Accusations of domestic violence can have both criminal and civil consequences. Civilly you could be subjected to the restrictions of a domestic restraining order, also known as a protective order. And criminally you may face assault and/or battery charges.
If you are convicted of domestic abuse you can be fined and put in jail. Even if you aren’t convicted on a criminal charge you could be subject to a protection order that requires you to move out of your home and have no contact with your spouse or minor children. Civil domestic violence matters can also affect divorce and custody matters, and can result in serious consequences including:
• Denial of custody of minor children • Protective orders against you • Mandatory participation in anger management or other treatment • Civil liberties restrictions • Surrender of firearms
If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you need to:
• Understand the gravity of the situation and never assume that, because the charges are false, you will not be convicted.
• Prepare for the expense of your defense. Your Maryland domestic violence defense attorney needs to build a strong defense, which may include costs to obtain records, serve subpoenas, and retain private investigators.
• Document everything by writing down every detail you remember, possible witnesses, receipts and anything else related to the charges. The more information you can give your attorney, the more effective the defense he will be able to mount for you.
• Know your rights. If you are not arrested, you are free to leave. If you have been arrested, you have a right to an attorney and to remain silent. Law enforcement is not on your side, and a simple explanation can end up causing more problems.
Allegations of domestic violence, even if false, are very serious and you need to take such charges seriously.