You might be surprised to know that Maryland does not have any crimes specifically created to punish domestic violence. If you are going to be charged with a crime as a result of an incident involving a spouse, significant other, or someone you are no longer in a relationship with but used to be in a relationship with, you could most likely be charged with Assault in the First Degree or Assault in the Second Degree or both.
The penalties for these crimes are the same as if there were no domestic relationship, 25 years and 10 years respectively.
Other common charges in domestic violence cases are:
- Telephone or Electronic Misuse which have a penalty of up to 3 years in jail
- Harassment which has a penalty up to 90 days in jail, and
- Violation of a Peace Order or Protection Order, which is the Maryland version of a Restraining Order. A violation of either one of these court orders carries a penalty up to 90 days in jail, but also can have enhanced penalties of up to 1 year if you violate the same order more than once.
You should know that while there are not different statutory penalties if a case involves domestic violence, in most counties of Maryland, certain State’s Attorneys are employed to specially prosecute only the domestic violence cases.
For those reasons, Domestic violence cases for any of the above charges usually are more seriously prosecuted than those cases where there is no domestic relationship but the same charges arise.
If you are charged with any of the above crimes for Domestic Violence reasons, it becomes even more important to go to court with a qualified attorney.
At Zirkin and Schmerling Law, we are qualified and professional expert litigators who can assist you with criminal and civil cases. If you have been accused of assault in Maryland, or any other crime, call us at (410) 356-4455 and one of our attorneys team will be happy to speak with you about your case. Your initial consultation is free of charge.