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Domestic Violence

Domestic violence cases can be devastating for all the parties involved. Many cases start with one family member being arrested and hauled off to jail. Even if he or she is released on bail several hours later, the commissioner usually imposes a bond condition that basically says “you cannot go back home until this case is over.” Along with the criminal charges, applications for civil protective orders may be filed seeking to give the courts decision-making authority over the defendant’s home, money, and access to his or herchildren. Even if the alleged victim did not want the defendant arrested and charged, a prosecutor may decide to move forward toward a conviction and a term of incarceration.

We are not here to represent the interests of the government when it comes to domestic violence cases. We are here to represent the best interests of our client. Convictions and protective orders for domestic violence cases can have devastating consequences for someone’s reputation, employment, and immigration status. Many of the noble objectives of those seeking to prevent future domestic violence can often be achieved without convictions and jail time. It is important to recognize that every domestic violence case is unique, making it impossible to take a one-size-fits-all approach. The prosecutor very often knows only what evidence was collected at the alleged crime scene. We make sure the prosecutor has all the important information you want the prosecutor to know about you, your good character, your family history, and why the government should agree to a favorable resolution. If a resolution cannot be reached, it is important to have an attorney that is experienced with the evidentiary issues that commonly arise in domestic violence trials. Many cases are serious with witnesses who are fully cooperative with the government and seeking substantial punishment. Then there are some cases in which the alleged victim does not want to see his or her significant other prosecuted. Sometimes the alleged victim is forced to take the stand against his or her wishes. In other cases, a spouse may invoke a testimonial privilege to avoid having to testify. And then some cases are pursued by complaining witnesses with questionable credibility and questionable motives. However, police officers and prosecutors are trained to treat domestic violence cases like homicide cases; to be able to prove the case without the alleged victim being available to take the stand. That can include the use of forensic evidence collected at the scene, photos of the people present at the scene, third-party witness testimony, hospital records, and 911 call transcripts. As defense attorneys and former Assistant State’s Attorneys, we bring to the table the experience of having prosecuted and defended hundreds of serious domestic violence cases.

Aside from defending the case, we often find that we can provide you and your family with valuable guidance that may lead to long term improvements for your situation. Although the start of a case may seem like your “darkest hour,” some cases present opportunities to make minor or significant changes that lead to a better quality of life for all concerned. Please call us today for free phone or office consultation at (301) 251-9001.

Client Reviews
"I have watched Mr. Helfand in trial and in negotiations. He is remarkable. Mr. Helfand is extremely knowledgeable in the law, and even more knowledgeable in the ways to deal with people." Afshin Pishevar, Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockville, MD
"I strongly endorse this lawyer. I have known Mr. Helfand for many years. We have worked together on cases and represented conflicting parties. I have watched Mr. Helfand in trial and in negotiations. He is remarkable." David Felsen, Criminal Defense Attorney in Rockville, MD
"It’s one of the biggest cases that’s been tried in Montgomery County in a long time,” said Steve VanGrack, a Rockville lawyer considering a Democratic bid for state’s attorney." Washington Post