Anne Arundel Domestic Violence Lawyer
In too many situations, an argument between spouses or significant others can quickly escalate into threats and perhaps even physical altercations. When this occurs, the alleged aggressor could be arrested and face numerous repercussions from an incident of domestic violence. While there are both civil and criminal components of domestic violence cases, incidents involving domestic violence can result in criminal assault charges under Maryland law. An Anne Arundel domestic violence lawyer may be able to help you fight these charges and minimize the consequences on your life. Call and schedule an appointment with a skilled defense attorney to discuss your potential legal options.
Domestic Violence Crimes
There is no criminal offense under Maryland law that is specifically referred to as “domestic violence.” As a result, there are different criminal offenses that may be charged as the result of a domestic violence incident. These offenses include assault, child abuse, rape, false imprisonment, stalking, and violations of a civil protective order.
Criminal procedural rules in Anne Arundel also provide for some procedures that are specific to domestic violence cases. For instance, under Maryland Criminal Procedure Code §2-204, police officers can arrest individuals without a warrant if they have probable cause to believe that they battered their spouse or a member of their household, there is evidence of physical injury, and unless the individuals are immediately arrested, they may not be apprehended, they may cause physical injury or property damage to another, or may tamper with, dispose of, or destroy evidence, and a report of domestic violence was made to the police within 48 hours of the alleged incident.
Defining Assault in Anne Arundel
As an Anne Arundel attorney could attest, one of the most common criminal charges that may arise from a domestic violence situation is assault. The crime of assault in the state of Maryland is extremely broad. It includes actions that most individuals would consider to be assault but also can include elements of battery, either alone or in conjunction with an assault.
Maryland Criminal Code §3-202 sets forth the requirements for first-degree assault, which is a felony offense. This criminal offense occurs when individuals intentionally cause or attempt to cause serious physical injury to other individuals, or if individuals use a firearm to commit assault. For the purposes of this section, serious physical injury encompasses any physical injury that creates a substantial risk of death, serious disfigurement, or loss or impairment of the function of a bodily member or organ.
Second-degree assault pursuant to §3-203 occurs when individuals make threats toward other individuals or have contact with others that reasonable people would consider to be offensive.
Penalties for Assault
Under §3-202, first-degree assault constitutes a felony offense, which carries a penalty of up to 25 years of incarceration. Second-degree assault is typically misdemeanor, which carries a penalty of up to ten years of incarceration and a fine of up to $2,500, or both a jail sentence and fine. Even when charged as a misdemeanor, however, there can be significant consequences for individuals, which can make it very important to contact a domestic violence attorney in Anne Arundel for advice.
Collateral Consequences of a Domestic Violence Conviction
One of the possible repercussions of domestic violence charges is the imposition of a civil protective order. This is a separate proceeding from the criminal case, and it can require individuals to stay away and avoid all contact with alleged victims of domestic violence. It is a crime to violate a protective order, so individuals may face independent criminal charges if accused of this type of violation.
Furthermore, a criminal conviction related to domestic violence will appear on individuals’ criminal records, which can make it difficult to keep or obtain some types of jobs. In some cases, a civil protective order stemming from a domestic violence incident can result in the loss of the ability to carry firearms, ejection from individuals’ homes, and mandated participation in counseling or domestic violence treatment.
Let an Anne Arundel Domestic Violence Attorney Advise You
The possible penalties for criminal convictions related to domestic violence can be severe. Getting the advice of an Anne Arundel domestic violence lawyer early on in the progression of your criminal case may be helpful in avoiding or minimizing some of these potential consequences. Contact an experienced Anne Arundel domestic violence lawyer today, and learn how you can fight back against charges.