Hiring a Domestic Violence Lawyer in Prince George’s County
When someone is charged with domestic violence in Prince George’s County there are certain things that a lawyer will be able to advise them on. The first thing a domestic violence lawyer will tell someone is that if they have been charged with an offense, they need to make sure that they abide by whatever conditions the court has set. Almost always in a domestic violence case, when somebody is released from custody—whether they have to pay a bond or not—the court will impose certain pre-trial conditions before the matter is heard.
These conditions are imposed for everybody’s safety and usually include a stay away order between the parties so they have no contact until the court hears the case. There may also be some other conditions, like drug testing analysis, treatment, and anger management programs.
Prosecution of Domestic Violence Charges
The possibility of having the complaining witness retain their own attorney in a particular domestic violence case to protect their rights is also important, because what many complaining witnesses do not realize is that the prosecutors are not always looking out for the complaining witness’s best interests. The prosecutor’s first interest really is in prosecuting the case.
It is important to have an attorney who has experience with domestic violence cases in particular, because the nuances that the state uses to try and prove these kinds of charges are very detailed. For example, the way that the prosecutor goes about proving a domestic violence charge is often different from what they they do when it comes to regular criminal charges.
Most prosecutors in Maryland that handle domestic violence cases have detailed and specific training in handling those kinds of cases. To a degree, they are specialists handling domestic violence cases.
Preparing for Court
Another thing that may be considered when someone hires a domestic violence lawyer is what is needed to prepare for court. If, for example, there was alcohol related to a particular case, an alcohol education program or anger management program might be important to start.
If someone has had multiple offenses before this one, or the injuries of a particular assault were bad, they might also want to talk about getting screened for some kind of home monitoring when jail is inevitable.
Domestic Violence Defenses
A lawyer will likely want to explore the different possible defenses in the case. In Maryland, marital privilege between married couples is a very important conversation for everybody to have when it comes to domestic violence cases, particularly if one party decides they do not want to proceed on charges against their spouse. In some jurisdictions, discussing the Fifth Amendment privilege not to testify might also be a conversation to have with a client.
Importance of Working With a Defense Attorney
It is important to have a defense attorney who is also experienced in the domestic violence arena so that they can have the same training that the prosecutors have and will be able to argue defenses against the very particularized case law and other constitutional issues that the prosecution might argue. Prosecutors that handle these cases have handled many domestic violence cases, and it is helpful to combat experience with experience.