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On October 1, Maryland enacted legislation allowing prosecutors to bring additional criminal charges upon those who commit domestic violence while in the presence of minor children. The minor child must be at least 2 years old, and the child must be within sight or hearing distance of the domestic violence crime. Additionally, the person committing the violent act should know that the violence was committed in the presence of the child.

Therefore, if the alleged violator should know that a child is in the home while committing domestic violence, additional charges can be brought upon them.

Domestic Violence in Front of a Child

The act of domestic violence must involve any assault, which may include:

  • A battery (a physical touching of another);
  • An attempted battery;
  • Or the placing of a victim in reasonable apprehension of an imminent battery.

Any violator is subject to imprisonment not exceeding five years in addition to any other sentence imposed for the underlying domestic violence crime.

Creating additional criminal implications for domestic violence in front of a child is not the only change made to abuse laws in Maryland this year. The standard of evidence has changed as well. More information is available in our last blog.

Legal Assistance for Domestic Violence Victims in Maryland

Domestic violence and abuse are very sensitive and personal issues; they also require immediate action to protect yourself, your children, and your loved ones from further harm, both physical and emotional.

The attorneys at Andalman & Flynn are very experienced in protecting victims of domestic violence and abuse. We’ll work with you through this difficult time to protect your interests and help you move on with your life safely. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with domestic violence attorneys that are dedicated to protecting your rights and have a record of winning verdicts in the Maryland area.