Domestic Violence Lawyer Rockville, MD
A domestic violence accusation can make you feel like you have no friends left – but a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD, can help. Domestic violence charges in Maryland are serious and should be fought tooth and nail to save your future and preserve your reputation. Domestic violence is a horrible experience, and it leaves a permanent mark on the lives of everyone involved, whether they’re victims or perpetrators. While violence and abuse have the potential to destroy lives, a wrongful accusation of domestic abuse has the potential to destroy your future and ruin your relationships.
Having domestic violence charges on your criminal record can seriously affect how you live the rest of your life. As soon as you are accused of domestic violence, you can expect a serious upheaval of your social circle – whether or not there was any truth to the accusation. Your friends and even your family may turn their backs on you, despite how long you have known them. You may be isolated and ostracized by everyone you know, and your professional life may suffer. Having domestic violence on your record can make your search for employment much more difficult, and it may even affect your ability to find a new home.
The possible punishments for domestic violence charges depend on the severity of the alleged abuse. If domestic violence is connected with assault, it can result in up to ten years in jail. If you are convicted of assault in the first degree, you may be facing up to 25 years in jail instead. You’ll carry the social stigma of domestic abuse with you for as long as you live, but a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD, can help you find a way out.
Four Ways to Recognize Domestic Abuse
Are you seeing less of a cherished friend lately? Taking a backseat to romantic relationships is not a new or unique situation. Maybe you’ve grown apart, and your friendship has run its course. It’s hurtful, but it happens. However, a dramatic shift in behavior could also be a sign of abuse. Signs of domestic violence are subtle but easily identifiable if you look closely. Don’t look the other way. Violence against women wrecks families and puts lives at risk. Your friend may benefit from the counsel of a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD. Look for these four warning signs if you suspect abuse.
Your Friend is Controlled
Abusers will often control their victims both emotionally and physically. Perhaps your friend’s partner makes rude comments about her clothes. He may demand that she change her outfit. He often makes accusations, suspecting affairs and other such atrocities. Enjoying a night out has also become cumbersome. Suddenly, she requires permission for simple things like going out to dinner. She receives constant calls and texts that are not only annoying but obsessive. Money is always an issue as abusers often control spending. She’ll likely brush all of this off and deny the need for a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD. These are all classic signs of controlling behavior.
Your Friend is Reclusive
You once had a constant sidekick who was the life of the party. Dancing the night away without a care in the world was a typical affair. But now, you rarely see each other. Her RSVP to any event is always “no,” along with a flimsy excuse. It’s true that people evolve and sometimes enjoy parties less as they age. But consistently avoiding loved ones altogether is a major red flag.
Your Friend is Different
Someone who was once bubbly and outgoing is now timid and nervous. Your friend seems jumpy, depressed, and often bursts into tears if you mention a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD. You used to be confidants, but now she rarely shares anything with you. Abuse victims will seldom discuss their private situations. Violence against women destroys lives, and Daniel J. Wright is committed to aiding victims.
Your Friend is Often Injured
Bruises and injuries are the most obvious signs of abuse. Frequently, victims will try to hide their injuries from the world. Wearing sweats in the middle of a heatwave may be an attempt to cover bruises on arms and legs. She claims not to require a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD and has poor excuses for visible injuries. “I’m such a clutz. I fell down the stairs”, explains away a broken arm. A few weeks later, “walking into a door” results in a black eye. Don’t ignore physical injuries. These are signs the abuse has progressed and is getting more severe. Sometimes a protective order may be appropriate, and Daniel J. Wright can help.
If you suspect abuse, act now. Domestic violence can quickly turn deadly. Contact a crisis helpline for support. Your compassion and concern may save a life.
False Accusations of Domestic Violence
There are real domestic violence victims who suffer horrific physical and emotional abuse at the hands of their perpetrators. Unfortunately, there are also people who claim they are victims and falsely accuse someone in their life as the person who abused them. This can be done for a number of reasons. Maybe they are angry over the relationship ending and this is their way of getting revenge on the person they are falsely accusing. Another common reason for these types of false accusations is the couple is involved in a divorce and/or child custody case. Whatever the reason, if you have been falsely accused, a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD recommends the following steps.
Do Not Speak to the Person Who Has Accused You
Your natural reaction may be to reach out to the person who has made this terrible accusation against you, but that move could result in you sitting in jail until your trial. In most domestic violence cases, the court issues an order of protection forbidding the accused from having any contact – including third party contact – with the alleged victim. Violations of an order of protection result in harsh penalties from the court. Attempted contact with the victim can also be used against you by the prosecutor.
Collect as Much Evidence as You Can
There is usually very little evidence available to the prosecutor in false domestic abuse accusation cases since the abuse never actually occurred. A Rockville, MD domestic violence lawyer will need as much evidence as you can put together to defend you. Gather up all communication – including voicemails, text messages, emails, social media posts, and comments – which can help refute the allegations the accuser is making against you. Other types of evidence that your lawyer may be able to use are medical records and any history of substance abuse the accuser may have.
