When you are facing domestic violence charges, there are more things to consider than the possible penalties in the criminal justice system. These charges often involve people who are close to us, and they could endanger our ability to be a parent or part of a community.
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?
Domestic violence charges always have the power to ruin lives. In a case of incompatible versions of events, like a he-said-she-said case with little objective evidence, law enforcement officers and victim advocates often look for risk factors around a situation to determine if people are safe or not.
In Maryland, a protective order and peace order may prohibit certain conduct. Issuance of these orders is a civil legal matter which may have an impact on the criminal defense ultimately presented in these cases.
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.
Being accused of domestic violence in Maryland can be very damaging to a person's reputation, even if such accusations are not true. Unfortunately, the court of public opinion often jumps to conclusions, assuming that a person against who a protective order was sought must have done something harmful to another person. This may make a person who is facing having a protective order issued against them wonder if it is possible to limit the access others have to their case record.
Allegations of domestic violence are very serious. Not only could such charges lead to criminal penalties, but such allegations could have a very detrimental effect on a person's reputation in his or her community. However, Maryland law has provisions that allow for warrantless arrests in certain instances of domestic violence.
It is unfortunate that in the United States millions of Americans fall victim to domestic violence every year. And, the actual statistics can be staggering. According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, as many as 20 people per minute are physically abused in the United States, which leads to more than 10 million cases each year.
Following the release of a video tape showing ex-NFL running back Ray Rice dragging his wife out of an elevator in an Atlantic City casino a few years ago following a domestic dispute, the National Football League has been under significant scrutiny about how they handle domestic violence cases with their players. They have since created specific rules regarding domestic violence cases, including mandatory suspensions, but inconsistencies with how they handle each cases continues to hinder the league.
Because of the serious concern domestic violence presents for families and communities, individuals facing domestic violence situations or accusations may wonder what is considered domestic violence in Maryland. In Maryland, domestic violence is defined as certain acts between family or household members. Acts that can occur between family or household members, which are considered domestic violence in Maryland, include assault; actions that cause fear of imminent serious bodily harm; actions that cause serious bodily harm; rape or sexual offenses; attempted rape or sexual offenses; stalking; and false imprisonment such as actions that impact freedom or kidnapping.