Being accused of committing an act of domestic violence can have long-term impacts on an individual, even if they are found not guilty. Domestic violence is, unfortunately, all too common in Maryland and the courts aim to prosecute offenders to the fullest extent. If you have been accused of committing domestic violence, you may face both civil and criminal charges. It is critical that you retain the services of an experienced Annapolis domestic violence attorney to help you fight these charges and clear your name. If you need strong legal representation for a domestic abuse matter, contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today.
What is Domestic Violence?
The state of Maryland takes domestic violence very seriously, as most states do. State 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
- Rape or sexual offense
- Attempted rape or sexual offense
- False imprisonment
The courts will issue victims of domestic violence one of two types of civil relief from their abuser if requested. The type of order that is issued will be determined by the victim’s relationship with the alleged abuser.
What Is A Protective Order?
A protective order can be filed against someone that has had a relationship of some sort with the alleged abuser. The relationships required to obtain a protective order include the following:
- Those who share a child
- Those who have had a sexual relationship within a year of filing the petition
- Current or former spouses
- Those who have lived together in an intimate relationship for a minimum of 90 days over the course of the last year
- Those who are related by marriage, blood, or adoption
- Parent-child or stepparent-child relationships that meet the 90-day residency requirement
Temporary Protective Orders will require the alleged abuser to cease all abuse, stay away from the home, school, or place of employment of the victim and the victim’s child, and leave the shared residence. In some situations, the judge may give the victim custody of the children shared between the abuser and the victim.
The court can issue a Final Protective Order, which establishes temporary visitation with shared children, awards use of a jointly titled car, awards emergency family maintenance, and requires the abuser to surrender all firearms.
What Is A Peace Order?
Sometimes, a person requires protection from someone they do not have an intimate or familial relationship with. Those who are seeking protection from a stranger or a neighbor can request a Peace Order. A Temporary Peace Order will require the abuser to stop abusing the victim and does not contact or harass the victim. A Final Peace Order will include the same provisions but may also order counseling, mediation, and payment of court fees.
Contact An Annapolis Domestic Violence Attorney
If you have been accused of domestic violence, whether it is by a family member, a spouse, or another individual, it is important that you retain legal representation as soon as possible. Maryland takes these situations very seriously and if an order is violated, there can be serious criminal consequences. For a criminal defense attorney that can guide you through your situation, contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today.