Talk to Witnesses
Since there is usually little to no evidence in these cases, witness testimony is often crucial to proving an accused’s innocence. Your domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD may be able to use testimony from family, friends, and others who can testify that they never saw any signs of abuse or violence. If the accuser has made false allegations against others in the past, or the witness knows why they are making false allegations now, their testimony can help show you are not guilty of what you are being accused of. Just be aware that anyone you are approaching is not close to the accuser and you speaking with them could be construed as a violation of any protective order when it comes to third-party contact.
Gender and Domestic Violence
Society sees domestic violence as a problem of “battered women,” but men can be victims of domestic violence too. When this happens, it’s much less likely to be reported; in fact, both the perpetrators of domestic violence against men and the male victims often don’t see it as a crime. However, a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD understands that men can be victims of domestic violence and also how this affects the male victims.
Partner Abuse and the Association of Domestic Violence Intervention Providers report that 23% of women and 19.3% of men report that they have been assaulted by a domestic partner at least once in their lives. 28.3% of women and 21.6% of men have participated in behavior that can be classified as domestic violence. 57.9% of domestic violence is bi-directional, 28.3% is female-on-male, and 13.8% is male-to-female. In addition, 41% of women and 43% of men have engaged in emotional abuse that was intended to control and/or threaten their partners. 40% of women and 32% of men have engaged in emotional abuse as a response to being provoked.
This is not limited to Maryland and elsewhere in the United States. Studies spanning Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the Caribbean show that rates of female-on-male violence are the same as or higher than male-on-female violence in 73 out of 117 studies. Rates of female-on-male psychological abuse, such as control and dominance, are higher than male-on-female psychological abuse in 36 out of 54 studies.
Demographic risk factors for domestic violence include youth, low income, unemployment or underemployment, minority group membership, childhood exposure to abuse, depression, alcohol and drug abuse, and high-conflict relationships.
Many male victims of domestic abuse do not consider themselves victims. They may have been conditioned to accept abuse from their female partners. They may feel that it is “unmanly” to be hurt by their female partners’ abuse. They may be reluctant to acknowledge that they are victims of domestic violence. Even men who do realize that they are victims often choose not to involve law enforcement out of fear that they won’t be believed or that they will be arrested as well. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Daniel J. Wright are quite aware that domestic violence against men is significantly under-reported and underrepresented.
It is also very well known that victims of physical abuse exhibit more psychological symptoms and lower cognitive functioning as compared to people who have not been victimized. Victims of psychological abuse often suffer depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, fear, and stress. This can factor into poor impulse control and decision-making skills.
Help for Domestic Violence Victims
When people hear about domestic violence, the first thing they often think of is a battered wife. While this is certainly representative of many domestic violence cases, it is not the only scenario. A child, an elderly parent or another relative, or family pets can be victims of domestic violence. Many times, it is the man who is the victim. Nor is all domestic violence necessarily physical in nature. Often, domestic violence takes the form of constant belittling, name-calling and other kinds of domestic abuse.
There are resources available to help victims of domestic violence, and legal methods for obtaining relief, A domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD can provide guidance and help with such things as restraining orders.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence can come in a number of different forms, including:
- Emotional Abuse: in addition to name-calling and humiliation, emotional abuse can take the form of threats and controlling behavior. For example, the abuser may tell the victim how to dress, or what people they are allowed to see and when.
- Physical abuse: this is the most common type of abuse, which includes beatings with the hands or an object and physical restraint against the victim’s will.
- Sexual Abuse: most often, this takes the form of sexual assault. This also includes marital rape; under a recently-enacted law, married women in Maryland can file a criminal complaint against a husband who forcibly rapes his spouse, which a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD can explain.
- Stalking: While stalking is not a new phenomenon, it has gotten more attention over the past several years. This can include following the victim both in real life and online as well as other forms of unwanted contact.
What Can Be Done?
A domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD can:
- Obtain a Restraining Order: attorneys know the local court system and how to get protection for their clients.
- File a Domestic Abuse Lawsuit: this will enable you to recover medical expenses and non-economic damages.
- File for Divorce: You do not have to stay with an abusive spouse.
If you are a victim, understand that it is not your fault. Abusers may suffer from mental illness or childhood issues, or have poor impulse control. Whatever the cause, if you are in immediate physical danger, your first action should be to call 911 at the first opportunity. You can also call the Maryland Network Against Domestic Violence (MNADV) at 1-800-799-7233.
If you have been falsely accused of sexual assault or domestic violence do not waste your energy worrying about the possible outcomes of the accusations. Consult an experienced domestic violence attorney today. It can be difficult for you to prove your innocence after being accused of sexual assault or domestic violence. Abusers often use the legal system to hurt their victims. The best thing you can do for yourself and your loved ones is retain an experienced domestic violence lawyer today.
A skilled domestic violence lawyer can question the credibility of the accuser and cast doubt on his or her accusations. This is an important skill because it can demonstrate to a judge or jury that the accuser is attempting to use the legal system to harm the defendant.
