Do You Need A Protective Order?
Maryland law defines domestic abuse as any time a family or household member commits one of the following against you:
- Assault (physical attack): An act that places you in fear of immediate serious bodily harm or actually causes you serious bodily harm
- Rape or sexual offenses as defined under certain specific sections of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland
- Stalking as defined under a specific section of the Criminal Law Article, Annotated Code of Maryland
- False imprisonment
- Abuse may also include abuse of a child if the person for whom relief is sought is a child. It may also include abuse of a vulnerable adult if the person for whom relief is sought is a vulnerable adult.
What Is The Difference Between Protective Orders And Peace Orders?
Maryland has two sets of orders.
- Protective orders are for: 1) the current or former spouse of the person alleged to have committed the abuse, (2) a cohabitant of the person alleged to have committed the abuse, (3) a person related to the person alleged to have committed the abuse by blood, marriage or adoption, a parent, step-parent, child or step-child of the person alleged to have committed the abuse or the person seeking relief from the alleged abuser who resides or resided with the person alleged to have committed the abuse or the person seeking relief from the alleged abuser for at least 90 days within one year before the filing of the petition for protection from domestic violence, (4) a vulnerable adult, (5) an individual who has a child in common with the person alleged to have committed the abuse or (6 ) an individual who has had a sexual relationship with the person alleged to have committed the abuse within one year before the filing of a petition for protection from domestic violence.
- Peace orders are reserved for individuals who do not share a residence or an intimate relationship with one another, or who do not have children in common.
The purpose of the two kinds of orders is the same — to keep the alleged abuser away and protect victims of domestic violence. Both sets of orders are effective for a specific period of time: Interim protective orders, for emergency situations; temporary protective orders, for seven days; and final protective orders, which typically last for up to one year.
Any of these can order the abuser:
- To not abuse or threaten to abuse you, or anyone else named in the order
- To not contact, try to contact, or harass you or anyone else named in the order
- To not enter your home
- To stay away from family members’ workplace, school, temporary residence (like a shelter) or other family members’ homes
- To move out of the house
- To pay financial support (emergency family maintenance)
You can even order the abuser to remand any pet owned by you or the respondent into your custody. There are many other things protective orders can do, which the lawyers at Reinstein, Glackin & Herriott, LLC can explain to you. Violation of an order can be considered contempt of court, or can result in the filing of criminal charges against the perpetrator. Depending on the nature of the violation, offenders can be made to do community service, pay fines and/or serve time in jail.