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Domestic Violence Attorney in Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Facing allegations of domestic violence can be incredibly stressful, and the repercussions may have severe consequences on all avenues of your life. It's important to understand that you have rights and options, regardless of the situation.

Kathleen M. Kirchner Attorney At Law, based in Anne Arundel County, Maryland, provides robust defense for clients accused of domestic violence offenses. With extensive experience in both family law and criminal defense, Kathleen knows how to argue on behalf of her domestic violence clients with precision and compassion, aiming to protect your rights and achieve the best possible outcome.

Her firm serves Maryland residents throughout Queen Anne's County, Calvert County, Prince George's County, and Howard County. Call today to share your story and get help from a skilled criminal lawyer. 

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Different Types of Maryland Domestic Violence Charges 

Domestic violence cases can encompass a wide range of allegations, from physical abuse to harassment and stalking. Kathleen is well-versed in all facets of domestic violence defense, including but not limited to: 

Assault Charges 

Assault in Maryland includes intentional physical contact without the consent of the victim, as well as attempted contact or the threat of intentional assault. Charges can be second-degree or first-degree, and penalties may include imprisonment and fines. 

Assault charges stemming from domestic incidents carry serious repercussions. Kathleen has a deep understanding of Maryland law and can craft a defense strategy tailored to the specifics of your case, aiming to mitigate the charges or work toward an acquittal.  

Harassment and Stalking 

Harassment involves any act or behavior that intentionally bothers or annoys a person in a public setting. Stalking refers to repeatedly pursuing or approaching another individual with the intention of putting that person in reasonable fear of serious bodily injury or assault of any form. 

Penalties for harassment and stalking may include fines and time in prison. Allegations of harassment or stalking in a domestic context require a nuanced defense. Kathleen's approach involves thorough investigation and evidence gathering to challenge the prosecution's claims and defend your freedom.

Sexual Offenses 

In Maryland, there are numerous forms of sexual misconduct that qualify as registrable sex crimes. These include violations such as rape, attempted rape, sexual offenses, sodomy, sexual abuse of a minor, incest, human trafficking, and so on. If a weapon is involved, the crime is even more serious. Depending on the crime and degree, penalties associated with a sexual offense could involve time in jail, life in prison, and hefty fines.

With Kathleen’s knowledge and experience of both family law and criminal law, she thoroughly understands how sexual offenses can tear a family apart, whether the allegations are true or not. If you are facing such charges, reach out to her for legal representation to protect your rights and strive toward the best possible outcome.  

Protection Orders and Peace Orders 

If a protection or peace order has been filed against you, Kathleen can represent you in hearings, helping to present evidence that may dispute the claims against you and protect your rights. 

I was served with a protective order. What should I do? 

If you have been identified in the documentation as the Respondent, you are not under arrest or facing criminal charges. Be sure to review the order carefully, as it outlines the level of contact, if any, you may have with the Petitioner.

The order will specify a hearing date. Since this is not a criminal proceeding, you do not have the right to a public defender. The judge will inquire whether you are willing to comply (or consent) with the order. You also have the option to contest the order. Protective orders carry significant implications. It's in your best interest to seek advice from a legal professional such as Kathleen. 

Long-Term Consequences of Domestic Violence Convictions 

One long-term consequence of being convicted of domestic violence in Maryland is the enduring societal label of being an abuser. This label can significantly impact various aspects of the individual's life. For instance, the public tends to avoid associating with individuals convicted of domestic violence, leading to potential isolation within the community or workplace.

The ramifications also extend to employment opportunities, as companies are often reluctant to hire individuals with such convictions due to concerns about workplace safety and potential conflicts. These challenges can create substantial hurdles for the individual in securing employment and reintegrating into society post-conviction. 

Given the social stigma and employment barriers associated with a domestic violence conviction, it’s critical to take proactive measures to mitigate the consequences. Seeking legal representation from an experienced attorney like Kathleen can play a pivotal role in reducing charges and minimizing damages, offering a lifeline for individuals grappling with the aftermath of such convictions. 

