Domestic violence can be a serious issue. Obtaining a protective order for yourself or a loved one can be an important step in keeping you safe from acts of domestic violence. In the state of Maryland, a protective order, or restraining order, can be filed against one person in order to keep them from performing an act against another person. There are several things to keep in mind when you’re working on getting a protective order.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is abuse which between household or family members. Determining what counts as an act of abuse depends largely on the specific situation. In general terms, abuse is considered an act which places you in danger of imminent serious physical harm, assault, stalking, rape, false imprisonment, and revenge porn.
What Is a Protective Order?
Under Maryland law, a protective order is an order created by the court that is intended to prevent a person from having contact with another person they have abused for a specified period. Initially, that period can be for up to one years; however, depending upon the circumstances, the order can be extended.
Who Qualifies for a Protective Order?
There are several types of relationships that may qualify for a protective order. In the state of Maryland, you may qualify for a protective order if you are involved in any of the following relationship types:
- A sexual relationship that has occurred in the past year
- A marriage
- A recent divorce or separation
- A relative by blood, marriage, or adoption
- A person with whom one has lived and has shared a sexual relationship in the last ninety days
- Parents who share a child
- A person who has been sexually assaulted or raped in the last year
What Forms Do I Need?
There are several important forms you’ll need when filing for a protective order. You can find these forms online or can discuss your situation with a court commissioner to obtain the correct form. Your best choice would be to contact a family law attorney since than can also help you fill out the forms to fit your situation.
The most important forms you’ll need when filing a protective order in the state of Maryland include:
- A Petition for Protection from Domestic Violence, or Form CC-DC-DV-001
- An Addendum-Description of Respondent, or Form CC-DC-DV-001A
If you’ve hired an attorney, they’ll help you complete the forms and make sure they’re properly filed with the courts. If you didn’t hire an attorney, once you’ve completed these forms, you should take them to a courthouse. If you’ve recently had any court dealings with the person against whom you’re filing the protective order, you may want to file your paperwork at the same court where any previous cases were heard. Should the courts be closed, you’ll be able to file a protective order with the District Court Commissioner’s Office.
What Happens If I’ve Been Served with a Protective Order?
The most important thing to do when you’ve been served with a protective order is to remain calm and read the entire order. Remember that you are not being arrested or charged with a crime, but that as the Respondent listed on the form, you’ll need to read the form and remain aware of how many contacts you’ll be allowed to maintain with the Petitioner, or the person who filed the protective order against you.
Included with the protective order will be a court date, which will give you the opportunity to agree with the protective order or to challenge it. In any case, speaking with a lawyer is a good way to determine what your next steps should be when you’ve been served with a protective order.
How The McKeon Law Firm Could Help
At The McKeon Law Firm, our Bethesda domestic violence lawyers will be ready to stand up and protect you if you’ve been the victim of domestic violence, or if you’ve been served with an order of protection and need qualified legal counsel. If you or someone you love has been served with a protective order or is seeking to file a protective order, our attorneys are equipped to help you navigate the court proceedings that are to come.
If you’re ready to take the next step in your protective order case, call The McKeon Law Firm today at 301-417-9222 or 202-742-1800. We’ll put you in contact with one of our lawyers so that you can determine the best course of action for your circumstance.