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An accusation of domestic violence has the potential to completely destroy a person’s reputation. Sadly, it is not uncommon for accusations of domestic violence to be untrue. You need an experienced  domestic violence lawyer working on your behalf if you are currently being accused of an act of domestic violence. Please continue reading for more information on how Maryland law defines domestic violence. Here are some questions you may have:

What constitutes domestic violence under Maryland law?

A person may be charged with domestic violence if he or she is accused of committing any of the following acts against a family or household member:

  • Stalking
  • Rape or sexual offense
  • Attempted rape or sexual offense
  • False imprisonment
  • Kidnapping
  • Assault

What does Maryland law consider a domestic relationship?

To be in a “domestic relationship,” two people must share a child, have an intimate or sexual relationship, or be current or former spouses. In addition, state law considers any two people who are related by blood, marriage, or adoption to have a domestic relationship. Lastly, in most cases, state law considers stepparents to have a domestic relationship with their stepchildren.

How does Maryland law treat those accused of domestic violence?

Sometimes a court will issue a Temporary Protective Order (TPO) against an individual, which prevents him or her from having any sort of contact with the alleged victim as well as his or her family until a hearing is held regarding whether the TPO should be made final or permanent. The court will probably issue a Final Protective Order if the petitioner can prove, by a preponderance of the evidence, that he or she is, in fact, a victim of domestic violence. Final Protective Orders may establish temporary visitation with shared children and award use of a jointly titled car as well as emergency family maintenance. It also requires the alleged abuser (respondent) to surrender all firearms.

Those accused of domestic violence may also face additional criminal charges and penalties, including potential jail time, high fines, and more. If the accused has a child with the victim, convictions for domestic violence also have the potential to affect child custody, because the court may determine that the accused parent poses a danger to the child.

If you have been accused of domestic violence, whether it is by a family member, a spouse or another individual, it is vital that you retain legal representation as soon as possible. Maryland takes these situations very seriously and if an order is violated, there can be further criminal consequences. No one should face these charges alone, so please reach out to a skilled Maryland criminal defense lawyer.

Contact our Howard and Anne Arundel County Firm

If you have been charged with a crime or injured by another party’s negligence, contact the Law Offices of Debra A. Saltz today.

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