Being arrested and charged with domestic violence is not easy. It’s a very stressful and emotional time, and if not handled properly it could have a devastating impact on your future.
Maryland law defines domestic violence “abuse” as the occurrence of one or more of the following acts between “family or household members”:
An act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm
An act that causes serious bodily harm
Rape or sexual offense
Attempt rape or sexual offense
False imprisonment, such as interference with freedom, physically keeping you from leaving your home or kidnapping you.
Family and household members include current and former spouses, people related by blood, marriage, or adoption, people who live together, parents, stepparents, and children who live together, and people who have children together. Vulnerable adults are adults who cannot take care of themselves.
A protective order (also referred to as a restraining order) is a court order requiring one person (the alleged abuser) to not contact and stay away from another person (the victim). In addition to the victim involved in a case, the state’s attorney, the department of social services, a relative, or another adult who lives with the victim can also file a petition for a protective order on behalf of a child or vulnerable adult.
If a protective order has been issued against you in a domestic violence case, violating that order (meaning seeing or contacting the person it prevents you from having contact with) is a criminal offense.
Violating a protective order is a misdemeanor. A first offense is punishable by up to 90 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Second and subsequent offenses are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. It is also contempt of court (disobeying a court’s order) to violate a temporary or final protective order, punishable by a fine or imprisonment.
The penalties for domestic violence convictions depend on the individual facts, circumstances, and charges surrounding each individual case. For example, if you have been charged with assault in the second degree, the maximum penalty is up to 10 years in prison, whereas the maximum penalty for assault in the first degree is up to 25 years in prison.
Unfortunately domestic violence charges also carry a social stigma that can negatively impact your career going forward.
There’s no reason for you to go through this difficult ordeal by yourself. Call my firm now to schedule your free consultation. During this consultation I’ll listen to your story so that we can talk about the best plan of action for defending your rights, your freedom, and your reputation.