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Recent arrest shows effectiveness of protection order

Domestic violence is a sad, unfortunate occurrence throughout Maryland. Arguments and fights can break out between spouses, friends, neighbors or family members and can cover a variety of issues, some major and some very minor. Yet, regardless of what a dispute arises out of, it can quickly escalate, putting an individual in danger. When this happens, the individual afraid for his or her well-being should call 9-1-1 as quickly as possible to receive immediate protection.

After the altercation has been stopped, a fearful individual can seek further protection. At any time, he or she can go to a local courthouse and file for a Temporary Protective Order. These orders last a week, preventing the other party from contacting the filer. Within those seven days, a hearing take place to determine whether a more permanent protection order is necessary. If so, then the other party may be forced to move out of a shared residence and may be disallowed from contacting the party who filed for protection.

While the state legislature is trying to make changes to domestic violence laws to make them more effective, it is important for Maryland residents to recognize that the protections in place can provide safety. Recently, one man was arrested and put in jail for violating a protective order. Though the man had been served with the order, he apparently tried to contact his estranged wife. The man is now awaiting trial for other protective order violation charges.

Though this example serves as an illustration of how the law can protect an individual, the fact remains that he or she must take action to protect him or herself. An attorney with experience handling domestic abuse cases can help file the necessary documents and can represent the party in court. Additionally, a family law attorney can discuss with the party how a protective order may affect issues such as divorce and child custody. But in the end, safety comes first, and Marylanders should know the law exists to protect them.

Source: The Baynet, "Man incarcerated for violating protective order," Feb. 5, 2014

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