An Assertive Annapolis Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Assertive Annapolis Domestic Violence Defense Attorney

Defending your rights after a domestic dispute in Maryland

Arguments happen within a family. While most people are able to settle their disagreements and move on, some conflicts escalate to a level where the police get involved. Before you know it, you are facing serious allegations of violence against a family member. These cases can be particularly emotional and difficult to handle. Consulting with an Annapolis domestic violence defense attorney can answer your questions and calm your fears while starting the process to fight your charges and protect your rights.

My name is Gill Andrew Cochran, and I have 22 years of experience handling a wide variety of criminal defense cases. At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, I provide clients with an assertive defense when they are facing domestic violence charges. I’ll assert all your defenses including contesting the version of events your accuser presents. I’ll also work to negotiate plea agreements where the charges may be dismissed or placed on hold pending counseling and other remedies. Call me today to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions About Domestic Violence:

What constitutes a domestic violence case in Maryland?

The Maryland judicial system treats domestic violence cases seriously, and an aggressive defense is necessary when accused. Domestic violence charges can consist of numerous crimes. I am experienced in representing clients with a range of domestic violence charges, including:

  • Physical violence and domestic assault
  • Spousal abuse
  • Assault on a female
  • Child abuse, child neglect, or child endangerment
  • Communicating threats and harassing phone calls
  • Criminal trespass

Who can file a domestic abuse claim in Annapolis?

What turns an incident into a domestic violence case is the relationship between the defendant and the alleged victim. Under Maryland law, the following relationships can be involved in a domestic violence dispute:

  • Spouses (current or former)
  • People related by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • Cohabitants (with some restrictions)

What acts are considered abusive?

In order to file a protective order, the complainant must assert that there was domestic violence.  Abusive acts include, according to the Maryland State Courts:

  • Assault
  • An act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm
  • An act that causes serious bodily harm
  • Rape or sexual offense, or attempted rape or sexual offense
  • Stalking
  • False imprisonment
  • Revenge porn


What are the consequences of a domestic violence charge or conviction?

The potential penalties for a domestic violence conviction vary, depending on the actual charge. While a telephone harassment conviction may result in a simple fine, a conviction of physical violence can leave you with a long jail sentence. Whatever the severity of the charge, your case deserves the services of an aggressive Annapolis domestic violence attorney.

A domestic violence investigation begins immediately after a person calls the police and reports a threat or an act of violence. Compared to other criminal offenses, a domestic violence arrest requires the least amount of evidence. Typically, one person makes an accusation, and the police arrest the accused, even with no other witnesses or evidence. An angry family member or roommate can accuse someone of an offense because he or she is mad or in the heat of passion, and it can result in serious criminal charges.

Domestic violence allegations can also result in protective or peace orders. By simply filing a court petition, your accuser can obtain an order that removes you from your home, takes you away from your children, and even places your employment at risk.

What is a protective order?

According to the Maryland State Courts, a protective order is a court order that states that the defendant must refrain from doing certain acts against you. Protective orders generally require that you stay away from the person who filed the protective order request – at home, at work, and everywhere.

Annapolis Criminal Defense Lawyers

How long does a temporary protective order last?

Generally, the person who files the complaint may be able to obtain an interim temporary protective order until a judge can hear the complainant’s case. At the temporary hearing (which does not include the defendant), the complaint explains the relationship with you, and the type of abuse that occurred. The judge can then order a temporary order that lasts for seven days, unless the judge extends the time.

The judge will set a formal hearing date where you/the defendant does have the right to contest the complaint in person.

What conditions can a judge impose in a temporary protective order in Annapolis?

An interim order or a temporary protective order can provide the complainant with the following protections – until there is a full hearing:

  • Ordering that you have no contact with the person who filed the complaint – including staying away from his/her home, work, or school.
  • Ordering that a defendant stop harassing, threatening, or abusing the complainant.
  • Ordering that you leave the residence even if your name is on the deed or lease, or if you are married.

The temporary order can also determine child custody issues, decide who should possess any pets, address any concerns of child-care providers, and determine whether you can or cannot keep any firearms.

What conditions can a judge impose in a final protective order in Annapolis?

A final temporary hearing order can extend the provisions of the temporary order indefinitely. A final order can also:

  • Determine who can possess and use a jointly owned vehicle. If the vehicle is in your name, you should be able to keep it provided you stay away from the complainant.
  • Order that you undergo counseling for domestic abuse and/or substance abuse.
  • Order a temporary child access or visitation schedule.
  • Order that a defendant pay financial support for the complainant and any children of the relationship.

When accused of domestic violence, your first call must be to an Annapolis domestic violence lawyer. The Maryland courts aggressively enforce domestic violence laws. Retaining an attorney is crucial to safeguarding your rights.

Should I hire a lawyer if I’m charged with domestic violence?

ABSOLUTELY YOU SHOULD HIRE A LAWYER. Legally, you don’t have to, but not getting experienced legal counsel is almost guaranteed to bite you in the end. You might have an excellent alibi; you might have even been the victim yourself. But the truth is that these are see-ree-us charges, and you will lose a ton of rights (not mention face jail time) if you’re convicted.

Understand that intimate partner violence is one of the accusations that stains your reputation even when you’re innocent, because people just can’t shake the feeling that you might have gotten away with something. The best defense is a vigorous assertion of your innocence.

Unless, of course, you did it. In this case, it’s even more important that you get a lawyer STAT. There are defenses that could reduce your charges, like if you have an addiction disorder or suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. You may be eligible for a treatment program instead of prison. There are a lot of options, but you need to call me ASAP so we can discuss the best path for you.

Facing domestic violence charges in Annapolis or Ellicott City? Call a lawyer today

For more than 22 years, I have been providing the citizens of Annapolis, Ellicott City, and throughout Anne Arundel County and Howard County with aggressive representation in domestic violence cases. At Drew Cochran, Attorney at Law, you’ll find a lawyer who takes your call, and who has a track record of successful criminal defense. If you are charged with domestic violence, call my office today at 410.271.1892 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.

And remember: Keep Calm – and Call Drew.