Under Maryland law, domestic violence occurs when one family member or intimate partner mistreats another one physically, verbally, sexually or psychologically. Many victims of domestic violence are so intimidated that they are afraid to seek legal help. At Haspel & McLeod, P.C., we understand your fear, and we do whatever it takes to keep you and your children safe.
A protective order is the mechanism under Maryland law that protects a domestic abuse victim from further harm by the abuser. You are eligible for a protective order if you are:
Any victim of abuse who is not eligible for a protective order can seek a peace order instead. But if you are eligible for a protective order, you may not file for a peace order. The Frederick & Rockville family law attorneys at Haspel & McLeod, P.C. help victims of domestic violence secure legal protection swiftly.
To obtain an interim or temporary protective order, the hurdle is low: There merely must be “reasonable grounds to believe” that you were abused. To get a final protective order, the judge must find by a preponderance of the evidence that the abuse occurred.
An interim order lasts until a hearing is held on the temporary protective order or the end of the second business day that the court clerk’s office is open after the interim order was issued, whichever is sooner. Temporary protective orders usually last no longer than seven days, but a judge can extend a temporary protective order up to six months. Final orders last up to a year, and can be extended for another 12 months. A permanent protective order stays in effect until the victim requests that it be terminated.
A range of remedies are available under a temporary protective order, including:
A final protective order offers all of the remedies of a temporary order, plus the following:
If your abuser violates the terms of a protective order, you can file a complaint with the court. If the abuser violates the “stay away” requirements of the order, you can file a criminal charge. The maximum penalties for a first violation of a protective order are up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail. For a subsequent offense, the maximum penalties are up to a $2,500 fine and a year in prison.
If the abuser violates “stay away” portion of the order, the police can arrest him or her without a warrant. To enforce a temporary child custody provision of a final protective order, the court can order police to use “all reasonable and necessary force” to enforce the order.
The family law attorneys at Haspel & McLeod, P.C. do whatever it takes to keep you and your children safe from domestic violence. Call us at 301-631-0592, or contact us online today. Our Maryland attorneys represent individuals and families throughout Frederick, Montgomery and Howard counties. Our offices are in Frederick and Rockville.