Montgomery County Domestic Violence Lawyer
The courts in Montgomery County consider domestic violence to be a serious matter. Unfortunately, not everyone accused of a domestic violence crime is guilty of wrongdoing. An accusation, however, can lead to consequences that affect all aspects of a person’s life.
If you have been charged with domestic violence, it is imperative that you consult with an accomplished criminal defense attorney. A Montgomery County domestic violence lawyer could be able to provide you with the legal representation you deserve.
What is Domestic Violence?
Montgomery County law defines domestic abuse as a crime against the person which is perpetrated against a family or household member of the defendant. Any of the following crimes could lead to a finding of domestic abuse if the victim falls into this category:
- Rape or Sexual offense
- False Imprisonment (preventing a person from leaving the home)
Family or Household Member
A person may be considered a family or household member for the purposes of establishing an occurrence of domestic abuse if any of the following relationships exist between that person and the defendant:
- Spouse or former spouse
- Sexual partner within the last year
- Blood or adopted relative
- Vulnerable adult
Penalties Associated with Domestic Violence
Montgomery law does not specifically state penalties for domestic abuse. That is, a finding of domestic abuse does not automatically trigger specific punishment schemes. Rather, the court will take into consideration the finding of domestic violence in determining a defendant’s punishments.
Because the courts in Montgomery County consider domestic abuse to be a very serious matter, the court tends to increase penalties in cases where the defendant is found to have committed domestic abuse. For example, the crime of assault in the second degree has a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. The local judges rarely issue such a sentence for this crime. If the judge believes domestic abuse has occurred, however, they may issue a sentence much closer to the maximum.
A MoCo domestic violence lawyer could help mitigate the consequences of allegations by challenging the status of the victim or raising one of the multiple defenses to the principal crime.
Family Court Implications
An allegation of domestic violence can have repercussions in family court as well. This, in turn, could create further issues for a defendant in criminal court. For example, a person alleging domestic abuse could petition the family court for a restraining order against the defendant. This restraining order could affect a person’s rights, remain on their record, and require that the defendant forfeit the possession of firearms. Furthermore, any testimony given by the defendant in a restraining order hearing can be used against that person in a criminal proceeding.
Another repercussion of a domestic abuse allegation is that any findings of such behavior can be damaging to the defendant in subsequent family law proceedings such as child custody, visitation, and divorce. For all these reasons, it is essential that a person accused of domestic abuse retain the representation of a MoCo County domestic violence lawyer throughout every court proceeding related their case.
Let a Montgomery County Domestic Violence Attorney Assist You
Domestic violence is a serious matter and the court treats it as such. If you have been falsely charged with domestic violence you have the right to set the record straight. Don’t take a chance. Call a Montgomery County domestic violence lawyer to learn more about your rights and options.
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