Maryland Domestic Violence Arrests
Maryland law enforcement officers are technically not required to make any arrests in domestic violence cases. They can separate the parties, tell one of the parties to not return to the home, or issue a summons. Both parties can be arrested if there is an active violent altercation when officers arrive at the scene.
If someone was badly injured, they arrest the other individual. Maryland domestic violence arrests are not required unless ordered to do so by a judge. When or if the judge orders an arrest warrant, the police officer must arrest the person. If you find yourself in a domestic situation involving law enforcement, contact a distinguished domestic violence lawyer who can help you with your defense.
Role of a Reasonable Person
As defined by Maryland law, probable cause is when an objective, reasonable person considers that person’s actions questionable or wrong. In order to determine probable cause in Maryland domestic violence arrests, a judge puts themselves in another person’s shoes to see if their claims are rational.
Reasonable fear of imminent serious physical injury or death is what a reasonable, objective person believes to be fearful. Reasonable fear is constituted by the words, the conduct, and the language quite literally taken. It is conduct that makes a person fearful for their safety. The danger can be imminent if the aggressor is capable and is threatening enough to be believed.
Following an Arrest
A person arrested for domestic violence in Maryland is released on their own recognizance. They do not have to post the bond. They can expect to be charged with the incident including the conduct witnessed in a general conversation with an officer or commissioner.
If a person fought with someone and says they were assaulted, a commissioner can put them under oath. When a person fills out a form for the officers, the person may not take a literal oath but it is under penalty of perjury if the person reads the document and the advisory at the bottom. The person can commit perjury if they lie.
There is no difference in a domestic violence arrest and other arrests. When the person is arrested, they are taken in front of the commissioner who is informed that this is domestic-related. The commissioner’s response may be distinguishable from a general assault charge. A person should refrain from speaking to the police until their lawyer arrives because any statement they make can be twisted and used against them.
Possible Imposed Conditions
One of the most common conditions following a Maryland domestic violence arrest is to stay away and have no contact whatsoever with the protected party unless it is something monetary or related to their children. There can be limited contact with the children or a complete order to stay away from all involved.
When there are financial responsibilities, the judge can temporarily order that the person upholds those responsibilities. The authorities do not want the person to influence the protected person who may decide they no longer want to testify. They are looking out for the best interests of the protected person at the moment.
Role of a Lawyer in Arraignments
A domestic violence lawyer can present many facts to have their client released after arraignment. They can show that the person is trustworthy by exploring their previous record history or lack thereof. The lawyer can show that the evidence might be skeptical or non-conclusive to the commissioner or judge. They can update their client’s address so the authorities know the person is not returning to the home if they are forbidden to do so. Contacting an attorney after a Maryland domestic violence arrest may be critical to the outcome of someone’s case.
A person should have a domestic violence lawyer by their side as soon as they are arrested because every minute counts. The lawyer can immediately begin to build a defense. They would rather be involved in the case at the beginning of the event and not just come in at the last minute. A lawyer must prepare for these cases and they need the time and opportunity to go through this step by step to break down the alleged incident.