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Worcester Domestic Violence Lawyer

Individuals do not normally enter into relationships with others expecting a negative outcome, but sometimes this is exactly what occurs. An argument or a hostile break-up can easily degenerate into a domestic violence situation, which can result in an aggressor being arrested for one or more criminal offenses.

When this situation occurs, you need to protect yourself from the potentially onerous repercussions of a domestic violence-related criminal conviction and/or a civil protective order.

As a result, an arrest on domestic violence charges may prompt you to contact a Worcester domestic violence lawyer. A capable criminal defense attorney could could construct a solid defense for you and guide you through the trial process.

Domestic Violence Offenses

Unlike other states, Maryland does not have a separate crime of domestic violence. Rather, criminal offenses arising out of domestic violence situations are charged as normal criminal offenses that arose of non-domestic situation.

The only criminal offense that may pertain specifically to domestic violence is the violation of a civil protective order.

Aside from this offense, other crimes that might stem from a domestic violence situation can include:

  • Assault
  • False imprisonment
  • Stalking
  • Rape
  • Oher sexual offenses

Violating a Civil Protective Order

Alleged victims of criminal offenses resulting from domestic violence situations also may seek the issuance of a civil protective order. This order can contain various provisions, but the main import of the order is to prohibit all contact between alleged perpetrators and alleged victims.

The strict language in protective orders, however, can result in a single text message from perpetrator to accuser leading to a criminal violation of the order.

Charges of Civil Contempt

Violating a civil protective order can result in separate criminal charges or civil contempt, depending on the situation. Pursuant to Md. Code, Fam. Law § 4-509, violation of a protective order can result in a sentence of incarceration not to exceed 90 days, along with a maximum $1,000 fine.

Repeat Violations of Protective Orders

A second or subsequent violation of a protective order carries a potential jail sentence of up to one year and a $2,500 fine.

If, on the other hand, the violation of the protective order did not involve any type of contact or communication with the complainant, but it involved the failure to pay support or attend counseling as ordered, then the remedy would be a civil contempt action instead of criminal charges.

Any remedies for this type of violation would be civil in nature and handled by the court that issued the protective order.

Domestic Violence Assault

Assault is one criminal offense that frequently occurs in the context of a domestic violence situation. This crime, which encompasses elements of assault, battery, and assault and battery, is a broad criminal offense under Maryland law.

This offense may be charged when individuals cause physical harm to others, as well as when individuals threaten others with violence or physical harm.

Assault charges can arise out of either a domestic violence or non-domestic violence scenario and may result in contact with a domestic violence lawyer in Worcester.

First and Second-Degree Assault Charges

Pursuant to Md. Code, Crim. Law § 3-202, first degree assault is a felony offense that occurs when individuals purposely cause or try to cause serious bodily injury to another, or use a firearm to commit the offense. For a first degree assault conviction, the potential maximum prison sentence is 25 years.

Second degree assault charges are also a possibility in a domestic violence situation. According to § 3-203, second degree assault involves making threats or having reasonably offensive contact with others, and is a misdemeanor under Maryland law. Penalties may include as much as ten years in prison and a fine of up to $2,500.  A Worcester domestic violence lawyer could mitigate the penalties that a person may face.

How a Worcester Domestic Violence Attorney Can Help

Criminal offenses related to domestic violence situations and civil protective orders both can have unwanted and highly negative consequences for individuals who are facing them.

If you are having this problem, do not hesitate to call on a Worcester domestic violence lawyer, who may be able to assist in your defense.

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