Many people hear the phrase “domestic violence” and think immediately of physical violence between spouses. Certainly spousal violence is a serious domestic crime. However domestic crimes do not necessarily involve physical abuse, nor must the parties involved be married to each other. When any form of violence occurs between people who share — or once shared — a familiar or romantic relationship or who cohabitate, a domestic crime may have been committed.
If you suspect that you or a loved one is involved in a case of domestic violence, or other violent crimes you should do everything within your power to understand the laws at play and your options under those laws. The compassionate attorneys of DuBoff & Associates, Chartered, who have experience with criminal defense can help.
Domestic violence laws in Maryland
In the past few decades, as states have become more and more vigilant about domestic violence crimes, special domestic prosecution units have been founded by state attorney offices. These units are exceptionally aggressive and frequently seek the harshest possible penalties in the cases they prosecute.
In Maryland, certain aspects of domestic violence law are even more stringent than in other states. For example, in Maryland you may invoke marital privilege to avoid testifying against your spouse in a domestic violence case, but you may once in your lifetime in such a case.
There are also very lax rules in Maryland about hearsay rules as they relate to domestic violence cases. These laws make it simple for the police to testify in court about things they heard or saw at a domestic violence call that might be inadmissible in other types of cases.
Act quickly and honestly when dealing with domestic crimes
Maryland police and prosecutors take domestic crimes very seriously, as well they should. In fact, in the state of Maryland, all you need to do to obtain a temporary order of protection against someone is convince the court they pose an imminent threat. Such orders are called ex parte. This means that the court only needs to hear one side of the complaint before issuing the order.
While there are obvious benefits to swift action in domestic cases, this can make life extremely difficult for the accused, more so than in most criminal cases. A protective order can hinder your freedom and allow the state to remove your child from your home even before you are convicted. While many domestic violence claims are based in fact, many are also falsely brought for reasons such as revenge or overzealousness.
Maryland’s domestic crimes attorneys ready to help
At DuBoff & Associates, Chartered, our criminal defense lawyers understand domestic crime cases occur across the state, in every county and town of Maryland, from the Eastern Shore to Cumberland. In fact, we understand many facets of Maryland criminal law, from traffic violations to violent crimes. Contact us today online or at 301.495.3131 to arrange a consultation.
Home and hospital visits are available to our seriously injured clients who are unable to make it to our office and we offer evening and weekend appointments when necessary. We are pleased to offer free initial consultations in certain cases.