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      Client Testimonials

      The Opinions that Matter Most

      “If you’re facing this charge and not sure where to turn, reach out to the experts at Alpert Schreyer.”

      - Anonymous

      “Mr. Chris Hartman represented me greatly on my DUI case and it was all dropped and rendered to negligent driving. We went into details about the case and was made to understand how the case could sway but he mesmerized me with a deal that took all that ””

      - Anonymous

      “The firm developed a program and mitigation strategies to help provide the best possible outcome of the case.”

      - Anonymous

      Client Testimonials

      The Opinions that Matter Most

      “If you’re facing this charge and not sure where to turn, reach out to the experts at Alpert Schreyer.”

      - Anonymous

      “Mr. Chris Hartman represented me greatly on my DUI case and it was all dropped and rendered to negligent driving. We went into details about the case and was made to understand how the case could sway but he mesmerized me with a deal that took all that ””

      - Anonymous

      “The firm developed a program and mitigation strategies to help provide the best possible outcome of the case.”

      - Anonymous

      Client Testimonials

      The Opinions that Matter Most

      “If you’re facing this charge and not sure where to turn, reach out to the experts at Alpert Schreyer.”

      - Anonymous

      “Mr. Chris Hartman represented me greatly on my DUI case and it was all dropped and rendered to negligent driving. We went into details about the case and was made to understand how the case could sway but he mesmerized me with a deal that took all that ””

      - Anonymous

      “The firm developed a program and mitigation strategies to help provide the best possible outcome of the case.”

      - Anonymous

      Maryland Domestic Violence Attorneys

      With Law Offices in Bowie, Waldorf, Frederick, Lexington Park, and Rockville

      You Deserve a Fair, Unbiased Trial. We Can Help You Get One.

      Domestic violence laws in Maryland are broad, covering everything from violent assault to stalking to destruction of property. If you have been accused, it’s critical to reach out for legal help to avoid high fines and jail time.

      If you’re reading this, you are likely facing domestic violence charges. You’re probably worried about losing your freedom, your job, and your reputation. You may also be worried about damage to your relationships. You need someone to give you guidance about a domestic violence case.

      We are here to help. Our firm provides free legal advice. Call our Maryland domestic violence lawyers today.

      Don’t wait because you’re worried you’ll need to pay for answers up front. Get your legal questions answered in a free consultation today.

      You Deserve a Fair, Unbiased Trial. We Can Help You Get One.

      When facing a domestic violence charge, your future could depend on the capabilities of your legal defense team. We know just how detrimental these charges can be to your life.

      With over 40 years of combined experience, our well-rounded domestic violence defense team offers proficiency in the courtroom and unparalleled commitment to our clients. The firm’s partners, Andrew Alpert and Michael Schreyer, and defense team attorneys Christian Hartman and Michael Berman, each bring advanced training and a specific skill set to every case.

      When charges can’t be dropped, the Maryland domestic violence lawyers at Alpert Schreyer, LLC are adept at minimizing the impact of a domestic violence charge and conviction.

      As former prosecutors, all our attorneys possess an understanding of the criminal justice system other teams do not. We can help you evaluate your choices from the view of someone who has been on the other side. We know what judges want and can help guide you as to what moves may garner lenience on the part of the prosecution

      With offices in BowieFrederickLexington ParkPrince FrederickRockville, and Waldorf, we provide our clients with convenient locations throughout the state. Call us today for your free legal consultation.

      Andrew D. Alpert

      Founding Partner

      Michael J. Schreyer

      Founding Partner

      Michael Berman

      Attorney

      What Qualifies a Crime for a Domestic Violence Charge?

      There are no special charges for violence between partners or family members; assault, harassment, and sex crime statutes lay out the various degrees and punishments for each accusation. However, these cases are given the label “domestic violence” when they are made among members of the same household or family, and Maryland has separate courts to handle such cases.

      Consequences of Domestic Violence Charges

      When an accusation of domestic violence has been made, police are allowed to make arrests with no warrant, using only their judgement to determine probable cause. Courts also tend to work more quickly when it comes to these accusations.

