In Maryland, “domestic violence” is also known as “domestic abuse” or “domestic assault”. It is a crime that occurs between household and family members. it is also a crime to violate a “protective order”, also known as a “restraining order”. The following article will help you understand the laws for domestic violence in Maryland.
What is Domestic Violence or Domestic Assault in Maryland?
Maryland law considers these actions domestic violence when they occur between family or household members:
- Child abuse
- Abuse of a vulnerable adult
- Other sex crimes
- False imprisonment
- Causing serious bodily harm or placing a person in imminent fear of receiving bodily harm
It is important to remember that this list includes a range of domestic crimes, some being more serious than others. If you have been charged with and type of domestic violence case, send us a message online and tell us about your case. Our criminal defense lawyers can help you understand your options.
Definition of “Family Member” in Maryland
In Maryland, domestic violence crimes can occur between different types or people who have different types of relationships. Below is a general list of what types of relationships domestic violence could occur in.
- Current and former spouses.
- People living together.
- People related by blood, marriage, or adoption.
- Parents, step-parents and children living together.
- Parents with children together even if they do not live together.
- Vulnerable adults who cannot care for themselves.
Arrests for Domestic Violence and Abuse Crimes in Maryland
A law enforcement officer may arrest a person suspected of domestic violence without a warrant under the following circumstances:
- The incident must have been reported to the police within 48 hours
- There is evidence that the victim is injured
- The officer has the reasonable belief that the defendant battered a spouse (or another person living with the defendant).
- The officer has a reasonable belief that a person has violated a protective order.
- The officer has the reasonable belief that unless arrested, the defendant may evade arrest, cause injury, damage property, or tamper with or dispose of evidence.
It is important to remember that if you are arrested for a domestic violence crime in Maryland, the arrest should be reviewed by your lawyer to make sure that the police had the right to arrest you in the first place.
Protective Orders and Restraining Orders in Maryland
In some domestic violence cases will require a “protective order”, also known as a “restraining order”. A protective order is a court order legally requiring one person (the respondent) to not contact or approach another person (the petitioner). If you need assistance filing any type of protective order, please contact our Maryland family law lawyer.
Punishment for Domestic Violence
Punishment for domestic abuse offenses is not more severe than punishment for other types of offenses. However, Maryland courts exercise wide discretion in deciding the amount of time a defendant will be incarcerated for a domestic violence offense, and the facts of the case and the identity of the victim may be taken into consideration by the judge before pronouncing the sentence. More serious crimes will have a more severe penalty.
Penalties for Repeat Offenses
The violation of a protective order is categorized as a misdemeanor, with a first offense punishable with up to 90 days and a fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent offenses are punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500. The violation of a protective order is also considered contempt of court, which is also punishable by jail time and possibly other penalties.
We Are Ready to Help You!
If you have been charged with domestic violence, domestic assault or domestic abuse in Maryland – Call Tucker, Nong and Associates or contact a Maryland criminal defense lawyer online. Don’t risk receiving a more sever penalty. We are ready to do everything possible to defend your rights in court and get you the best result possible for your case. Contact us today!