Also, a skilled domestic violence lawyer can investigate the accused and his or her ulterior motives. A law firm has resources that can be put to use for your case. Do not try to represent yourself under these circumstances. When your liberty is at stake you need to hire excellent legal representation to ensure that your legal rights are protected.
Witness statements may be fabricated, and a skilled domestic violence lawyer can demonstrate to a judge or jury how a witness is setting forth inconsistent statements. Witnesses can be cross-examined at trial. A good domestic violence lawyer will impeach the witness by showing the judge or jury that the witness is making contradictory statements regarding the defendant.
You do not want to attempt to cross-examine the witness yourself. Procedural rules related to the admissibility of evidence can be confusing to a layperson. Hiring a skilled domestic violence lawyer can help you defend yourself in a court of law.
Lastly, if you hire a domestic violence lawyer he or she can search the record for evidence of fabrications. An accuser may have lied in the past about sexual assault or domestic violence. Many accusers who make false allegations will attempt to use the same tactics over and over again to damage an individual defendant’s reputation or financial stability.
If an accuser is making false allegations regarding sexual assault and domestic violence you need to retain an excellent domestic violence lawyer. Contact domestic violence lawyer Daniel J. Wright in Rockville, Maryland today to schedule a free consultation during which we can discuss the facts of your case and how the law applies to those facts. Call the office at (301) 655-8130 to learn more about the legal services we offer. Do not let a disgruntled individual use the legal system to harm you. Retain Daniel J. Wright today to protect your legal rights.
Do’s and Don’ts for Victims of Domestic Violence
Do Learn the Facts
Unfortunately, there are a lot of stereotypes surrounding domestic violence. It’s commonly assumed that a man is physically harming a woman, but anyone, regardless of their sex, can be a victim of abuse. There are four main categories in which domestic violence can present. Physical abuse includes hitting or physically restraining the victim in any way. Emotional abuse presents as one companion controlling or verbally demeaning the other. Sexual abuse and stalking can also occur among partners.
Do Recognize the Signs
Recognizing the signs can help you determine if you are in a violent relationship. It can be hard to acknowledge that you are the victim, so do your best to focus on the facts. Has your personality and social life changed for the worst since entering a relationship? Do you feel controlled or complacent? If you’re uncomfortable talking about the negative way your significant other is affecting your life, you might be in an abusive relationship. A domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD, may be able to assist you.
Do Break the Cycle
Abuse often happens cyclically. You may recognize the signs of domestic violence but forgive your partner after apologies, gifts, and promises. The issue is that reconciliation is part of the cycle. It is often followed by a calm period, tension building, and another incident. If you are not sure how to break the circle, consider talking to an experienced lawyer such as Daniel J. Wright.
Don’t Confront Your Abuser
You may come to a point where you wish to confront your abuser directly. Depending on your situation, this can be a very bad idea. Not only could it escalate to physical danger, but you may also fall victim to gaslighting. It is important that you don’t let your abuser change your perception. The safest and most effective route is to remove yourself from the situation and consider consulting a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD.
Don’t Wait To Get Help
If you are facing domestic violence, you should never wait to get help. You may become blinded by love, fall into denial, or trust that things will get better. Waiting can give the violence time to evolve and put you at risk of serious physical and emotional scars. A domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD, may be able to file a restraining order, divorce, or lawsuit. Daniel J. Wright is a phone call or email away.
Common Myths About Domestic Violence
Domestic violence continues to affect people all over the country. Although domestic abuse is a major problem, it is still widely misunderstood. Here are some common myths surrounding domestic violence that you should not believe.
- Only women experience domestic violence. It is true that a large portion of domestic violence victims are women. However, it can also affect men. Regardless of gender, anyone experiencing domestic abuse should consult a domestic violence lawyer in Rockville, MD promptly.
- Domestic violence victims can easily call the police. Although domestic violence victims can call the police on their abuser, it is not always so easy. They might not want their partner to go to jail. Victims may also fear that calling the police will just make the abuser angrier and make the situation worse later on.
- Domestic violence is a private issue, so others should not get involved. Unfortunately, many people do not want to intervene if they suspect their friend, neighbor or family member is suffering domestic abuse. They might think it is none of their business and just stay out of it. It is critical for people to look out for each other and contact the police if they believe someone they know is experiencing domestic violence. However, do not intervene on your own, as that can put you in danger.
- Domestic violence victims can just leave. For people who have never experienced domestic violence, the idea of staying with an abuser may sound crazy. However, domestic violence is a very complex matter. Many victims do not think they can survive on their own, so they stay. They may also be afraid that their abuser will kill them if they leave.
- Domestic violence victims sometimes are to blame. This is one of the most upsetting myths about domestic violence. Some people believe that the victim might have said or done something to anger the abuser. Even if that’s true, it doesn’t excuse the abuser from committing a criminal act. Domestic violence victims should never be blamed.
- Domestic violence is only physical. Many people assume domestic violence has to be physical. The truth is, however, that domestic violence can involve any behavior that aims to gain power over someone. Threats of violence are still considered domestic abuse and can be just as damaging to victims.