Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies


If you’re party to a case of domestic violence, this can have several very serious implications, especially in Maryland. Because there is such a broad definition of domestic violence in Maryland, the implications for an impending criminal or civil case are major.


The state defines domestic violence, or domestic abuse, as any of the following circumstances happening between members of the same family or household:

  • Assault
  • Any act that makes a person fear for their safety
  • Any act that harms a person
  • Rape or sexual abuse
  • Attempted rape or sexual abuse
  • Stalking
  • False imprisonment or trapping a person in their own home


The actions you take in the immediate aftermath of an event where domestic violence is at play (even if there is no arrest) can make all the difference in possible outcomes for you, whether you were the alleged aggressor or the victim in the situation. A domestic violence charge will take some time before a potential conviction can be won, but in the meantime, the accused can lose everything. If you’re charged with domestic violence or domestic abuse, you could lose custody of your children, possession of your home, and your relationship with family before the legal system runs its course.

The first thing you should do is get your legal representation squared away, as you’ll need an experienced legal team by your side during the impending criminal or civil case.


  • Construct a defense. For example, self-defense is considered a valid defense in Maryland courts if you can show that you feared for your safety or the safety of those around you.
  • Fight/oppose an order of protection. While a criminal or civil ruling may take a longer time, the alleged victim of domestic violence can file a motion for a protective order, keeping you from having contact with them or other parties to the dispute, including children, etc.
  • Represent you in civil or criminal court. Whether your case is against another party (civil) or against the state (criminal), representation from the team of Gritz, Hanifin & Shih and our more than 30 years of legal experience will ensure that your interests are protected throughout the proceedings.


  • Represent you in civil court. If you sustain injuries, both physical and emotional, resulting from a case of domestic violence, we’ll help you get your due compensation from your abuser.
  • Help you file a protective order. If you wish to ensure that the accused is unable to be near you or other members of the family, we’ll help you file a protective order to help ensure your ongoing safety, whether there’s a criminal trial pending or not.

For the accused and the victims of domestic violence, this can be a delicate situation with major implications to the future. Call Gritz, Hanifin & Shih for a free case review and get started with Montgomery County’s most accomplished team of lawyers.