Maryland Protective Orders
In Maryland, the term restraining order is not used. However, Maryland protective orders refer to domestic matters and non-domestic and they are called peace and protective orders. A peace order is a simple order that asks a person to stay away from an individual for six months and a protective order is an order that asks an individual to stay away for 12 months and it is renewable for a term and after.
To learn more about how the affect a Maryland protective order can have on your life, speak with an experienced domestic violence lawyer.
Protective Orders vs. Civil Protection Orders
These are the few civil protection orders that are in Maryland. It would be an individual that would make a petition to the court to be given that peace and/or protective order, and that may stay on their record if there is good cause to do so.
The evidentiary level is incredibly low, so this is not beyond reasonable doubt, this is not clear and convincing evidence. This is simply the preponderance of the evidence. It is a very low standard which is what could possibly be reasonable.
The length of time for a peace order and protective order is six months, whereas a Maryland protective order is 12 months. In a protective order, a person has to surrender their guns and other rights that are given up due to the fact that the protective order involves someone that a person has a relationship with and that will be someone they term as a PEFR or Person Eligible For Relief. It is very specific so it can be expensive and it sits on a person’s record; it is a civil order, and it is something that people can look up and see on the Maryland case search.
Filing Peace and Protective Orders
Anyone can file a Maryland protective order, including someone’s spouse, children, parent, neighbor, co-worker, etc. People can file them at any point in time and it goes in the district court.
This order requires someone to stay away from an individual, stay away from any residence, stay away from any school, place of employment, or anywhere where both parties may be a part of. It cannot always predict where a person is going; they could be in a food store, but part of the obligation under the order is that there be no unlawful contact and no contact at all, and so they must turn around and walk the other way if they see the person.
Because of the stigma, it could be considered a domestic violence incident and with a protective order or even just a peace order, people presume that if someone has this against them, then that person has anger management issues or something that could be less than trustworthy and that can cause employment issues, and even issues when trying to rent a place.
Violating a Protective Order in Maryland
A Maryland protective order is a civil order and it comes from a judge and the person is to abide by it and if a person does not, they are violating a court order and that is a terrible thing to do because a judge at that point sees that they did not listen to them and a person can be filed against in what is called a violation and they also can be charged criminally at that point.
A person has to be very careful because part of the offense can be jailable and if a person has violated an order that is very specific as advised by the judge and they violate it, the person is not going to see much mercy from that judge, because that person is going to go back in front of them because they have violated their order.
A civil no-contact is a peace or protective order in Maryland. Depending on the situation, it is more likely a protective order. When someone fails to abide, that is a contemptible offense. They can be put in jail for the contempt of the order and have criminal charges for violation of an ex parte. That is another offense where criminal charges are separate from any alleged domestic contact that took place in that time. The person now has two cases for which they face jail time.
A no-contact order means no contact in any form. There can be no physical or verbal contact with another person. No contact means no talking, emailing, texting, or posting on Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook. The person cannot send notes through other people unless the judge designates one person as the source of mutual communication, but only through the third party.
The circumstances where a person’s family or friends can contact the other person are exceptionally limited. If it is allowable by a judge, an attorney can ask that they designate an individual. The designated individual can share the information back and forth but only indirectly. Messages can be passed back and forth using the designated individual as the intermediary.
When a no-contact order is given, it is important that the person refrains from contacting the petitioner because they can report the person to the police immediately. The police can arrest the person and inform the state’s attorney. The judge can hold the person without a bond and keep the person in jail until the domestic violence charge is resolved. They have reason to put the person in jail to keep the petitioner safe.