Glen Burnie Domestic Violence Lawyer
While Maryland does not define “domestic violence” as a distinct criminal offense, having an unlawful act categorized as such can still have severe and long-lasting repercussions. On top of the personal and professional harm that an allegation—let alone a conviction—of this nature can cause, domestic violence charges can also lead courts to impose protective orders with or without an accompanying criminal conviction. Violating an order can itself be a serious criminal offense.
Do not leave your future up to chance. When you need help protecting your best interests in the wake of a domestic violence accusation, assistance is available from an experienced Glen Burnie domestic violence lawyer. You have the right to fight back; a defense attorney’s support could be vital to understanding and enforcing those rights proactively and effectively.
How State Law Addresses “Domestic Violence”
Maryland Code, Family Law §4-501 defines “abuse” in the context of domestic violence as any of the following acts committed against a household or family member:
- Any degree of assault
- False imprisonment
- Any degree of attempted or actual sexual assault or rape
- Revenge porn, as defined under Maryland Code, Criminal Law §3-809
- Any act which causes or places someone in reasonable fear that they will imminently suffer serious bodily harm
In this context, a “family or household member” can be a current or former spouse, a current or former intimate partner, any relative by marriage or blood, any relative by adoption, a co-parent of the same child, or a cohabitant in the same residence.
Notably, Maryland Code, Criminal Procedure §2-204 gives law enforcement officers authority to arrest individuals suspected of domestic violence within 48 hours of an initial report of such violence. The officer must reasonably believe that the defendant battered their spouse or anyone else living with them, and that the defendant might cause further harm, evade arrest, and/or destroy evidence if not detained. As an attorney serving Glen Burnie could further explain, state law grants the same authority to police officers who suspect someone has violated a domestic violence protective order.
Dealing with Protective Orders in Glen Burnie
Individuals who believe they and/or minor children in their care may be in danger of domestic violence may apply for a protective order from a Maryland family court. In certain situations, a social services worker, a concerned relative, or the state’s attorney may apply for such an order on behalf of someone allegedly impacted by domestic violence. Either way, the court may issue a temporary protective order in response to such a petition and then, based on findings from an ensuing hearing, a final protective order which may impose substantial limitations on a defendant’s rights and personal freedom.
Per MD Code, Fam. Law §4-509, violating the terms of any protective order for any reason is a misdemeanor offense, punishable upon a first-time conviction by 90 days of jail time and a $1,000 fine, and by up to a year in jail plus a $2,500 fine for second and subsequent convictions. Assistance from a skilled attorney can be especially crucial to resolving domestic violence allegations in Glen Burnie that allegedly involve protective order violations.
Discuss Your Legal Options With a Glen Burnie Domestic Violence Attorney
Maryland law enforcement personnel and court authorities take domestic violence allegations very seriously. Whether you have an existing criminal record or not, building and executing a comprehensive defense strategy may be critical to handling accusations like this effectively and minimizing long-term harm.
Our Glen Burnie domestic violence lawyer could discuss your options in detail during a confidential consultation. Call today to schedule yours.