Wheaton Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
Working to Protect Your Rights & Your Future
Domestic violence is a serious crime in Maryland, one that is prosecuted zealously. Both the criminal and societal consequences of a conviction can have a profound and lasting effect on nearly every aspect of your life, from your right to see your children to your ability to keep your job to your very freedom.
If you have been accused of domestic violence in Montgomery County, don’t wait to contact the Wheaton domestic violence defense attorneys at Portner & Shure, P.A. for a free, confidential consultation. We understand that domestic violence accusations can sometimes occur in the heat of the moment—but the resulting consequences can affect you for the rest of your life. Our attorneys work quickly to review the facts of your case and begin building a solid defense aimed at protecting your rights, your freedom, and your entire future.
Contact us online or call us at (240) 233-2801 today to learn more about how our criminal defense attorneys can help you during a free initial consultation.
Maryland Domestic Violence Laws
While there are no specific statutes regarding domestic violence between family members, spouses, or former romantic partners in the state of Maryland, domestic violence is defined by the Maryland Family Law Code as certain violent offenses (such as abuse, sexual assault, and others) perpetrated by a family member or household member against another.
Domestic violence is similar to assault in that it involves acts of violence or threatened acts of violence against another person. However, in order for abuse to be classified as domestic violence, the alleged acts or threatened acts must be made against a spouse, romantic partner, former spouse/romantic partner, child, or anyone with whom the accused shares a home/domicile.
In relation to domestic violence, “abuse” includes the following acts:
- Any act that causes “serious bodily harm”
- Any act that causes another person to reasonably fear for their imminent safety or believe that they are in danger of imminent bodily injury or harm
- Any form of assault
- Sexual offenses, including rape and attempted rape
- False imprisonment
The penalties for domestic violence in Maryland vary depending on the alleged act. If convicted of assault against a family or household member, you face up to 25 years in prison. If you are charged with a sexual offense, such as the rape of a family member or household member, you could face up to life imprisonment. Both false imprisonment and stalking are charged as misdemeanors in Maryland; there is no maximum sentence for the common law misdemeanor or false imprisonment, whereas stalking carries a sentence of up to five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.
Defenses to Domestic Abuse Allegations in Maryland
There are several potential defenses to domestic violence charges. As with all other criminal accusations, the state of Maryland has the burden of proof, meaning the state must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you committed all elements of the alleged offense. As such, your attorney may be able to dispute your charges on various grounds.
One possible defense to domestic abuse charges is the defense of false allegations. In this defense, one argues that the person who made the accusation did so falsely and deliberately. Another possible defense is that of self-defense. In cases involving sexual abuse and/or rape allegations, one could argue that consent was given. Additional defenses include lack of proof or that the accused is the wrong suspect.
Why You Need an Experienced Attorney
Because of the complexity of domestic violence/abuse cases in Maryland, it is absolutely critical that you work with an attorney who is experienced in this area of law. At Portner & Shure, P.A., we have spent the past 25+ years representing individuals accused of assault, sexual offenses, and other domestic abuse crimes. Whether you have been falsely accused of abuse or were arrested for violating a protective order, our Wheaton domestic abuse defense attorneys can help you fight to protect your rights.
Call our award-winning team at (240) 233-2801 today to schedule your free and confidential consultation.
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