Defending Against False Allegations of Domestic Violence


Accusations of domestic violence can have both criminal and civil consequences. Civilly you could be subjected to the restrictions of a domestic restraining order, also known as a protective order. And criminally you may face assault and/or battery charges.

If you are convicted of domestic abuse you can be fined and put in jail. Even if you aren’t convicted on a criminal charge you could be subject to a protection order that requires you to move out of your home and have no contact with your spouse or minor children. Civil domestic violence matters can also affect divorce and custody matters, and can result in serious consequences including:

  • Denial of custody of minor children
  • Protective orders against you
  • Mandatory participation in anger management or other treatment
  • Civil liberties restrictions
  • Surrender of firearms

If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you need to:

  • Understand the gravity of the situation and never assume that, because the charges are false, you will not be convicted.
  • Prepare for the expense of your defense. Your Maryland domestic violence defense attorney needs to build a strong defense, which may include costs to obtain records, serve subpoenas, and retain private investigators.
  • Document everything by writing down every detail you remember, possible witnesses, receipts and anything else related to the charges. The more information you can give your attorney, the more effective the defense he will be able to mount for you.
  • Know your rights. If you are not arrested, you are free to leave. If you have been arrested, you have a right to an attorney and to remain silent. Law enforcement is not on your side, and a simple explanation can end up causing more problems.

Talk to a Howard County criminal defense attorney today

Allegations of domestic violence, even if false, are very serious and you need to take such charges seriously. Contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to discuss your case.

What Is Domestic Violence in Maryland?


Domestic violence laws apply to a wide range of behaviors committed by one intimate partner against another. But at its core, domestic violence is the use of force or duress by one person to control another. Following are the forms of domestic abuse with Maryland’s domestic violence law:

  • Physical abuse. This is defined as (1) an act that causes serious bodily harm, or (2) an act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm. This can include hitting, kicking, choking, grabbing, pinching, shoving, punching and using weapons against the victim.
  • Sexual abuse. This is forcing another to engage in sexual acts against their will and without their consent. It includes attempted or completed rape or sexual offenses.
  • Verbal threats. This includes threats of bodily harm.
  • False Imprisonment. This is the confinement or detention of a person against that person’s will, accomplished by force or threat of force, or deception.
  • Stalking. This is a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where the person intends to place, or knows or reasonably should have known, the conduct would place another person in reasonable fear:
    • Of serious bodily injury; an assault; actual or attempted rape or sexual offense; false imprisonment; or death, or
    • That a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in the preceding paragraph.

A common misconception is that women are believed to be the majority of victims of domestic abuse. However, many men have also been victims of domestic abuse. Abuse can be frequent or infrequent, although typically it escalates over time and constitutes a pattern of behavior.

Contact a Columbia domestic violence defense attorney

If you have been charged with or are under investigation for domestic abuse, it is vital you retain an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney immediately. A domestic abuse charge can result in your having to move out of your home and being denied contact with your children. Such a charge can also ruin your reputation and endanger your job. To talk to a lawyer who understands what is at stake, contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 today to schedule a consultation.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101