Differences Between Assault and Domestic Violence in Maryland

The crime of assault is codified in the statutes of Maryland under the criminal law section of code. An assault is specifically defined as the unlawful touching of another person without their consent. So, in order to be convicted of assault, the state has to prove that the defendant touched the complainant in such a way that was not consensual and was an unjustified touching.This can run the gamut from pushing someone, smacking them with an open hand, all the way up to punching someone, kicking them, et cetera. In contrast, domestic violence is not specifically codified as a crime. One of the differences between assault and domestic violence in Maryland is that domestic violence is more about control and the relationship between the accuser and the accused. If you have been accused of a domestic violence offense, consult a qualified assault attorney that could answer any questions you may have and pursue a positive outcome for you.

Assault as a Range of Behaviors

One of the differences between assault and domestic violence in Maryland is that assault encompasses a whole range of behavior. Someone who is engaging in domestic violence also could very well be committing the crime of assault, but not necessarily. Domestic violence can also include verbally assaulting someone or verbally making threats. Domestic violence has an entire element of control of the accuser that is unique to the boyfriend-girlfriend or husband-wife relationship. Maryland addresses domestic violence in a couple different ways and mostly that is done through the use of protective orders so that the alleged victim of domestic violence can get relief from their alleged abusers.

When Can Someone Be Charged With Both Assault and Domestic Violence?

There is no such crime as domestic violence in Maryland. However, if the person is the complainant of domestic violence, then the charges may be something like assault. If the people are not living together but the defendant forced their way into the accuser’s home, then domestic violence could also include charges of burglary, harassment, and another one could be telephone misuse. There could be a whole variety of criminal charges including assault, that relate to a domestic violence relationship.

How is Domestic Violence Treated in Court

Another one of the differences between assault and domestic violence in Maryland is the way domestic violence is treated in court. A person may be charged criminally with things like assault or burglary or harassment, and independent from that, if it is a domestic violence situation, the defendant may also have a protective order or a peace order filed against them. They may actually have two different cases going on, one in the civil realm and the other one in the criminal realm. If that is the case then it is important to find an attorney who is familiar not just with the criminal defense part of it but also with defending respondents in protective orders.

A person may need assistance with what they have been charged with and then they also may need assistance because the alleged victim has sought a protective order. A protective order can have huge consequences for a defendant because it could result in them being removed from their home. They could be ordered to not have any contact with the victim, and if people have children together, it really just creates havoc as to when a person gets to see his or her child and under what circumstances. It is a chaotic time for someone who has been charged criminally and is also dealing with the fact that the complainant is attempting to get a peace order against them. A qualified assault attorney could fight tirelessly to advocate for an individual and work to protect their rights.