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Prince George’s County Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence in Prince George’s County is defined as a crime of violence or harassment that happesn between two people who have a relationship with each other, whether it is romantic or familial. Domestic violence cases could include assault charges, harassment charges, and protective orders that have been lodged against one another by the court system. Any number of things could fall into the category of domestic violence within the State of Maryland and Prince George’s County specifically. These charges are many and varied, and they can be quite serious. When someone receives a domestic violence charge, they should consider consulting with a Prince George’s County domestic violence lawyer who can help them to understand exactly what they are facing, and how to handle it.
Difficulty of Domestic Violence Charges
The reason these charges are so difficult for someone facing them, is because they really impact a person’s life completely. Domestic violence cases involve not only the relationship a person is in with their spouse or significant other, but also with their children. Because domestic violence cases deal with personal relationships, they can have an impact that goes well beyond the courtroom.
Sometimes, when somebody is charged with a domestic violence case, they might not be able to see their children. They might not be able to return to their house. They might have other significant problems when trying to conduct themselves in a normal way because of these domestic violence charges that are brought against them. Due to the personal nature of the charges, it is helpful to work with a Prince George’s County domestic violence attorney, who can provide a more detached viewpoint, while taking into consideration the emotionally charged nature of the charges.
Penalties in Prince George’s County
The penalties for domestic violence charges in Prince George’s County can be varied, depending on what is being alleged. Domestic violence can be a misdemeanor or a felony.
If somebody is charged with an assault in the first degree in a domestic violence situation—that would be a felony charge that could carry up to 25 years of incarceration. If somebody was charged with a misdemeanor domestic violence, like an assault in the second degree, the maximum penalty would be a 10-year period of incarceration.
Probation is possible in domestic violence cases, depending on a lot of different factors including the types of injury that an individual might have had, their criminal history, if the complaining witness wanted to move forward with the charges or not, whether the incident was a mutual affray, or if any kind of self-defense component exists. It is important to remember that the appropriate penalty, which could be probation or a period of incarceration, will depend on the particular circumstances of the individual case, and the actual penalty that is assigned may be lessened with the assistance of a Prince George’s County domestic violence lawyer.
Protective orders have varying roles in domestic violence cases. A protective order that is brought against one party by another will initially require the complainant or petitioner of the protective order to present some evidence or make some statement under oath to a judge for why they are seeking that particular relief.
That statement might also lead to domestic violence charges being brought against an individual. It could all be part of the same event or same incident. A person must be seeking a protective order in addition to filing criminal charges because perhaps the criminal charges are not going to result in the same relief that the person is seeking, address custody of children, or family maintenance issues and alimony. Violations of protective orders can be considered a domestic violence charge. If a someone takes a protective order out against a person, a judge grants that order. If the person does not abide by it, they can be charged with violating the protective order, which is a jailable offense. It can result in anywhere from 90 days up to a year in jail, depending on the type of offense.
Additionally, if somebody is charged with an assault and there is an active protective order in place, often the information that was provided to the police at the time that the protective order was taken out can be used as evidence or a demonstration of prompt reporting on the part of the petitioner. This can be used to try and get a conviction against an individual in a particular domestic violence situation in Prince George’s County.
Effects of a Protective Order on a Domestic Violence Charge
Protective orders are tricky and sometimes what happens at a protective order hearing can be used to a person’s advantage in a criminal proceeding, especially if the petitioner’s statements are not consistent at one hearing versus another. They can also be detrimental. They can demonstrate to the court how fearful a person might have been when they decided to take out a protective order immediately after an incident took place.