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What happens after one is arrested for domestic violence?

When a family dispute occurs, things can escalate quickly, with each party hurling insults or angry words at one another. Unfortunately, even if it's merely a "he said, she said," situation, a person in Maryland might be arrested on charges of domestic violence. It is important, therefore, to understand what happens after an initial arrest on such allegations.

When it comes to domestic violence, it is often the case that the accused will be charged with assault, commonly in the second degree. After being charged, the person accused of committing domestic violence will have to appear in a District Court, where a commissioner will make a decision about whether or not the accused should remain behind bars on bail, and if so, to what amount that bail amount should be set.

Both the purported victims of domestic violence and the accused may file for a protective order if they so choose. A protective order makes it so that both parties cannot contact one another. While every order is unique, an order can also make it not only so that the parties cannot communicate with one another, but that they must also stay away from each other's home or workplace. In some cases, the accused might even need to give up their firearms.

Under Maryland law there are three different kinds of protective orders. One is an interim order. This is issued when the court is closed. A District Court commissioner will issue the interim order, and then on the following business day the person granted the order needs to appear before a judge to indicate why the order should continue. A second type of protective order is a temporary protective order. This type of order lasts for one week. Finally, there are final protective orders, which last for 12 months.

Protective orders are issued to those who have some sort of familial or marital relationship. If such a relationship doesn't exist, a person can seek what is known as a peace order. Either of these orders are taken care of by the Sherriff's Office's Domestic Violence Unit. However, since either of these orders can have long-lasting consequences, those accused of domestic violence may want to seek the assistance of a criminal defense attorney who can explain the charges and protect their client's interests in court.

Source: Carroll County Times, "Domestic violence more than initial call," Heather Mongilio, June 3, 2017

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