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How can you use Maryland domestic violence laws for protection?

Unfortunately, domestic abuse happens all too frequently in Anne Arundel, Maryland. This is true in spite of the Maryland domestic violence laws in place to prevent it. Often, people are being abused by a spouse or harassed by someone they are not personally involved with. They might not know how to go about receiving legal protections to stop it. A Maryland domestic violence lawyer is able to walk you through the legal paperwork to have a legal basis for the abusive or harassing individual to stay away from you under threat of arrest.

Understanding which to file for — a peace order or a protective order — is a key to receiving protection. If it is a person with whom the filer was involved in a relationship, shares a child or is related to in some way, then the protective order is applicable. If it is a neighbor, acquaintance or stranger who is committing the acts of abuse or harassment, then it is a peace order the person should be looking for. Certain aspects of the incident or series of incidents must be proven. If, for example, the other person was stalking, committed a sexual assault or caused bodily injury to the petitioner, this evidence is all that is required to request and likely receive a protective order or peace order.

There are four steps that must be followed to file the order. First, the right petition must be completed. Second, it must be filed with the circuit or District Court clerk. Third, the person filing must appear in court to receive a temporary order. The respondent will be served and the order will probably last for a week. Fourth, there will be an appearance at a final hearing. This serves to provide protection for the abused person for up to a year. It can also provide spousal support and child support. It can be extended for up to two years.

Increased attention is being paid to this issue at the local and national level. While this blog post cannot provide legal advice, generally the first step is to have a grasp on how to make it stop. For that, legal counseling on Maryland domestic violence laws is a sound idea to answer any questions that might arise.

Source: MDCourts.gov, “Peace Order or Protective Order…which one?, accessed on Aug. 26, 2014

Source: MDCourts.gov, “Peace Order or Protective Order…which one?, accessed on Aug. 26, 2014

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