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Maryland Domestic Violence Investigations

A skilled attorney can help you know what to expect during Maryland domestic violence investigations, as well as build a viable defense. These types of charges can be especially jarring, and the consequences long-lasting. Therefore, it is best to use every resource available to overcome them, including a lawyer with extensive experience.

What to Expect

Domestic violence investigations start with police officers being called to a person’s home for an investigation of an incident. The officers then proceed by conducting interviews with witnesses that were possibly involved in a particular offense.

Through these interviews, the officers obtain information to make a determination about who to charge. That includes interviews, taking people to the hospital if necessary, taking photographs of injuries, and compiling evidence to determine the appropriate charges.

Law Enforcement Determination

Usually the police officer identifies the primary aggressor based on who initially reported and other factors including any witnesses present, the level of injuries to each party, and each person’s version of the events. The officer decides which version of events makes more sense from a practical perspective.

Investigation Approach

Domestic violence investigations are conducted in the same way as any other investigation: by compiling evidence and talking to witnesses. Domestic violence investigations are treated a bit differently because the parties know each other and are likely to have a familial relationship. They may have children in common which makes an impact on the investigation and sometimes requires that the case be handled with a bit more care than regular criminal investigations.

Rights of the Accused

A person charged with domestic violence might feel like they are being treated as if they are already convicted because they are dealing with collateral consequences based on the charge.
For example, they might not be permitted to return to their home or have contact with their domestic partner. They may not be permitted to have contact with their children until the criminal matter is resolved. These things can make a person feel like they are already convicted before they are tried.
From a public safety perspective, a judge is permitted to take certain action pending the trial to make sure that the parties associated with the particular person are safe until the matter is fully litigated in court.
That being said, a person maintains all of the same rights they would have in any criminal case. That includes the right to remain silent, the right to have an attorney, and the right to a speedy trial. It is important that a person works with an attorney who recognizes and understands those rights and advises the person on how to preserve them.

How An Attorney Can Help

Investigations can be complicated. At the early stages of an investigation police officers know the person is not yet represented and try to get them to make statements about a criminal event against their interest. A person can avoid that by working with a domestic violence attorney who understands the person’s rights from the beginning and advises the person on exactly what to do during the investigation so their rights are protected throughout the process.