A protective order violation in Maryland is a very serious criminal charge. If you have been arrested or charged with violating a protective order in Westminster, Carroll County, then you need to consult an experienced criminal defense attorney.
How is a Protective Order Violation Prosecuted in Maryland?
The maximum penalty for violating a peace order is 90 days incarceration and/or a $500.00 fine.
In order to prove you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, the State’s Attorney’s Office has to prove that a protective order was in place and that you knowingly violated its conditions. Typically, a person allegedly violates a protective order by contacting the victim either by telephone or in-person.
These charges are very serious because it is an alleged direct violation of the Court’s order to not do something. Furthermore, the State’s Attorney’s Office assigns these cases to its Domestic Violence Unit where the prosecutors focus solely on these types of crimes.
Baltimore City Protective Order Violation Case
I handled a case where the client was charged with violating a protective order, harassment, and telephone misuse. The Assistant State’s Attorney’s plea offer was to the violation of the protective order and a 90 day suspended sentence and one year of probation. My client instructed me to turn down the guilty plea and take this case to trial.
At trial, I was able to successfully get the harassment and telephone misuse charges dismissed at the end of the State’s case. I argued that the State did not proven the elements of these offenses and the Court agreed. However, the Court denied my motion for judgment of acquittal on the violation of protective order. Now, it was time to put on the defendant’s case.
My client chose to testify and the case turned into a he-said/she-said case. Unfortunately, the Court determined that the victim credible and found my client guilty at the conclusion of the trial. The prosecutor did an excellent job and the Court gave my client a fair hearing.
At sentencing, my client received no jail time and one year of supervised probation. I believe this was an appropriate sentence considering the facts of the case and my client’s criminal record.
Schedule a Free Protective Order Violation Consultation
Maryland Criminal Defense Attorney Ross W. Albers is a former Baltimore City prosecutor. Contact the Law Office of Ross W. Albers to schedule a free consultation if you have been charged with violating a protective order in Maryland.