What is a protective order and what does it mean for a defendant?

What is a protective order and what does it mean for a defendant?

A protective order is granted by the court to keep someone away from another person or persons. It is most commonly ordered in domestic violence cases as a way of protecting an alleged victim from his or her alleged abuser.

In order for the alleged victim to get a protective order, he or she will need to do the following (you’ll notice how the alleged abuser will have little say in whether or not the order is issued):

1. The alleged victim must be able to prove that one of the following offenses occurred;

— Any degree of assault

— Sexual offense including rape and attempted rape

— Criminal stalking

— False imprisonment

— An act that placed the alleged victim in fear of imminent bodily harm or that caused the alleged victim serious bodily harm

The alleged victim must complete the petition, appear for a temporary hearing and appear for a final hearing. During the temporary hearing, the alleged abuser is not present; however, he or she may appear and present his or her side of the story at the final hearing. The protective order may be extended and may be in place for up to two years if the alleged abuser has already been named in a protective order for abuse.

While the protective order can really be difficult to overcome, it is possible for an experienced family law attorney to show the judge why it should not be a permanent protective order. Your side of the story deserves to be heard. An attorney can provide you more information on how to proceed with fighting a protective order.

Source: Maryland Judiciary, “How to File for a Peace or Protective Order,” accessed May. 06, 2015

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