      You could find yourself on the other side of a restraining order, meaning you won’t be able to go back to your home or see your children. In a worst-case scenario, you might be detained until a trial can be set. Being forcibly removed from your job and other obligations can be the start of an unfortunate ripple effect.

      Types of Domestic Violence Charges and Penalties

      Domestic violence charges may be brought at a misdemeanor or felony level. If found guilty of a serious charge, you are likely to face jail time. Examples of domestic violence charges include:

      • Felony domestic violence crimes
      • First-degree assault
      • First-degree abuse of a vulnerable adult
      • First-degree rape
      • First-degree attempted rape
      • Second-degree rape
      • Second-degree attempted rape
      • Third-degree sexual offense
      • Child kidnapping

      Child Abuse

      Some felonies, including first-degree rape, have a maximum penalty of life in prison without the possibility of parole. While most sentences for the above crimes are lower, felons may lose their right to vote or hold public office and have trouble finding employment or housing.

      Misdemeanor Domestic Violence Crimes

      • Second-degree assault
      • Second-degree abuse or neglect of a vulnerable adult
      • Fourth-degree sexual offense
      • Simple assault
      • False imprisonment
      • Stalking
      • Reckless endangerment
      • Unlawful publication (revenge porn/sextortion)
      • Violation of a protective order
      • Threats
      • Misdemeanor charges can result in prison sentences that last up to 10 years and/or fines ranging from $500-$5,000.

      Penalty Enhancements

      Judges may choose to increase sentences or fines for factors such as prior offenses or the use of weaponry. Our justice system is heavily biased toward punitive measures such as these, even when they are unwarranted. If you might be considered eligible for an enhancement, our attorneys can make a case for a lesser punishment.

      We Can Fight for You

      If you are facing domestic violence charges, you may find yourself dealing with the consequences for years to come. Though not often, these charges may be used in divorce cases or custody disputes. In fact, some partners attempt to wield them as a form of violence to manipulate situations in their favor.

      No matter the circumstances surrounding your accusations, we want to hear your side of the story. You deserve a full and fair defense, no matter who is on the other side of the courtroom. Especially in cases that can have a heavy emotional impact, prosecutors may push for harsher sentencing because they believe it will make them look good, not because they think it is just. Our Maryland domestic violence lawyers can stand up to these unfair tactics and watch for any signs the state is trying to infringe upon your rights.

      Related Blogs

      Maryland Domestic Violence Client Story

      We are sharing a client story below to help you better know what to expect in your case. Though we’ve changed the names and specifics to protect client privacy, you’ll find value in the information. Please read it through, then call our Maryland domestic violence lawyers to set up a free legal consultation. We’d love to discuss your claim.

      Connie Rinallo has a colorful family. Her parents divorced not long after she married her fiancé, Mike. Connie’s dad Sal had always been a hothead, and her mom, Peggy, had finally had enough of his tantrums and his drinking.

      In the decade that followed the divorce, Sal and Peggy mended fences enough to sit at the same table and behave civilly at family celebrations. That is, until Peggy met a wonderful man from the Netherlands named Jan.

      Over the course of their three-year courtship, Sal could see how well Jan was treating his ex-wife and how happy she was, and his jealousy festered. He’d managed to hide it from Peggy and Connie, but when he received Peggy’s wedding invitation, he lost it.

      A first, Peggy was doubtful of the wisdom of inviting Sal to the wedding, but after talking with Connie and Mike, she decided it was the right thing to do. After all, he’d met Jan on several occasions, and was probably dating someone himself. It had been over ten years. She assumed he’d show up showing off an attractive date several years her junior, which was fine with her, so long as he behaved. Besides, she’d told herself, he had his pride; he’d never make a scene at a big event…would he?

      In the end, Peggy reasoned that leaving Sal off the guest list would be hurtful. The invitation was sent and forgotten about when they received no RSVP.

      If she was honest, Connie was relieved Sal didn’t show up for the ceremony. She finally exhaled during her and Jan’s first dance and allowed herself to enjoy the evening.

      Everything went smoothly until the cake cutting, when Sal showed up, crossing the patio on less-than-sober legs to “help” his ex-wife serve her new husband wedding cake in the cake cutting ceremony.

