Maryland Spousal Abuse Lawyer

Spousal abuse is a type of domestic violence between two partners who are married or are in a domestic relationship. Because there is no specific section of Maryland law that addresses spousal abuse, it falls under the domestic violence statute. Therefore, someone could be charged with spousal abuse and domestic violence concurrently.

Also, there may be criminal conduct or other misbehavior between spouses that does not specifically constitute abuse under this statute, such as harassment or threatening conduct. These specific nuances make it imperative to contact a Maryland spousal abuse lawyer if you have been accused of harming your partner. An experienced defense attorney could assess your situation and help build a comprehensive case in your defense.

What Happens After a Spousal Abuse Accusation?

When someone faces spousal abuse allegations in Maryland, they can typically expect the initiation of court proceedings based on the accusation and a protective order to be put into place against them. If the accused individual does not agree with the conditions of the protective order to have no contact with the alleged victim, they could challenge the accusation. However, violating the conditions of the protective order against them could lead to additional criminal charges.

When someone must deal with criminal charges for spousal abuse, they could be arrested and required to pay a bond to get out of jail, and then required to appear in court where the state has prepared a case against them. At this point, a defendant should seek the services of a Maryland spousal abuse attorney who could help them prepare for the serious process they are about to face and help them build a defense against the allegations.

In a case where there is alleged violence between two spouses, a seasoned legal representative works to find an outcome that minimizes the defendant’s penalties if they cannot be proven innocent. For instance, a defense lawyer may work out a plea agreement where the opposing party must plead guilty, and in return, they only have to enroll in a diversion program instead of going to jail.

Either way, the process for spousal abuse cases is typically drawn out because these allegations can be difficult to explain and work out between two parties.  Overall, this process may be more formal than that for other types of cases because it has higher stakes.

How a Protective Order May Impact Criminal Charges

An individual can seek a protective order against anyone who they believe may hurt them. Therefore, spousal abuse may qualify for the implementation of a protective order against the alleged offender. It should be noted that an alleged victim of spousal abuse may pursue criminal charges in addition to filing a protective order.

One of the most direct ways a protective order hearing could affect a criminal case is by the statements made in relation to it. When the petitioner requests a protective order, they must make a sworn statement describing the reason(s) they want a protective order. Then, they must write and sign under penalty of perjury an affirmation that their statement is true.

When seeking a protective order, a person must prove the facts by a preponderance of the evidence, meaning it is more likely than not that something is true. However, that is not enough for a criminal conviction, for which a defendant must be proven guilty beyond all reasonable doubt.

Even though an alleged victim of spousal abuse may file a protective order against someone prior to a hearing, this does not translate to proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Simply put, an adverse finding for a protective order hearing does not automatically translate into a conviction. However, the information that a prosecutor presents to support this finding may later be used as evidence in the criminal case and could therefore still impact the proceedings.

Inconsistencies of Statements in Spousal Abuse Cases

In a criminal case, the claimant may make a statement to law enforcement or investigators, and if the case goes to trial, the individual may also testify in court. Any inconsistencies between these two statements in the criminal case can affect how the case proceeds. If the alleged victim makes contradictory statements, a Maryland lawyer with experience in spousal abuse cases could make an argument against this person’s credibility, especially if they make these statements under oath.

The same issues of consistency and credibility can also apply to the accused. If they make any inconsistent statements between the proceedings, a prosecutor may highlight these conflicting statements. Any evidence such as photographs, text messages, and communications presented in the civil court proceedings can also support inconsistencies in statements made by both parties.

Contact a Maryland Spousal Abuse Attorney

The civil and criminal court process for cases involving violence between domestic partners can be stressful and overwhelming without help from a legal professional. A seasoned Maryland spousal abuse lawyer understands these sensitivities and could help you work through any legal challenges you may be facing. To find out what an attorney could do for you, reach out today.

Maryland Spousal Abuse Lawyer