Understanding Aggravating Factors & Penalty Enhancements 

Aggravating factors have a dramatic impact on how a judge determines the sentence, usually leading to penalty enhancements. These factors may include several details related to the nature of the alleged attack, such as: 

  • Injuries or any disabilities from being injured 

  • Hospital stays 

  • Medical treatment 

Penalty enhancements refer to specific facts and circumstances within a case that empower the sentencing judge to extend the standard sentence. These factors typically relate to the individual's prior criminal history, the severity of the offense, and the conduct involved. For example, if a person has a history of similar crimes or the current offense is particularly heinous, the judge may opt to impose a harsher sentence.

In the legal process, both the district and circuit courts handle maximum penalties similarly. When a person is convicted or enters a plea in circuit court, sentencing guidelines come into play. The judge considers the individual's prior criminal record and the nature of the offense to determine an appropriate sentence. For example, repeated offenses or severe crimes may lead to a lengthier jail term. 

In domestic cases, law enforcement officers sometimes utilize a lethality assessment and report to assess the risk of lethal violence. This assessment helps in directing victims to community assistance programs for support and protection. For instance, if a victim shows signs of severe physical harm like extensive bruises or serious injuries requiring hospitalization, it could trigger a penalty enhancement during sentencing. 

You Need a Knowledgeable Defense Attorney 

When accused of domestic violence, the stakes are high. Not only are your freedom and reputation at risk, but you also face the possibility of losing access to your home and children. Kathleen understands the sensitive nature of these cases and works tirelessly to achieve a resolution that minimizes the impact on your life. 

Her strategic defense planning, coupled with compassionate client communication, ensures that you're not just another case file. Kathleen treats every client with respect and dignity, prioritizing their best interests throughout the legal process.

Kathleen's Approach to Domestic Violence Defense 

Kathleen Kirchner's experience in both family and criminal law gives her unique insights into domestic violence defense. She's not afraid to challenge evidence or confront inconsistencies in the prosecution's case. Beyond her aggressive courtroom demeanor, Kathleen is deeply empathetic towards her clients and their families, offering support and guidance during one of the most challenging times they’ll face.

If you're confronted with domestic violence allegations in Maryland, don't lose hope. Contact criminal defense attorney Kathleen M. Kirchner for a consultation. Her knowledge and dedication could be your best defense, safeguarding your rights every step of the way. 

Possible Defenses 

In legal proceedings concerning domestic violence, several defense strategies can be employed by the defendant to challenge the allegations made against them: 

  • Wrong Suspect: This defense involves arguing that the defendant was incorrectly identified as the perpetrator of the domestic violence. It can hinge on providing alibis or evidence that places the defendant elsewhere at the time the incident occurred, indicating a case of mistaken identity. 

  • Deliberately False Allegations: Sometimes, in heated disputes or divorce proceedings, one party might falsely accuse the other of domestic violence to gain an upper hand legally or personally. Proving that the allegations were made with malicious intent or demonstrating inconsistencies in the accuser's story can be effective. 

  • Self-defense: Claiming self-defense requires showing that the defendant acted to protect themselves from immediate harm. This defense must demonstrate that the force used was reasonable and necessary under the circumstances. 

  • Consent: Although less commonly invoked in cases of domestic violence, the defense of consent might be relevant if the activities leading to the charges were part of mutually agreed-upon conduct, particularly in situations where boundaries are not clearly established. 

  • Lack of Proof: A straightforward yet powerful defense, arguing that the prosecution lacks sufficient evidence to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant committed the act of domestic violence. This can involve highlighting the absence of physical evidence or reliable witness testimony. 

Domestic Violence Defense Attorney Serving Anne Arundel County, Maryland

Kathleen M. Kirchner Attorney At Law is committed to delivering top-notch legal defense to clients accused of domestic violence in Maryland. Trust in her experience and dedication to fight for you, offering the robust defense you need during this difficult time. Contact her today before it’s too late.