Often, after a final protective order is entered, the parties may attempt to reconcile their broken relationship. Parties may enter into informal agreements that are directly contrary to “stay away” or “no contact” provisions in their restraining order. If for some reason the reconciliation does not work, and the parties find themselves at odds again, the Petitioner may file criminal charges alleging that the Respondent violated the terms of the protective order.
In Maryland, a respondent and petitioner’s informal agreement to resume a relationship while a final protective order is in place, does not invalidate the terms of the protective order. As long as a protective order is in place, a respondent that acts contrary to the terms of the restraining order risks misdemeanor criminal charges. Under Maryland Family Law § 4-509, for a first offense, a Defendant found to have violated a protective in Maryland may be fined up to $1000 and imprisoned for up to 90 days. For a second or subsequent office they may be fined up to $2,500 and imprisoned for up to 1 year.
In order to avoid potential criminal allegations, if the alleged victim wishes to invalidate the protective order, then the parties should go back to court and request to modify or terminate the order.
What Happens if I am Charged with Violating a Protective Order in Maryland?
If you are charged with violating a protective order in Maryland, the court may issue an arrest warrant. You may be arrested, and required to attend a bail review hearing. You may also be subject to pre-trial supervision requirements while your criminal charges are pending. There may be additional “stay away” or “no contact” requirements you must abide by under the terms of your pre-trial release requirements.
If you are charged with violating a protective order in Maryland, you may be held in contempt of court for refusing to follow a court order. “No contact” violations or violent violations are much more likely to result in jail time. Law enforcement officers take protective order violations seriously and you should work with an experienced family law attorney if you believe you are or will be charged with violating a protective order in Maryland.
If You Charged with Violating a Protective Order in Maryland, Contact an Experienced Maryland Domestic Violence Attorney Today
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