Domestic Assault Charges Dismissed During Trial

Howard County Domestic Assault Trial
A 37-year old program manager for a major defense contractor was arrested by Howard County Police and charged with domestic assault after an argument with his wife. The accused rejected a plea offer and demanded his constitutional right to fight the charges in a trial. The case was tried in the District Court for Howard County.

Prosecutor Dismisses Domestic Assault Charges During Trial

When the case proceeded to trial, the prosecutor called the wife as the prosecution’s first witness. Jonathan Scott Smith, a Howard County domestic assault lawyer representing the husband, cross-examined the complaining witness. Mr. Smith aggressively questioned the wife about her history of filing domestic violence charges in prior relationships. Her testimony about the day of the alleged domestic assault, and the way the altercation supposedly happened, was so confusing and muddled that the prosecutor abruptly dismissed the charges in the middle of cross-examination.

What is Domestic Violence Assault?

Under Maryland law, a second degree assault (which includes what is commonly referred to as “domestic assault” or “domestic violence assault”) occurs when someone places the victim in reasonable fear of an imminent harmful or offensive touching, and the actor has the present apparent ability to carry out the threat. Assault also includes the consummated act of battery, which is an intentional harmful or offensive touching.

Penalties for Domestic Assault

Second degree assault is a misdemeanor. If convicted, the court may impose a sentence up to 10 years imprisonment, a $10,000.00 fine, or both. A conviction can have many other devastating consequences, including loss of employment; loss of a security clearance; inability to possess firearms, including hunting rifles and shotguns; and deportation if one is not a United States citizen.

Ellicott City and Columbia Domestic Assault Lawyer

Mr. Smith is a top rated attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of extensive trial experience, including domestic violence and domestic assault cases. Attorney Smith has handled thousands of domestic assault and other criminal cases in the local courts, including Howard County. Mr. Smith fights hard for his clients. That’s why many satisfied clients think so highly of him. Mr. Smith’s results speak for themselves.

Highly Rated Howard County Criminal Lawyer

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in domestic violence, domestic assault, and other criminal cases — has earned him the recognition of the legal community, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal defense attorneys in Howard County.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in domestic assault and other criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offensesdomestic violence and child abusecharges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.

Contact Us

To schedule an appointment with an experienced domestic assault lawyer and criminal defense attorney, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Defending Against False Allegations of Domestic Violence


Accusations of domestic violence can have both criminal and civil consequences. Civilly you could be subjected to the restrictions of a domestic restraining order, also known as a protective order. And criminally you may face assault and/or battery charges.

If you are convicted of domestic abuse you can be fined and put in jail. Even if you aren’t convicted on a criminal charge you could be subject to a protection order that requires you to move out of your home and have no contact with your spouse or minor children. Civil domestic violence matters can also affect divorce and custody matters, and can result in serious consequences including:

  • Denial of custody of minor children
  • Protective orders against you
  • Mandatory participation in anger management or other treatment
  • Civil liberties restrictions
  • Surrender of firearms

If you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, you need to:

  • Understand the gravity of the situation and never assume that, because the charges are false, you will not be convicted.
  • Prepare for the expense of your defense. Your Maryland domestic violence defense attorney needs to build a strong defense, which may include costs to obtain records, serve subpoenas, and retain private investigators.
  • Document everything by writing down every detail you remember, possible witnesses, receipts and anything else related to the charges. The more information you can give your attorney, the more effective the defense he will be able to mount for you.
  • Know your rights. If you are not arrested, you are free to leave. If you have been arrested, you have a right to an attorney and to remain silent. Law enforcement is not on your side, and a simple explanation can end up causing more problems.

Talk to a Howard County criminal defense attorney today

Allegations of domestic violence, even if false, are very serious and you need to take such charges seriously. Contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 to discuss your case.

What Is Domestic Violence in Maryland?


Domestic violence laws apply to a wide range of behaviors committed by one intimate partner against another. But at its core, domestic violence is the use of force or duress by one person to control another. Following are the forms of domestic abuse with Maryland’s domestic violence law:

  • Physical abuse. This is defined as (1) an act that causes serious bodily harm, or (2) an act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm. This can include hitting, kicking, choking, grabbing, pinching, shoving, punching and using weapons against the victim.
  • Sexual abuse. This is forcing another to engage in sexual acts against their will and without their consent. It includes attempted or completed rape or sexual offenses.
  • Verbal threats. This includes threats of bodily harm.
  • False Imprisonment. This is the confinement or detention of a person against that person’s will, accomplished by force or threat of force, or deception.
  • Stalking. This is a malicious course of conduct that includes approaching or pursuing another where the person intends to place, or knows or reasonably should have known, the conduct would place another person in reasonable fear:
    • Of serious bodily injury; an assault; actual or attempted rape or sexual offense; false imprisonment; or death, or
    • That a third person likely will suffer any of the acts listed in the preceding paragraph.

A common misconception is that women are believed to be the majority of victims of domestic abuse. However, many men have also been victims of domestic abuse. Abuse can be frequent or infrequent, although typically it escalates over time and constitutes a pattern of behavior.

Contact a Columbia domestic violence defense attorney

If you have been charged with or are under investigation for domestic abuse, it is vital you retain an experienced Maryland criminal defense attorney immediately. A domestic abuse charge can result in your having to move out of your home and being denied contact with your children. Such a charge can also ruin your reputation and endanger your job. To talk to a lawyer who understands what is at stake, contact Jonathan Scott Smith online or call 410-740-0101 today to schedule a consultation.


  • Jonathan Scott Smith 10490 Little Patuxent Parkway, Suite 200 ,Columbia, MD 21044-4960

  • Call for consultation 410-740-0101