According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey conducted in 2010, “1 in 4 woman and 1 in 7 men report having been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner.” This staggering statistic accounts for only a fraction of domestic abuse victims, as domestic violence goes beyond that of violence between intimate partners. If you have been the victim of domestic abuse in the state of Maryland, The Law Office of Ross W. Albers can help you seek justice.
What is Domestic Violence?
When most people think of domestic violence, they think of violence that occurs between spouses or people in romantic relationships. However, as we mentioned, this only accounts for a fraction of cases. By definition, domestic violence encompasses acts of violence or aggression “within the home”. This can include the mistreatment of vulnerable adults, children, and other family members. This can also include stalking, kidnapping, and rape. It should be noted, however, that physical violence without a sexual component between roommates is more likely to be categorized as assault.
Depending on the nature and severity of the crime, the perpetrator may be charged with a felony or a misdemeanor. Either way, domestic violence charges are very serious and will have a long-lasting impact on the people involved.
What Are Peace and Protective Orders?
Commonly referred to as “restraining orders”, protective orders are often put in place to ensure that the victims of domestic violence are protected from their abuser during legal proceedings and for as long as deemed necessary by a judge. These orders do not require a conviction to be enacted, and can be petitioned for using only allegations. Violating the terms of a protective order is considered a misdemeanor and may result in additional charges. If you are seeking a protective order or you have been served with one, work with a domestic violence lawyer in Maryland to ensure that your rights are protected.
Peace orders are similar in function to protective orders in the fact that they are used to stop aggressors from contacting their victims. However, peace orders are only available to people whose situations are not eligible for a protective order. If you’re not sure which order is appropriate for your situation, speak with a lawyer to determine the best course of action for your situation.
Is Domestic Violence a Felony or a Misdemeanor?
Domestic violence is a serious crime with lasting long-term effects for the accused and the victim. For many avenues of domestic violence including stalking and reckless endangerment, the crime is considered a misdemeanor. However, in extreme cases where the victim was seriously injured, killed, or a child was involved, these charges can be escalated to a felony. Any abuse of a child is, also known as second-degree child abuse, is a felony and will be punished accordingly. A child’s involvement in domestic abuse scenarios often makes the accompanying punishment all the more severe.
Don’t Let Domestic Violence Define You
Whether you’ve been the victim of domestic violence, or you’ve been charged with it, a lawyer is going to ensure that your side of the story is told. For a free consultation and to learn more about your options concerning domestic violence, contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers today.