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What makes domestic violence under Maryland law?

If someone is attacked by their spouse or live-in relative, it may be clear that he or she is a victim of domestic violence. But things get fuzzier if someone is attacked by someone they are dating. Is this a case of domestic violence?

  • How does Maryland define domestic violence?

The law in Annapolis lists a variety of offenses, including assault and rape, that are cases of domestic violence if they are committed by "family or household members." These people include family members by blood or legal relation and almost anyone who lives in the same home as the victim.

  • Why does this matter?

Cases of domestic violence may carry higher penalties if they result in convictions in a Maryland court. People accused of domestic violence may also be subject to protection orders and possible civil penalties, whereas charges of simple assault are often criminal matters alone.

  • What situations can result in domestic violence charges?

Arguments that escalate to physical violence may occur, and some people may even be charged because they were defending themselves. Accidents may end up appearing as intentional actions, especially in emotionally intense situations. In some cases, supposed victims may simply be lying about the chain of events leading to injuries.

  • How can I get help fighting an accusation of domestic violence?

An attorney can always help someone facing criminal charges, including an examination of the evidence to see if the charges are incorrect. Legal representation is often an important part of every step through the criminal justice system, as well as any defense against its charges.

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