      Jan, gentleman that he was, restrained himself as Sal smeared cake on his face. He did his best to laugh it off as Connie tried to get frosting out of his sideburns.

      Jan then tried unsuccessfully to escort Sal from the patio. Sal pulled away quickly, knocking Peggy down before punching Jan in the face. His drunken momentum carried both men into the cake, and someone called the police. The cake did not survive.

      An hour later, Sal was arrested for a domestic violence charge, hauled away calling out his ex-wife’s name like Brando in a revival of Streetcar. He was charged with drunk and disorderly conduct, as well as domestic violence.

      Connie calmed her mother and new stepfather down and the party resumed. After discussing it at brunch the next morning, they decided to stop at the station on their way to the airport and drop the charges. When they did, they were told the matter was out of their hands. It turned out that Sal had a prior misdemeanor for drunk and disorderly, making the new charge all the more serious. Besides, there was no lack of video footage on social media of the incident, making the case all but a “slam-dunk” for the prosecution.

      Sad for Sal but not entirely surprised, Peggy and Jan left for their honeymoon, but not before giving Connie the number of the law firm Alpert Schreyer. “Maybe they can do something for your father,” Peggy told Connie. “I’ll leave it to you to talk some sense into the man.”

      Domestic violence attorney Christian Hartman met with Sal at the station later that day.

      What is going to happen after my arrest?

      When Attorney Hartman sat down with Sal on Sunday afternoon, he felt as bad as he looked. Hungover and rumpled, dark circles of exhaustion smudged the thin skin below his puffy eyes.

      “What’s going to happen now?” Sal asked miserably.

      “The first thing we’ll do is work to get you released from jail tomorrow after your arraignment. With luck, you’ll be allowed out on your own recognizance. You may have to post bail, since your charge is for a violent offense, but I’m optimistic you’ll be allowed out until your case is concluded or we go to trial.”

      “So, I’ve got to spend another night in this place,” Sal said. It wasn’t a question. He knew the answer, and he knew it was his own fault.

      “Yes. You’re here until tomorrow at best, when court will be back in session,” said Attorney Hartman.

      “Now, when you are released from jail, the best thing you can do to help your case is to stop drinking completely and find some local Alcoholics Anonymous, or ‘AA’ meetings. It’s going to speak well for you that you’ve sought to help yourself before any court required it. Do you know what a ‘90 in 90’ is?” Hartman asked.

      Sal sighed but nodded. “Ninety meetings in 90 days. I tried it once, but it wasn’t as much fun as drinking.”

      “It’s time to change your outlook. Almost anything is more fun than jail, yes?” Attorney Hartman asked.

      “Yes. Soon as I’m out, I’ll go. I know where and when,” Sal promised.

      Don’t talk about your case in jail

      “Great. Now, until your arraignment, don’t speak to the other inmates about your charges. They’ll try and befriend you, get you to talk, and sympathize. They’re not your friends. They are looking for a way to get their own charges lowered by trading information to the prosecution.

      “They’ll work with any information they can get from several conversations, weaving it into a story they can ‘sell.’”

      “But if it’s a lie, can a made-up story really hurt me?” Sal asked, appalled.

      “Yes. If it’s based on even small fragments of truth, it can confuse a jury, and that’s not a good thing. But they can’t hurt you if you don’t give them any information,” said Attorney Hartman.

      “I understand,” Sal said with a heavy sigh. “What about my charges? You mentioned when you came in that Connie and Jan dropped their complaint.”

      “They did,” said Attorney Hartman, “which can’t hurt, but once you’ve been charged, your case is out of their hands. It’s up to the prosecutor whether to proceed,” Hartman said. “Unfortunately, you’ve handed them an attractive case. There’s lots of photos and videos of your performance for them to draw upon to put another notch in their belt, so to speak.”

      Sal slumped. “I know.”

      Don’t talk to the prosecutors

      “We are going to start with a detailed look at your case and address all available avenues for your defense. Have you spoken to the prosecutor?” Hartman asked.

      “No, it appears I passed out right after booking,” Sal said sheepishly. “They left me in the holding cell until this morning.”

