Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence Lawyers in Towson, MD

Physical, emotional, sexual, economic and psychological abuse

Domestic Violence involves physical, emotional, sexual, economic and psychological abuse.

There are two types of civil relief available in Domestic Violence cases:

  • A Protective order
  • A Peace order

Protective Orders are the main type of civil relief sought in Maryland Courts for relief from domestic violence.

Domestic Violence Lawyers in Towson MD


Domestic Violence FAQ's

What is Domestic Violence?

Under Maryland law, domestic violence is the act of one or more of the following acts between family or members of a household:

  • Assault
  • An act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm
  • An act that causes serious bodily harm
  • Rape or sexual offense
  • Attempt rape or sexual offense
  • Stalking
  • False imprisonment, physically keeping you from leaving your home or kidnapping

What are Protective Orders?

Protective orders are civil orders issued by a judge that orders one person to refrain from committing certain acts against others.

See also - Peace Orders

Who Can File for Protective Orders?

You are eligible for a protective order if you and the alleged abuser:

  • Are current or former spouses
  • Have lived together in an intimate relationship for at least 90 days during the past year
  • Are related by blood, marriage, or adoption
  • Are in a parent-child, or stepparent-stepchild relationship and have resided together for at least 90 days during the past year
  • Are in a caretaker-vulnerable adult relationship
  • Are the parents of a child together

How Can I File for a Protective Order?

1. Complete a Petition for Protective Order (CC-DC/DV1 )

2. File at the right location

  • You can file the petition with the clerk’s office of either a Circuit Court or District Court during court business hours
  • If the court is closed, file the petition with the commissioner’s office of the District Court, which is open 24 hours a day. During court business hours, you must file with the court and not one of the commissioners.

How Can a Protective Order Help Me?

You can ask a judge to order the accused on an interim or temporary protective order until the accused is served or until a final hearing:

To...

  • Stop abusing you.
  • Stay away from you and to not try to contact you or harass you at your home, school, job, or the place where you may be staying, stay away from your child’s school, and from your family members’ homes.
  • Stay out of your house.
  • Leave the home where the two of you live, if you are married to the abuser, AND you were living with your abuser at the time of the abuse.
  • Leave the home if you are not married to the abuser, but were living with the abuser at the time of the abuse, AND your name is on the lease or deed for the house, OR you lived with the abuser for at least 90 days within the past year.
  • The judge can also give you temporary custody of any children that you have with the abuser.

In a Final Protective Order, a judge can order any of the above, and can also:

  • Establish temporary visitation with children.
  • Award emergency family maintenance.
  • Award use and possession of jointly titled car.
  • Order counseling.
  • Order the abuser to surrender all firearms.
  • Order the abuser to pay filing fees and court costs.

What are Peace Orders?

Similar to Protective orders but for individuals in a dating relationship, a neighbor, a stranger or anyone else that are seeking to have the court order the accuser to be left alone or have the accused to stay away or refrain from any contact.

The nature of the relationship between the parties is not a factor when petitioning the court for a Peace Order. If an individual is entitled to relief in a protective order hearing they are not entitled to seek relief under the Peace Order Act.

How can I file for a peace order?

1. Complete a Petition for Peace Order (DC/PO 1 )

2. File it at the right location

  • File the petition with the clerk’s office of the District Court
  • If the court is closed, file the petition with the commissioner’s office of the District Court, which is open 24 hours a day. During court business hours, however, you must file with the court, not one of the commissioners.

How can a Peace order help me?

In an Interim or Temporary Peace Order, the judge can order that the abuser:

  • Stop abusing you.
  • Stay away from you and to not try to contact you or harass you at your home, school, job, or the place where you may be staying.

In a Final Peace Order, a judge can order any of the above, and can also:

  • Order counseling.
  • Order mediation.
  • Order the abuser to pay filing fees and court costs.