What Does A Protective Order Do?

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Protective orders can offer various forms of protection for victims of domestic violence. Final protective orders are valid for one year with the option of extending them for six months. In some cases, a petitioner can be eligible for a two-year final protective order or even a permanent order, but those are available under very limited circumstances. Judges can establish temporary visitation if there are children involved between the parties, and they can also award emergency family maintenance for the respondent to pay to the petitioner. In addition, judges can award use and possession of a jointly titled car and temporary possession of pets, as well as order the respondent to surrender all firearms.

How Do Both Protective And Peace Orders Affect The Custody Of Children?

Protective and peace orders affect custody and access to the children. In some cases, petitioners can file peace and protective orders not only for themselves but also on behalf of the children. If a judge finds that the children have been affected, then the order can keep a potential respondent away from the children. It is very important to always have a lawyer in these types of situations in order to ensure that it’s as de minimis as possible in terms of affecting the custody agreement.

What Constitutes Harassment?

Harassment is defined in Criminal Law Section 3803, and it states that a person may not follow another in or about a public place or maliciously engage in a course of conduct that alarms or seriously annoys the other person with the intent to harass, alarm, or annoy them after receiving a reasonable warning.

What Are The Remedies To Harassment?

A person who is being accused of harassment can have criminal charges filed against them. If convicted, an individual could face jail time. Harassment is also grounds for obtaining a peace order.

What Can We Do If Someone Is Not Adhering To The Order?

There are civil and criminal sanctions for a violation of a peace or protective order. The first criminal violation can carry up to 90 days in jail and that penalty can increase with the number of violations.

Does It Make A Difference If The Person Accused Of Abuse Or Harassment Is Under The Age of 18?

I’ve handled several harassment cases where the person accused of abuse or harassment was under 18 years of age, and several other cases where the person being abused was under 18 years of age. An adult can file on behalf of an individual who is under the age of 18 as long as they are related to the minor child by blood, marriage, or adoption, or if they reside in the same home as the minor.

Being a minor does not limit you from attaining civil relief via a peace or protective order, just as being a minor does not isolate you from having a peace or protective order served on you.


Marc S. Ward, provides legal advice on protective orders in Maryland.

Call (301) 889-8776 for a free defense strategy session.

Will The Accused Be Required To Surrender Firearms As Soon As He Or She Is Served With A Protective Order?

As long as there is an active protective order, the respondent cannot possess or use firearms. If caught with firearms while there is a protective order in place, it will be treated as an independent criminal charge.

Can The Accuser Rescind Or Withdraw A Peace Or Protective Order?

A motion to modify or rescind a peace or protective order can be filed in any court that has jurisdiction. There will be a hearing in front of a judge before any conditions are modified or before the peace or protective order is rescinded to ensure that the individual requesting modification or a withdrawal of the peace or protective order is not being threatened or coerced into doing so.

Can A Peace Order Or A Protective Order Be Appealed By The Person Being Accused?

An order that is issued in a district court can be appealed to the circuit court and will be heard de novo, which means the case will be presented again in its entirety to the judge in circuit court as if it never happened. This is essentially a do-over. An order that was issued in the circuit court can be appealed to the court of special appeals. Regardless of what jurisdiction applies, all appeals must be done in writing.

Is It Possible For Someone To Have A Peace Order Or Protective Order Expunged?

Since peace and protective orders are civil orders, the term “shielded” is used in place of the term “expunged.” The petitioner or respondent can file a written request to shield the order, which means to remove the public’s ability to inspect it. An individual can get a peace or protective order shielded if the petition for the protective or peace order was either denied or dismissed at the interim, temporary, or final stage. An individual can also get a peace or protective order shielded if the respondent consented to the entry of a protective or peace order, but this wouldn’t be possible until three years after denial or dismissal of the petition or until the consent expires—whichever comes first. This holds true unless the party who is requesting the shielding files a general waiver and a release form, which is a form that releases all claims for damages relating to the proceeding and any tort claims that would arise from that proceeding. Once the petition to shield has been filed, the court will schedule a hearing where the judge will either grant or deny it. There are several qualifications an individual must meet in order to be granted shielding. A lawyer can advise you if you are eligible for shielding.

Additional Information On Protective & Peace Orders In Maryland

Protective and peace orders in Maryland are commonly misused, primarily because they are very easy to get and have serious consequences. These orders can affect custody, a person’s right to possess firearms, and can be viewed by the public. It’s advisable to consult with an attorney regarding these matters, as they can often be litigated and successfully beaten at the final stage.

For more information on Protective Orders In Maryland State, a free case evaluation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (301) 889-8776 today.


Marc S. Ward, provides legal advice on protective orders in Maryland.

Call (301) 889-8776 for a free defense strategy session.