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What Ray Rice’s Domestic Assault Case Would Mean for Maryland Criminal Law

Domestic ViolenceChances are, if you live in the Baltimore area, you know who Ray Rice is. You probably also heard about his altercation with his fiancé that occurred a little over a week ago at a casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It came as a pretty big blow for many of Rice’s fans that he would get caught up in an offense like this. While neither Rice nor his fiancé reported injuries or filed any charges against each other, the casino filed a simple assault domestic violence charge and both now have a summons to appear in court. It looks like the charges will probably be dropped against both of them, due mostly to celebrity status and the fact that it was supposedly only a “minor altercation.” 

What would this kind of charge mean under Maryland criminal law? Depending on severity, domestic violence cases carry different punishments, just as any other crime does. More than likely, a case like this (if it were pursued and Rice and his fiancé were to actually be charged) would be considered a misdemeanor. The maximum sentence that either of them would face in a Maryland court of law would be ten years and a $2,500 fine with no hope of being able to erase this from their respective criminal records. It is somewhat unlikely that a public figure such as Rice would be fully prosecuted, and it’s even less likely since the altercation was apparently mutual, ie. “mutual affray” as it is known.

If Rice had been convicted of first-degree domestic assault, he could have faced up to 25 years in prison. Interestingly, it is possible that either Rice and/or his fiancé could utilize a self-defense scenario should the matter move forward, however both of them also have the right to claim the 5th amendment and not to testify against the other. As a Maryland criminal lawyer, I commend Rice and his fiancé for immediately seeking counsel and having their lawyers speak on their behalf rather than discussing the information openly with the media and the police.

Should you have any questions on this matter or how a similar charge may affect you or how to defend such a charge, feel free to call Robinson & Associates for an immediate and free consultation.

Bruce Robinson & Associates are located in Baltimore, Maryland. With over 20 years of experience in Maryland criminal defense and an aggressive approach in court, we deliver results. To learn more about What Ray Rice’s Domestic Assault Case Would Mean for Maryland Criminal Law or to schedule your free consultation, give Robinson & Associates a call at 443-524-7395. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.


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