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.
There has been a tremendous increase in awareness in the nation regarding the issue of domestic violence. Both federal and state laws have been toughened in order prosecute those who perpetrate this heinous crime and to protect those who desperately need protection. Unfortunately, there have also been instances of false domestic violence charges being filed throughout the country. Being accused of this crime can result in everything from a prison sentence to a damaged reputation. There are a few basic steps that someone can take to help prevent from being falsely accused of domestic violence.
In Maryland, domestic violence charges are governed by the state's assault laws. This means that even if your domestic dispute didn't result in any physical harm, you can be charged with assault. If physical harm did result, or if a weapon was used, you could be facing felony assault charges.
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.