Protection and restraining orders are virtually the same. Each of these is a court-ordered document that prohibits an individual from coming within a set distance of another person. That protected party can be a vulnerable adult, household member or child. This type of court order can be put in place in any number of situations including stalking and domestic violence cases. Anyone who violates a protective order in Maryland is subject to being arrested and charged with a crime for doing so.
Maryland’s protective order law is Family Law §4-501, et seq. This state code spells out how an individual may be prohibited from making contact with another individual in various instances. That person subject to the order may be unable to reside in the same home, attend the same school or work with the person who takes out the order. The law also spells out how that same individual may be unable to enjoy visitation or attend counseling with the protected individual as well.
Most protective orders are initially put in place for seven days. These temporary orders can be extended by a Glen Burnie judge for anywhere from 30 days to 12 months though.
Anyone who violates a Maryland protective order risks being charged with contempt of court. This misdemeanor offense is punishable by up to a 90-day jail sentence and $1,000 fine for the first violation. Anyone who commits the same crime two or more times may be sentenced to as long as a year in state prison and have to pay as much as $2,500 in fines.
A violation of a protective order is a serious crime. A conviction for such an offense on someone’s record can affect their ability to retain their current job or to secure a new one, to obtain a professional license and their legal rights in any family law or criminal cases that they may become involved in later on in the future. An attorney can advise you of ways that you may be able to keep you and your family safe by having a judge order a protective order.