Victims of domestic violence in Maryland and individuals who face protective order proceedings need representation by an attorney who understands how to persuade a judge to do the right thing. As a family law attorney who has handled domestic violence issues and protective order hearings for more than 25 years, Jules R. Bricker knows how to protect the rights of domestic violence victims as well as those who have been wrongly accused of domestic violence.
Domestic Violence in Maryland
Maryland law defines domestic violence abuse as an act that places a family or household member in fear of imminent and serious bodily harm. When directed against a family or household member, acts that constitute domestic violence abuse include:
- The actual infliction of serious physical harm
- Actual or attempted rape
- Other actual or attempted sex offenses
- False imprisonment
Family members include current or former spouses and people who are related by blood or adoption even if they are not currently living together.
Maryland Protective Orders
A protective order is a restraining order that is entered in domestic violence cases. A Maryland court can order the abuser to:
- Stop abusing the victim
- Stay away from, and avoid contact with, the victim, the victim’s residence, or the victim’s place of employment or school
- Move out of the home that the victim and abuser occupy together (under certain circumstances)
- Participate in family violence counseling
- Surrender firearms
If the victim and abuser have children together, the court can include provisions in the protective order that address custody and visitation. If the victim and abuser are a family unit, the judge can address issues about the use of a jointly owned car and can order payment of maintenance while the protective order remains in effect.
Applying for a protective order
The Law Offices of Jules R. Bricker, P.A. helps victims of domestic violence apply for protective orders in Maryland courts. If you are in an abusive situation, you should leave that situation as soon as you safely can. Get help from law enforcement or social services agencies if you need it.
Your next step may be to seek a protective order. A domestic abuse victim can apply for a protective order if he or she:
- is a family member (as defined above) of the abuser,
- is seeking protection from the other parent of the victim’s child,
- is seeking protection from a person he or she lived with in an intimate relationship for at least 90 days during the last 12 months, or
- is a vulnerable adult who seeks protection from a caretaker.
The court can issue a temporary protective order on the basis of the application alone, but it cannot enter a final order unless it has given the accused abuser a chance to appear at a hearing. It is then the victim’s responsibility to prove entitlement to the protective order.
Attorney Jules R. Bricker has extensive experience persuading judges to grant protective orders. In many cases, it is possible to negotiate the terms of a protective order that is entered by consent, saving the victim from testifying in court. If your testimony is necessary, however, Attorney Bricker will assure that you are prepared to testify.
Clients praise Attorney Bricker’s ability to set them at ease, to make certain that they understand everything that might happen in and out of court, and to handle their sensitive problems with care and discretion. Maryland domestic violence victims know that they will be treated with respect and dignity when they turn to The Law Offices of Jules R. Bricker, P.A. for assistance in obtaining a protective order.
Defense of Protective Order Applications
Unfortunately, some people apply for protective orders who have not been victims of, and do not fear, domestic abuse. They may want to gain an advantage in custody proceedings or to remove a spouse from the household so they can continue a relationship they have kept hidden.
If you are served with a temporary protective order, read it carefully. You will be in serious trouble if you violate its terms so you need to obey it. Fortunately, the temporary order only lasts until you have your day in court, when you are given the opportunity to oppose the entry of a final protective order.
If a domestic abuse protective order application has been filed against you, Attorney Jules R. Bricker can help you contest the application in court. When applications are based on unfounded accusations, accusers often withdraw or abandon their claims after they realize the person they falsely accused is fighting back.
Attorney Bricker will investigate your case and will help you gather the evidence you need to prove that the accusations against you are false. Avoiding the entry of a domestic abuse protective order can protect you from unfair criminal prosecutions later while helping you preserve valuable civil rights, including your right to bear arms.
Experienced representation in restraining order proceedings
For more than 25 years, Attorney Jules R. Bricker has been helping people obtain or resist protective orders in Maryland courts. If you are the victim of domestic abuse or have been falsely accused, you need representation in protective order proceedings.
To make an appointment for a free half-hour consultation with The Law Offices of Jules R. Bricker, call us at (301) 977-9140. We serve clients in Howard County, Montgomery County, and all surrounding Maryland counties.