Baltimore Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence laws can be complicated, and may involve family law issues and other kinds of criminal charges like assault. A Baltimore domestic violence lawyer can help you fight the criminal charges and mitigate the consequences for you and your family. Call today and schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with a criminal defense lawyer in Baltimore.
Finding a Baltimore Domestic Violence Lawyer
Domestic violence can be a difficult episode in the life of any individual or family. If you are facing domestic violence charges in Baltimore, you may already be dealing with serious consequences, such as separation from family and home. The consequences of a conviction for domestic violence can be even more severe. Therefore, it is important to contact an experienced Baltimore domestic violence lawyer who can advise you of the charges and help advocate your case. Call today for your free, no-commitment consultation.
Consequences of Domestic Violence Allegations in Baltimore
Even an accusation of domestic violence can have significant consequences. A party claiming domestic abuse can file for a petition for relief from abuse. A court can issue any number of orders that it deems necessary for relief.
For example, a court can order the respondent, who is alleged to have committed domestic violence, to refrain from contacting the alleged victim, remain away from places of employment or schools of the family of the alleged victim, stay out of the home of the alleged victim (including awarding temporary sole use and possession of a joint residence), provide financial support to the alleged victim and family, and surrender any firearms in the respondent’s possession.
The court can also award temporary custody of any children (Md. Fam. Law Section 4-505). Violations of protective orders can carry penalties as high as fines of $2,500 and one-year imprisonment, in addition to penalties for any other crimes that may be committed during a violation (Md. Fam. Law Section 4-509). A Baltimore domestic violence attorney understands the considerable harm domestic violence charges can cause in other areas of your life, and your lawyer will take this into account when crafting a defense for your specific case.
Baltimore Domestic Violence Lawyers Can Help With These Charges
Maryland domestic violence laws are governed by criminal and family law statutes. Various activities are defined as domestic violence under Maryland law, codified in Md. Fam. Law Section 4-501(b)(1), including:
- Any act that causes serious bodily harm
- Any act that places a person in fear of serious bodily harm
- Assault in any degree
- Rape, sexual offenses, or attempted rape or sexual offense
- False imprisonment
Because of the intersection of different aspects of the law, domestic violence charges can also involve protective orders and ramifications for your family. A Baltimore domestic violence lawyer can explain how these criminal charges may constitute domestic violence and how the law may apply to the facts of your case.
Assault and Domestic Violence
Many incidents of domestic violence involve assault. Assault is an intentional act to cause a person to reasonably fear imminent harm. Similarly, battery is the intentional and uninvited harming or touching of a person. Maryland law combines both common law crimes of assault and battery into the statutory crime of assault (Md. Crim. Law Section 3-201). Assault is divided into two degrees. Assault in the first degree is the intentional causing or attempt to cause serious physical injury, including with a firearm (Md. Crim. Law Section 3-202). Assault in the second degree is the intentional causing or attempt to cause non-serious physical injury (Md. Crim. Law Section 3-203).
Sex Crimes and Domestic Violence
Other incidents of domestic violence involve rape or sexual offenses. Under Maryland law, rape is defined as vaginal intercourse with another by force or the threat of force without the consent of the other. Rape in the first degree involves the use of a weapon (or that the victim reasonably believed a weapon was used), serious injury, the threat of serious injury, being aided by another, or occurrence in connection with a burglary (Md. Crim. Law Sections 3-303, 3-304).
Other criminal sexual acts and sexual contact are codified as sexual offenses in the first through fourth degrees. The first degree involves a sexual act as well as the use of a weapon, serious injury, the threat of serious injury, being aided by another, or occurrence in connection with a burglary; the second degree only involves a sexual act. The third degree involves sexual contact, as well as the use of a weapon, serious injury, the threat of serious injury, being aided by another, or occurrence in connection with a burglary; the fourth degree only involves sexual contact (Md. Crim. Law Sections 3-305, 3-306, 3-307, 3-308).
Stalking and Domestic Violence
Finally, domestic violence may also involve the crime of stalking. Stalking is defined as a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another with the intent to—or knowledge that such conduct would—place another in fear of serious bodily injury, assault, rape or sexual offense, false imprisonment, or death, or create the fear that a third person would likely suffer any of these acts (Md. Crim. Law Section 3-802).
Domestic Violence Penalties in Baltimore
Conviction for many of the crimes of domestic violence carries serious penalties. The penalty for assault in the first degree is imprisonment for a maximum of 25 years; the penalty for assault in the second degree is imprisonment for a maximum of 10 years and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.
Domestic violence that includes rape or other sexual crimes also involves very serious penalties. Rape or sexual offense in the first degree carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment; offenses involving minors under the age of 16 or a subsequent conviction for rape also remove the possibility of parole. Offenses involving minors under the age of 13 carry a minimum sentence of 25 years. Second degree rape or sexual offense carries a maximum sentence of 20 years or a mandatory minimum incarceration of 15 years to a maximum sentence of life, if the offense involves a minor under the age of 13.
A sexual offense in the third degree involves a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment. A sexual offense in the fourth degree is a misdemeanor offense carrying a maximum sentence of one-year imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $1,000; a subsequent conviction for the offense raises the maximum imprisonment to 3 years.
Stalking is a misdemeanor that carries a maximum sentence of 5 years and/or a fine of $5,000.
Consult with a Baltimore Domestic Violence Lawyer Today
Due to the fact that domestic violence charges can entail a number of different factors, it is important you consult with a Baltimore domestic violence lawyer as soon as you are accused. Call today to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case with an attorney.