Domestic Violence Attorney in Baltimore, Maryland
At Albers & Associates, domestic violence is one of the most delicate and tragic family law matters we handle for clients. Helping victims obtain the protection they need is paramount. While our clients work to move on to a better situation, we provide a compassionate, helping hand through the matter and zealous representation to help them as they pursue criminal and civil relief. Representing clients who are wrongly accused of domestic violence is also important to our firm. False accusations should be addressed and the accuser held accountable. If you need relief from domestic violence or were wrongly accused of domestic violence to affect a family law case, contact Albers & Associates.
Maryland domestic violence laws
Maryland is a proactive and aggressive state towards domestic violence claims. Those accused face serious consequences and claims are answered swiftly. Maryland defines domestic violence as abuse between family or household members. One or more of the following acts constitutes a claim of domestic violence:
- Intimidating or threat of serious bodily harm
- Acts that cause serious bodily harm
- The attempt of commission of a sexual offense, including rape
- False imprisonment
Protective Orders in Maryland: civil relief
A Protective Order is the main vehicle of civil relief for victims of domestic violence. Commonly known as a restraining order in other states, Protective Orders can be put in place for a number of relationships, including:
- Spouses (current or former)
- Intimate relationships for more than 90 days during the past year
- Relation by marriage, blood, or adoption
- Parents of a child
- Caretaker-vulnerable adult relationship
- Parent-child relationship
- Stepparent-child relationship for longer than 90 days in the past year
- Sexual relationship within 1 year of filing the petition
When a party requests relief, the court will often provide it. While the parties wait for a hearing on the issuance of a Final Protective Order, the plaintiff will most likely obtain a Temporary Protective Order, which provides the judge authority to:
- Stop the abuse
- Prohibit any contact and harassment
- Keep the accused away from the child’s school, victim’s job, where the victim resides, or family members’ homes
- Prohibit the accused from entering the home or forcing them to leave if the victim lived there at the time
- Prohibit the accused from entering the home or forcing them to leave if the parties were not married, but the victim lives there and is on the deed or lease or lived with the abuser for over 90 days in the past year.
- Provide temporary custody of any children
- Award temporary possession of any pet
If the Temporary Protective Order becomes a Final Restraining Order (permanent), the judge can continue the orders above and address the following:
- Visitation rights
- Emergency alimony
- Award use of jointly-titled vehicles
- Order counseling
- Order abuser to surrender firearms
- Order abuser to pay all court fees
- Order any other relief determined by the judge
Pressing charges: criminal relief
In addition to civil relief through a Protective Order, a victim of abuse can also file criminal charges to hold an abuser accountable. Whether it is a violent crime, including assault, or a sex crime, including rape, a victim of abuse can file charges against the abuser.
False accusations of domestic violence
Unfortunately, some people in family law and divorce cases use Maryland’s aggressive domestic violence laws for personal gain. When a person is wrongly accused of domestic violence to change the outcome of a family law case, our firm is ready to protect the defendant’s rights and protect his or her future.
Contact Albers & Associates
If you are the victim of abuse, call the authorities. As you pursue relief from abuse, our firm will advocate for your rights and future. If you are falsely accused of domestic violence, we will fight for what you know is right and hold the other party accountable. Contact Albers & Associates for a consultation to discuss your legal matter.