Wicomico Domestic Violence Lawyer
In many situations, a domestic violence charge may result from an argument among family or household members that simply got out of hand. A single mistake or error in judgment resulting from a bad temper could lead to negative repercussions that can impact you for a lifetime. Calling a Wicomico domestic violence lawyer for assistance may be the most logical first step to fighting the serious charges that you are facing.
The simple act of contacting a determined defense attorney could help in protecting your rights and minimizing the consequences that you could face from a criminal conviction stemming from a domestic violence incident.
Domestic Violence and Maryland Law
Maryland criminal law does not specifically define domestic violence as a separate criminal offense. Rather, a variety of criminal offenses could be charged following an incident involving family or household members, just as they could for those incidents involving acquaintances or strangers.
Nonetheless, Md. Code, Fam. Law § 4-501, which relates to civil protective orders, does define “abuse” as any act that causes serious bodily harm to a person eligible for relief or places a person eligible for relief in fear of impending serious bodily harm, as well as assault, rape or any sexual offense, false imprisonment, and stalking. Furthermore, the same section defines “person eligible for relief” as:
- Current or former spouses
- Individuals who live together
- Relatives, through blood, marriage, or adoption
- Parents or stepparents or children or stepchildren who resided with a person eligible for relief for at least 90 days within the last year
- Vulnerable adults
- Individuals who share children
- Individuals who had a sexual relationship within the last year
As the consequences for any type of domestic violence-related criminal charges may be severe, individuals facing such charges may want to strongly consider contacting a domestic violence attorney in Wicomico for advice.
Assault and Domestic Violence
Assault is one of the more common criminal offenses under Maryland law that could arise from a domestic violence incident. One reason for this is due to Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-202, which provides for an expansive definition of battery that covers actions commonly referred to as assault as well as battery.
First-degree assault is a felony under Maryland law. This offense may occur when individuals purposely cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to others or use a firearm to commit assault. A serious physical injury may include any type of bodily injury that has a substantial risk of death, serious disfigurement, or loss or impairment of a bodily member or organ function.
First-degree assault is a felony under Maryland law and may result in a prison sentence not exceeding ten years and a fine not exceeding $2,500.
Pursuant to Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-203, second-degree assault occurs when individuals threaten others or have offensive contact with others, from the perspective of a reasonable person. Second-degree assault is a misdemeanor under Maryland law, which may result in a sentence of incarceration of up to ten years, and a fine of up to $2,500, or both.
However, second-degree assault becomes a felony when the subject of the assault is a law enforcement officer, parole or probation agent, an emergency medical technician, a firefighter, a rescue squad member, or any other first responder who provides similar emergency care. For a felony second-degree assault charge, the maximum prison sentence is ten years and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
A Wicomico Domestic Violence Attorney Can Advise You
As outlined above, the potential penalties for assaults arising from domestic violence situations may be severe. Assault is not the only criminal charge that could stem from a domestic violence incident, and the penalties for those charges may be similar or more severe in nature.
There also may be collateral consequences from a domestic violence conviction, such as the imposition of a civil protective order prohibiting contact between you and the alleged victim, loss of your right to vote or carry or a firearm, and a criminal conviction involving violence on your criminal history.
Taking the time to get advice from an experienced Wicomico domestic violence lawyer could be wise, particularly given the severity of the penalties at stake in such cases.