In our previous post, we discussed how domestic violence is a serious matter in Maryland. It is taken so seriously that some people are required by law to report domestic violence. This means that just because a victim doesn’t report domestic violence, it doesn’t mean that it won’t get reported. It also means that some reports of domestic violence might not even be true.
Generally, health care workers are required to report domestic violence to law enforcement agencies. This report has to contain at least very basic information. That information includes the patient’s name, location, injuries, and the identity of the alleged abuser if it is known.
When a mandatory reporter is going to send in a report about suspected domestic violence, federal law mandates that the alleged victim is notified about the report so they can be prepared to speak to law enforcement. There is an exception to this rule. If telling the alleged victim would put them at risk, the victim might not be notified.
If you are the alleged abuser in a domestic violence mandatory reporting case, you are likely to end up facing law enforcement officers. It is vital that you understand your rights as you engage with the law enforcement officers so that you can ensure they are protected.
If you learn that you are facing charges, you should start working on your defense right away. One way you can do this is to invoke your right to have counsel present at each step of the legal process, including interrogation, arrest, and all other points of the process.
Source: FindLaw, “Mandatory Reporting of Domestic Violence,” accessed Aug. 06, 2015