Maryland law does not explicitly categorize specific violent offenses as “domestic.” Basically, any crime —including assault – that affects the intimately-connected relationships within a family or romantic relationship (present or former) is generally considered a domestic offense.
If you are charged with domestic violence, you’ll need to understand and protect your legal rights. These are three types of conduct that may lead to domestic violence charges in Maryland.
- Physical abuse – This is, perhaps, the most common form of domestic abuse. Physical assault can include punching, hitting or shoving the victim. It can also include any physical aggression towards the other party.
- Emotional abuse – Also known as mental or psychological abuse, emotional abuse involves any act that is intended to degrade, humiliate, isolate or control the other party. The overall goals of emotional abuse are to scare, shame or make the victim reliant on the abuser. Blackmail and threats can also be categorized as emotional abuse.
- Sexual abuse – Sexual abuse occurs when the perpetrator compels the victim to engage in sexual activity against their will. It does not matter if the victim is in a relationship presently or if they had been in the past. Sexual abuse can also happen when a perpetrator attempts to engage in sexual activity with a victim who is unable to consent (such as when they are intoxicated or when they are unable to clearly communicate).
Defending against domestic violence
From prison time to a ruined reputation, domestic violence is a serious offense with far-reaching potential legal and personal consequences. If you are accused of domestic violence, it is important that you take appropriate steps to protect your rights and interests while mounting a solid defense legal strategy.