When an incident in the home escalates, the emotional component can lead to accusations of domestic violence and abuse, which can negatively impact all aspects of your life — immediately and in the long-term.
When law enforcement officials are called to the scene of a domestic disturbance, they can arrest individuals accused of domestic violence, even without first obtaining a warrant.
Before making an arrest, responding officers must reasonably believe that both domestic violence did occur and that the individual who is being detained may cause further harm, tamper with evidence, or evade arrest.
If you have been arrested on domestic violence charges, you will need a vigorous and appropriate defense that is uniquely designed to prevent what may become a devastating outcome.
How is Domestic Violence Different than Other Abuse Charges?
Domestic violence is a broad category that covers both misdemeanor and felony offenses.
Whether you are charged with domestic violence, or a similar charge without the designation, depends on your relationship to the alleged victim.
To be charged with domestic violence, you must have an intrafamily relationship with the alleged victim.
That relationship can include:
- Being relatives by blood or adoption
- Marriage or domestic partnerships
- Roommates, in some cases
Domestic violence may result in different charges, which may include, but not limited to:
- Creation of fear of imminent harm in another
- Cruelty to Children
- Destruction of Property
- Physical Assault
- Preventing Freedom of Movement or False Imprisonment
- Sexual Abuse
Each person who is charged with domestic violence must understand that even if the alleged victim decides not to move forward with the charges, the prosecutor has the sole discretion to determine if enough evidence exists against the defendant to proceed with the charges against him or her anyway.
That is why it is so important to partner with an experienced domestic violence lawyer in Maryland or Washington D.C., so we can design the best defense for your unique legal circumstances based on how the prosecutor chooses to proceed with your case.
What are the Penalties for Domestic Violence in Washington D.C. or Maryland?
The penalties for domestic violence vary based on the specific offense.
Each of these charges, the alleged offender’s criminal history — including previous domestic violence charges or convictions — and the evidence obtained from the scene will determine how the prosecutor proceeds with your case.
The legal penalties for domestic violence may include:
- Domestic violence education courses
- Loss of the right to own firearms
- Jail or prison time
Other consequences of a domestic violence charge can adversely affect the defendant’s rights to:
- Obtain or share custody of their children
- Financial support for housing, education, and personal resources like loans or other credit opportunities
- Obtaining employment or rental agreements from failing to pass a criminal background check
It is important to partner with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Maryland or Washington D.C., so your rights are protected throughout the case, starting before your first court date.
Domestic Violence and Protection Orders in Maryland and Washington D.C.
Many people who are accused of domestic violence will also be served with some form of protection order, which can include a restraining order, an order of protection, or a no-contact order, in addition to the judge often imposing that the defendant stays away from the complainant as a pretrial condition.
If you are served with a temporary protection order, it is incredibly important that you abide by the requirements listed therein, so as not to increase the charges against you.
Before protection orders can be permanently enforced, which is typically for one year, the accused individuals must be able to tell their side of the story in court, which our domestic violence attorneys will attend alongside our clients to ensure their best interests are protected.
How Can the Domestic Violence Attorneys at Lotze Mosley Help with My Case?
Our domestic violence lawyers represent clients in both Maryland and Washington D.C., so each of our residents has access to the criminal defense team they deserve to achieve the best outcome for their unique circumstances.
There are many defenses that apply to domestic violence charges, and our law firm focuses on how the court system views the charges — not the emotional variables that led to our client’s arrest.
Those defenses may include one or more of the following possibilities:
- You did not commit the domestic violence crime you were charged with
- The person you are charged with hurting lied about the event
- The accusations we the result of self-defense
- The reported injury was accidentally inflicted
- The instance of domestic violence cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt
Other defenses may include investigative errors or the lack of probable cause to search or arrest the accused by the responding law enforcement officers, failure to speak with witnesses or obtain the evidence at the scene, failing to read our client his or her Miranda Rights, continuing to question our client after they requested to speak with a Washington D.C. and Maryland domestic violence lawyer or any denial to speak with legal representation.
Your domestic violence charges will be unique to your circumstances and the jurisdiction in which you were arrested. The most important factor in your case is to partner with an experienced domestic violence lawyer, so we can pursue the best outcome for your unique case.
Call Our Domestic Violence Lawyers in Washington D.C. and Maryland For A Free Consultation
Contact our experienced criminal defense attorneys in Washington D.C. and Maryland at Lotze Mosley, LLP today by calling (202) 393-0535 to discuss your case before your initial court date, so you are not left facing the alleged victim, the prosecutor’s office, and the judge alone.