When you and a family member get into an argument, it is easy for things to get out of hand. In some cases, you might end up with criminal charges or civil action against you because that family member claims that he or she was a victim of domestic violence.
Maryland has some very strict laws about what constitutes domestic violence. In this state, domestic violence occurs when there is a rape, sexual offense, attempted rape, attempted sexual offense, assault, stalking or false imprisonment. Domestic violence is also defined as doing something that places a family member or household member in fear of imminent body harm that would be serious.
When you are facing accusations of domestic violence, you might face both criminal charges and civil action. In the case of civil action, you might find that you have present a defense against a protective order. This is an order that would stop you from having any contact with the person who is claiming you abused them.
Protective orders usually have some conditions attached to them. If you fail to comply with the protective order, you might find yourself in criminal court. These criminal charges could have very serious penalties that you might face on top of penalties that are possible for the original domestic violence event if criminal charges were levied against you then.
If you are facing criminal charges for domestic violence, it is vital that you take those charges seriously. As soon as you learn that you are facing criminal charges, you should begin working on your defense.
Source: Maryland Courts, “Domestic Violence,” accessed July 28, 2015