-defense, defense of others, falsity of accusations, mistaken identity or another available theory, an Ellicott City domestic violence lawyer is prepared to fight aggressively for your rights.