The holiday season is one of the most stressful times of the year. When family relationships are strained, getting together for holidays - like Thanksgiving - can be anything but relaxing and joyful. It's not uncommon for family disputes to erupt. Unfortunately, it's a small step from verbal fights to threats and physical violence - especially when alcohol is involved as it often is during holiday celebrations.
If you were accused with domestic violence after a Thanksgiving get-together, you are not alone. There were 2,400 reports of domestic violence in Maryland last November. Many of those reports were false, made in the heat of the moment, the result of heightened emotions or over-reactions - or worse, attempts to get a leg-up in custody or divorce proceedings.
So, What Now?
In Maryland, domestic violence accusations trigger criminal and civil proceedings - and the civil process is initiated quickly:
- Your accuser can get a protective order even when court is closed. This can happen very fast - within in a matter of hours you may be forced out of your home and forced to cease contact with your accuser.
- Within seven business days, a final order hearing will be held. If the judge finds in favor of your accuser, you may be unable to return to your home, or contact your accuser for up to a year.
Don't take the civil aspect of your domestic violence charge lightly. The law is complex and you don't have much time after accusations are made to get help. The best thing you can do for yourself is to contact an experienced defense attorney immediately after accusations are made.
To learn more about domestic violence charges - and ways to defend against them - contact the Law Offices of Thomas C Mooney.