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Maryland Protective Orders Laws

Most of us don't mind a little extra attention now and then. But what about when you're getting unwanted attention from an ex or a stranger that starts to feel scary or dangerous? You may have heard of restraining orders but have been unsure of how they work. So here is a brief summary of protective orders laws in Maryland.

Protective Orders Laws

A protective order is a court-certified document that prohibits the person named in the order from getting within a certain distance of the person seeking the order. If the named person violates the order he or she can be arrested and charged with a crime. Sometimes referred to as "restraining orders," protective orders are most often used in cases of domestic abuse, but can also be used to try to keep stalkers away.

You can also visit FindLaw’s Orders of Protection and Restraining Orders section for more articles and resources on this topic.

Code Section

Family Law §4-501, et seq.

Activity Addressed by Order

Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, work, or school; regarding minors: temporary custody, counseling, visitations, maintenance

Duration of Order

Temporary: 7 days, may be extended, maximum 30 days. General: maximum 12 mos.

Penalty for a Violation of Order

Contempt, criminal prosecution, imprisonment, or fine. If violate certain clauses: misdemeanor; first offense: up to $1,000 fine or 90 days jail or both; 2nd or subsequent: up to $2,500 fine or 1 yr. in prison or both

Who May Apply for Order

A household member or minor or vulnerable adult; state's attorney, department of social services, law enforcement officer, blood, marriage or adoptive relative, or adult household member

Can Fees Be Waived?

May be waived

Order Transmission to Law Enforcement

Copy to appropriate law enforcement agency

Civil Liability for Violation of Order


Maryland takes domestic violence very seriously, and survivors of domestic abuse and those who feel threatened can use protection orders to shield themselves from further harassment and abuse. Maryland also has emergency protection orders, which can be put in place quickly so the threatened person has more time to request a more permanent order. Additionally, federal protection order law requires states to honor and enforce valid orders issued by other states.

Maryland Protective Orders Laws: Related Resources

If you or someone you loved needs assistance with a protective order in Maryland, you can continue your research by clicking on the links below.

Learn More About Maryland Protective Order Laws from an Attorney

Violating a protective order can have various negative impacts on your life. If you have a protective order against you, you'll want to know more about Maryland protective order laws. The best way to learn more about these laws and how they affect your situation is to get in touch with an experienced criminal defense attorney in Maryland.

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