      “Okay, well, oddly that helps us. From this point on, it’s crucial that you don’t speak to anyone from the prosecutor’s office: no detectives, officers, attorneys for the prosecution. Any questions they have must be directed to your attorney. We are here to defend you and protect your rights, if that is what you want. You can think about this, but go ahead and ask me your questions in the meantime. I’m here to answer them without charge and am happy to do so.”

      “I don’t need to think about it. I would like you to defend me against these charges,” said Sal. “You said my daughter got your number from my ex-wife. If she trusts you, so do I.”

      Respect the court, always

      “Okay. We’ve gone over not speaking to anyone within the jail, including anyone from the prosecutor’s office. When you are released after your arraignment, you will be given your next court date. This will be your first pre-trial hearing. You must appear for this hearing and be on time. If you are late or forget about your hearing and leave the court officers waiting, you will do serious damage to your case,” Attorney Hartman said.

      “You’re starting from a position of weakness as far as court opinion is concerned. The officers of the court don’t know all your good qualities. They only know you as a defendant who’s been charged with domestic violence and a drunk and disorderly charge,” Hartman said.

      “Right now, the best you can hope for is to bring your reputation up to a neutral place by being where you need to be when you are supposed to be there. At the very least, we can show them you are reliable and have respect for the court.”

      “Okay, I understand,” said Sal. “I will show up on time for court.”

      Don’t ask family or friends for legal advice

      “Good. Now, once you are out on your own recognizance or out on bail, don’t look to family or friends for legal advice,” said Attorney Hartman.

      “Isn’t that what you’re here for?” Sal asked.

      “That’s exactly what we’re here for. But many people get out and they are so anxious, they discuss their case with every friend and family member who will listen. What they are really seeking is reassurance — for someone to tell them everything will be alright,” Hartman said.

      “Your loved ones want to help, but chances are, they won’t know what advice to give. Putting them in the position of going over your case will only place a burden on them. Not only will they likely not know what to tell you, but any advice they do give is likely to be inaccurate.

      “On top of that, it puts anyone you speak to at risk of being forced to testify against you if the prosecution discovers you have confided in them. I advise you not to burden your friendships with that kind of stress,” said Attorney Hartman.

      “I understand. I will avoid discussing the case, though I expect to receive a good amount of unsolicited advice.” Sal smiled. “It’s a colorful family.”

      “That’s fine,” said Hartman. “You know what to do with unsolicited advice, right?”

      “Nod and smile,” Sal said with a wry smile.

      “Exactly,” said Hartman.

      Don’t go on social media

      “Now along the lines of not speaking about your case, please know that posting about it on social media is going to put you at risk as well. Social media is a public forum. The prosecution will declare ‘open season’ on anything you put out there, and they’ll use it to convict you if they can.”

      “Don’t worry. I’m not much of a social media person,” said Sal.

      Don’t leave the area

      “Okay, good,” said Attorney Hartman. “This leaves us the issue of not leaving town. The prosecution will take advantage of even a trip across the border into Virginia to encourage the perception that you are trying to flee,” said Hartman. “Which, of course, makes you look guilty. It’s just not worth it.

      “I completely agree,” said Sal. “I’ll stick around, you have my word.”

      Sal trusted the skill and experience of his Maryland domestic violence lawyers. He followed Attorney Hartman’s instructions and all charges against him were dismissed upon his completion of a pre-trial diversion program. Sal was very pleased with the representation he received. Now sober, he continues to attend regular AA meetings and mend fences with his family.

      Call Our Maryland Domestic Violence Lawyers Today

      If you have been arrested for domestic violence in Maryland, don’t take any chances with your future or your freedom. Call Alpert Schreyer, LLC for a free legal consultation. We’ll fight to protect your rights, defend you from prosecution, and bring you the best available outcome.

      Client Reviews

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      The attorney’s and paralegals are incredible. They are truly committed to understanding your case and serving you. However, I’ve personally worked with Mr. Berman and Mrs. Bowman through my entire process! I am so grateful for their passion, dedication, and professionalism. I haven’t worked with many attorney’s in the past, but I’m glad you all were recommended to me. You all are truly the best. Thank you so much!

      Viair Myles

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