There are many types of behaviors that the law classifies as domestic violence and not all of them involve physical violence. Other actions, such as taking complete control over all finances, emotional abuse, and isolation from family and friends, are all actions that courts consider domestic violence actions — whether the couple is married or not. Accusations of domestic abuse can have a profound impact on the accused life, affecting personal and professional life, as well as affect such issues as child custody.
One common step domestic violence victims take is to apply for an order of protection, also referred to as a restraining order, protective order, or peace order. An order of protections places significant prohibitions on the contact the accused can have with the victim. The relationship between the parties determines which type of petitions to file. The purpose of each order is to basically prevent any contact between the two and typically has the following stipulations:
Prohibits the Accused from Living with the Victim
When an order of protection has been granted to a victim and the accused has been sharing a home with the victim, the accused is prohibited from going to that home under any circumstances. The accused is also prohibited from going to the victim’s place of employment or any other location where the victim is known to visit. There will likely be a list of places right on the order of protection that the accused is barred from going to.
In many cases, if there are children who live in the home with the couple, they will be named in the order of protection also and the accused will not be allowed to contact them.
Bars the Accused from Harassing the Victim
The order of protection extends beyond just “in person” protection. It also prohibits the accused from contacting the victim in any way, whether by phone, electronically, through social media, or through third parties. The accuser is also barred from interfering, intimidating, or any other type of harassing behavior towards the victim. If the accused disobeys these rules, it could be considered a violation of the order and they could be arrested, as well as face additional criminal charges.
Special Instructions or Requirements
The court could also put certain stipulations in the order of protection that the accused must abide by. This could include turning over any weapons he or she owns over to law enforcement. They could also be ordered to attend counseling or anger management classes. If the accused has property of the victim’s, the court can also order them to turn it back over to the victim through a third party or police.
Impacts Access to Children
When an order of protection is issued and the couple has children together, the accused will likely not be able to access any of the child’s medical, school, or any other type of record. There will likely be a child support order issued and the court could also order the accused to pay for any special needs the child now has resulting from the effects of the domestic violence that took place in the home, such as counseling or other services.
If you are concerned about the domestic safety of yourself or a loved one, it may be in your best interest to contact an attorney, like a criminal lawyer Baltimore, MD turns to, today.
Thanks to our friends and contributor from the Greenberg Law Offices for their insight into order of protections.