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How Do Protective & Peace Orders Help Maryland Crime Victims?


Protective and peace orders allow the Maryland courts to act in the interest of crime victims and other abused individuals. Essentially, these orders exist as a legal mechanism to halt further crimes or abuse. Though eligibility for either a protective or peace order depends on the relationship between the perpetrator and victim, if any. It is not possible to qualify for both a protective order and a peace order.

What are the Eligibility Requirements for Protective & Peace Orders?

Protective orders are available to victims who have a specific relationship with the criminal perpetrator or abuser. A protective order is usually available if:

  • The victim and perpetrator are presently or were formerly married;
  • The victim and perpetrator are related by adoption, blood, or marriage;
  • The victim is the parent, stepparent, child, or stepchild of the perpetrator, and they both lived in the same residence for at least 90 days within the past year;
  • The victim and perpetrator engaged in a sexual relationship and lived together for at least 90 days within the past year; or
  • The victim and perpetrator are parents of the same child; or
  • The victim and perpetrator had a sexual relationship within the past year, even if they did not live together.

If the victim and perpetrator do not have any of the relationships described above, it is not normally possible to obtain a protective order. But those victims may be able to obtain a peace order, which can accomplish many of the same ends.

Which Criminal Acts Enable Protective & Peace Orders?

In order to obtain a protective or peace order, the victim must be able to demonstrate that certain criminal acts occurred. Both protective and peace orders are available to a person who is the victim of:

  • Severe physical injury or harm;
  • Imminent fear of severe physical injury or harm;
  • Assault and battery;
  • Rape or attempted rape;
  • Sexual offense or attempted sexual offense;
  • False imprisonment; or
  • Criminal stalking.

Additionally, peace orders are available to a person who is the victim of:

  • Criminal harassment or trespassing;
  • Malicious destruction of property;
  • Misuse of telephone equipment or electronic communication;
  • Revenge porn; or
  • Visual surveillance.

What Can Protective & Peace Orders Accomplish?

When a person is the victim of any of the criminal acts outlined in the previous section, they may request a protective or peace order from the Maryland courts. In granting a protective or peace order, the Maryland courts may require the perpetrator to:

  • Refrain from committing further criminal acts against the victim;
  • Stop threatening to commit further criminal acts against the victim;
  • Abstain from going to the victim’s residence, school, or workplace; or
  • Cease any physical, telephone, or electronic contact with the victim.

Concerning protective orders only, the Maryland courts may also award temporary:

  • Possession and use of a residence to the victim;
  • Custody of shared children to the victim;
  • Possession of any pet or domestic animal; or
  • Financial support for the victim.

Contact Us Today for Help

If you are a crime victim interested in seeking a Maryland protective or peace order, it can be tremendously worthwhile to contact a proficient personal injury lawyer. The Baltimore crime victim lawyers at Iamele & Iamele, LLP have a proven track record of success assisting crime victims with various legal actions, such as protective or peace orders. If you need legal help, contact us today for a free initial consultation.


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