(301) 762-7007  
200A Monroe Street, Suite 200, Rockville, Maryland 20850

Domestic Violence and Protective Orders


Overview of Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is typically coercive behavior including physical, sexual, economic, emotional or psychological abuse of one family member or romantic partner by another. In Maryland and Washington D.C., domestic violence includes assault, battery, certain sex crimes, stalking, kidnapping, or false imprisonment. The penalties for a domestic violence conviction are serious and can be life-changing, but many defenses are available. Although you may have been arrested for domestic violence, you might not have actually broken any law. Contacting Marc Emden as soon as possible would provide you the best opportunity for a successful defense.

If you would like to speak with an experienced lawyer about domestic violence, you can call Marc Emden in Rockville, Maryland, at 301-762-7007, or you can contact us online. He handles cases throughout Maryland including Rockville, Bethesda, Silver Spring, Gaithersburg, Wheaton, Kensington, Aspen Hill, Burtonsville, Damascus, and surrounding counties. He also practices in Washington D.C.

If you are accused of domestic violence, an effective defense can often prevent:

  • The loss of your right to enter your home
  • The loss of your right for visitation of your children
  • The loss of your right to possess and handle firearms
  • Obtaining a permanent criminal record

If you have been or you may be charged with a domestic violence offense, such as assault, contact EmdenLaw to schedule a confidential consultation so that we can evaluate your legal rights and ensure the potential for long-time consequences is minimized. We have worked with executives, established businesses owners, and others facing domestic abuse charges. Being charged with and convicted of a crime will have an enormous emotional, reputational, and financial consequences for you. We help to preserve your financial and reputational positions and those of your partners, who may be affected by the outcome of your criminal case.

EmdenLaw has successfully handled the defense of the following charges:

  • Assault , first and second degree
  • Stalking and harassment
  • Violation of a protective or peace order
  • Child abuse, child neglect, or elder abuse or neglect
  • Any other violent crime
  • Extortion and other threats
  • Misuse of the telephone or computer
  • Unwanted visual surveillance
  • Possession of handgun
  • Trespassing

If You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence

Allegations of domestic violence are taken very seriously in Maryland. If you feel you are being abused by someone you were once close with, or if you have been served with a protective order or peace order, you need a lawyer to help you handle this delicate issue – even if the police tell you otherwise. If the abuse may be imminent, call the police right away. Dial 911!

Domestic Violence Allegations Can Impact Divorce and Custody Cases

Many cases that begin with allegations of domestic violence end up ultimately resolving through divorce or child custody litigation. If one party has been found to have committed assault or abuse, it can have a strong influence on the judge’s perception of that party and may affect any decisions made regarding:

  • Marital Property Division
  • Child Support
  • Child Custody and Visitation
  • Spousal Support

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Domestic Violence?

A family member or intimate partner using violence, threats, emotional abuse, harassment, or stalking to control the behavior of his or her partner are the most common kinds of domestic violence. Touching someone against his or her will, shoving, grabbing, or forcing a person to stay somewhere can all be considered acts of violence.  Emotional abuse can involve insults, disallowing contact with family or friends, withholding money, stopping someone from getting or keeping a job, threats of physical harm, or intimidation.  Domestic violence can also include violence which causes injuries, a possibility of injury, threats, and protective order violations. Domestic violence also includes the crimes of stalking and harassment.

You may be arrested for domestic violence if the police have probable cause to believe you actually committed a crime. People from every walk of life, both men and women, are arrested for domestic violence, and many are not guilty of any crime.

What are the Effects of Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence wreaks havoc upon families and working lives. The effects of domestic violence are pervasive. Sometimes children are used as pawns in disputes of parents or removed from the home by the Department of Social Services. Often, a spouse may deny that abuse occurs or shift the blame for abusive behavior, which creates emotional problems. Domestic violence brings misery, anxiety, fear, shame, physical and emotional pain, and financial burdens due to missed work, medical bills, and psychological treatment. A criminal defense attorney who knows the law in Maryland and D.C. can help you evaluate your situation and prepare your defense to help you avoid the consequences of a conviction and potential jail time.

Prosecutors in Maryland and Washington D.C. are vigorously pursuing and aggressively prosecuting those accused of domestic violence-related crimes. Domestic violence laws can bring very severe penalties and change your life forever. If you are facing domestic violence charges, you need the aggressive defense and proven approach that an attorney experienced in domestic violence cases will provide.

What is a Protective Order and How Do I Get One

If you feel you are a victim of domestic violence, you can get an order for protection 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in Maryland. During work hours you can obtain a hearing in either the District Court or Circuit Court and obtain and ex parte Temporary  Protective Order which is valid for seven days. After hours and on weekends and holidays the District Court Commissioner may issue an Interim Protective Order that is valid for two business days, after which you have a hearing to be granted a Temporary Protective Order.

What Happens After the Temporary Protective Order is Granted?

Allegations of domestic violence set off a fairly rapid legal process: Your case will have its final hearing within one week from the time a Temporary Protective Order is granted. At the hearing, the judge will decide whether to issue a final Protective Order that will make it illegal for the alleged abuser to have contact with the complainant, and if appropriate to the case, put the alleged abuser out of the family home, grant custody of the children, set a visitation schedule with the children, and establish emergency family maintenance.

What the difference between a peace order and protective order?

Both are orders issued by a judge which prevents a person from committing certain acts against another.  A protective order applies to people who are related to each other, are living together, or who have been in a relationship with each other, among others. A peace order applies to other relationships like neighbors, co-workers, friends or acquaintances. The violation of either one could result in criminal charges being filed.

What will happen on my first court date and do I have to be there if I have a lawyer?

You need to be present at all court dates unless you are excused from attending by the Court. If your first court date is called an “Attorney or Preliminary Inquiry” date, then you can often avoid having to appear once your attorney files papers with the Court advising it that you have retained an attorney.

I was arrested for assaulting my wife but she was upset and says she make a mistake when she called the police. Can she have the domestic violence charges against me dropped?

No, only the State’s Attorney can drop the charges against you. There are good reasons for this policy. A victim of domestic violence often attempts to recant the statement they made to police in order to have the charges dropped against the other party.

What is bail?

Bail money is money paid to the court to guarantee that the person arrested who is released from jail will show up for all required court appearances.

How can someone post my bail?

There are several types of bail in Maryland:

  1. Cash Bail – The judge permits the person posting the bail to deposit a percentage (usually 10%) with the court.  Once the case is concluded the deposit amount is refunded.
  2. Property Bail – One home or land may used to post bail provide that the person posting the bond possesses sufficient equity in the property to match the bond amount.
  3. Intangible Assets – includes things like stock certificates, bank books, and certificates of deposit.
  4. Bail Bondsmen – Bondsman charge a fee usually 10% of the bond set by the judge or commissioner.  The fee you pay the bondsman is non-refundable.

Bonds may be posted by anyone provided they are 18 years of age or older.

In which court will my case be handled?

The District Court handles most cases involving motor vehicles, all misdemeanors, and some felonies. The Circuit Court hears felonies, and appeals from the District Court.

What is the difference between a misdemeanor and a felony?

In most cases, a misdemeanor is an offense for which the maximum period of incarceration is one year.

Will my case receive a trial before a judge or a jury?

In Maryland, Defendants have a right to a trial by jury where the maximum period of incarceration is greater than 90 days.

Please note that these answers should not be construed as legal advice in all situations. You should speak with an attorney before making any decisions about your legal matter. These answers are intended only to provide general information.

To schedule an appointment to speak with Marc Emden concerning allegations of domestic violence or assault, call 301-762-7007, or contact him online today.

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