Family violence in Maryland is defined as the intentional act or reckless behavior of a family member that causes or threatens to cause physical harm or death, including assault, neglect, rape, stalking, and kidnapping. Under Maryland law, protective orders are available to victims of domestic violence or those facing immediate threats of family violence. This type of civil order is issued to limit the physical contact and communication between the victims of domestic violence and their attackers, and to prevent future acts of violence. Violators of protective orders face legal consequences, including substantial financial penalties as well as prison sentences.
Victims of family violence include spouses, ex-spouses, blood relatives, in-law relatives, parents of a child, co-habitants, foster parents and foster children, and those in dating relationships. Anyone who is assaulted, raped, kidnapped or held against their will, stalked, harassed directly or indirectly, or threatened with physical harm is entitled to file for a protective order under Maryland law. The burden of proof falls on the victim in these cases, so it is imperative to gather as much evidence as possible to support your claim.
Police reports, witness testimony that includes first-hand accounts as well as those seeing the results of the attack, hospital records, pictures of injuries and bruises, or torn clothing consistent with assault can be very helpful in proving the domestic violence. Damaged property, such as holes in walls resulting from punches, broken furniture, and other damage caused by a struggle are also useful pieces of evidence to convince the court of actual assault or provide physical proof of violent tendencies. Fearful behavior and anxiety in children can also indicate proof of a violent household.
The good news with protective orders is that they do not require the amount of proof necessary to convict a person of a crime. Judges can issue the protective order based on their impressions of the evidence presented. If a victim is requesting a protection order for the first time, presenting as much evidence as possible is imperative. Repeated requests against the same individual or violators of an existing protection order generally do not require the same amount of proof.
Victims of family violence are often desperate to protect themselves and their family from further abuse. Even after a violent family member has been apprehended or removed from the family home, the victim can still experience a great level of fear and anxiety that their attacker will return to cause more harm. Obtaining a protective order can legally prohibit the offender from coming into contact with you personally, communicating with you, or using others to relay information to you. The peace of mind that the protective order offers can help the victim recover emotionally and physically.
Hunt Valley Domestic Violence Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Help Victims Obtain Protection Orders
Hunt Valley domestic violence lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC have been helping victims of domestic violence in Maryland obtain protective orders for over 30 years. If you or someone you know is in a violent family situation and needs the legal benefits that a protective order can provide, call us today at 443-589-0150 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation.
The Maryland family law firm of Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC is conveniently located in Hunt Valley, Maryland and serves clients throughout Baltimore County, Harford County, Carroll County, and Howard County. We are easily accessible for residents of Towson, Baltimore, Bel Air, Columbia, Westminster and Essex.