Ocean City Domestic Violence Lawyer
While receiving a domestic violence charge may seem like a daunting situation, know that you do not have to face these charges alone. With the help of an experienced defense lawyer on your side, you can both discuss your case in order to craft a defense strategy on your behalf. Become acquainted with the following information to learn more about the benefits of retaining a professional Ocean City domestic violence attorney today.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence Under Maryland Law
Under Maryland law, domestic violence is an act that involves the use of intimidation, threats of violence, or actual physical violence against a family member or household member. Family members and household members may include the following individuals:
- Former spouses
- Significant others
The penalties for domestic violence convictions in Maryland can be severe and may range from mandatory anger management classes to long periods of incarceration. Domestic violence charges may also be prosecuted as felonies or as misdemeanors depending upon the severity of the alleged abuse, the number of prior offenses against the same alleged victim, and whether or not the defendant exhibited a pattern of harmful conduct.
Criminal Charges Commonly Associated
In Maryland, domestic violence is usually associated with one or more other criminal charges. The following Maryland crimes most often associated with domestic violence charges include:
- Child abuse
- Violation of probation (VOP)
- Criminal trespassing
- Domestic assault
- False imprisonment
- Rape or sexual assault
Domestic Violence Protective Orders
In many cases, an alleged domestic violence victim will file for a protective order or peace order against the defendant. A protective order is a binding court order signed by a judge that restricts a defendant’s activities with respect to the alleged victim.
For example, a judge may order the defendant to stay away from the alleged victim’s residence or place of employment, to refrain from further abuse or threats of abuse, to have limited or no contact with the alleged victim, or to stay away from the parties’ minor children while the protective order is pending.
If the defendant violates the protective order, a judge could find the defendant in contempt and impose further sanctions and penalties.
In addition to filing for a protective order, the alleged victim could also file for modification of a custody or child support order that had previously been put in place. For example, the alleged victim may file a motion with the court to modify the current custody order that is in place, thereby restricting the defendant’s visitation rights with the parties’ minor children.
Potential Defenses Raised
Domestic violence and assault charges are very serious and can result in harsh penalties being imposed against the defendant. Fortunately, however, several legal defenses are available to defendants who have been charged with domestic violence crimes, including lack of knowledge, mistaken identity, lack of criminal intent, lack of violence, insanity, provocation by the alleged victim, intoxication, and self-defense.
Speak with a Ocean City Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
If you have been charged with a crime of domestic violence, a knowledgeable Ocean City domestic violence attorney can review the facts and circumstances of your case with you, gather the necessary evidence, and help you formulate potential defenses to your charge.