Personal Injury, Criminal Law, Traffic Violations, and Family Law & Divorce

Does domestic violence have to be physical?

On Behalf of | Jan 25, 2024 | Domestic Violence

In many cases, domestic violence is physical. It includes actions that cause serious bodily harm, such as physical assault or sexual assault.

That said, under Maryland law, domestic violence does not have to be physical in nature. You could find yourself under arrest even though you claim you never touched the other person and you did not think that you were violating the law. How could this happen?

Fear of injury

One thing to remember is that it can still qualify as assault if you give someone else the legitimate fear that they’re going to be physically injured. A common example is if you threaten someone while holding a dangerous weapon. Even if you do not carry out the threat or make physical contact at all, it could still be domestic violence if they honestly believed you were going to do so.

False imprisonment and stalking are other examples of activities that could lead to domestic violence allegations. Stalking can be done in person or even virtually. It could also be a combination of both. False imprisonment just means keeping someone from leaving a location of their own free will. This could even apply to forcing a spouse or a romantic partner to stay in your home when they want to leave – whether or not physical force was necessary to do so.

Criminal defense options and your future 

If you are facing such serious allegations, it is important to focus on your future. A conviction could severely limit future employment options and may cost you your own freedom. Be sure you know about all of the criminal defense options at your disposal.