Maryland judges can impose protective orders whenever there are allegations of domestic abuse between two people. While the initial order is temporary and you’ll be soon allowed an opportunity to defend yourself in court, that’s often cold comfort when you’re under the restrictions imposed by the current order.
If you don’t want that order to become more permanent and follow you around for a year or more, you need to remember these rules right now:
1. Do not attempt to make any contact with the other party.
So many defendants in domestic cases get tripped up because they think that they can talk sense into the other party — but any intentional contact, even through indirect means, can get you in deeper trouble. Don’t:
- Call the other party’s phone, place of employment or relatives
- Send text messages or emails
- Ask a friend or relative to pass a message on for you
- Follow, “like” or comment on their social media pages
That court order hanging over your head forbids all contact with the other party, no matter the form.
2. Do not try to retrieve your personal possessions on your own.
If you’ve been ordered to vacate the home while the temporary order is pending, do not stop back just to gather up a few things — even if you do it when you expect the other party to be at work.
If you can simply replace your personal items or do without for a few days, that’s best. If there’s something you have to have, like your computer or medication, ask if a peace officer can escort you to the home to pick up those specific items.
3. Do not lose your temper or vent on social media.
It’s smart to keep your cool. Remember: You’re being portrayed by the other party as a violent, abusive individual. Anything you do that seems antagonistic or threatening plays into that depiction.
Nobody wants a restraining order on their back, let alone a conviction for domestic violence. If you’re facing allegations of domestic abuse, talk to an attorney today.