The authorities in Maryland take domestic violence very seriously, which is why victims can seek protective orders 24 hours a day. If a protective order is issued against you, it could require you to leave your home and give up custody of your children. These are extreme measures that are designed to protect victims and take no chances, but the law will give you an opportunity to tell your side of the story.
Protective order hearings
If you are served with a protective order in Maryland, the documents will inform you when and where your hearing will take place. You do not have to show up at the hearing, but failing to appear will almost certainly lead to the protective order being granted. You will be able to present evidence, make arguments and call witnesses during the hearing, but the judge will likely err on the side of caution.
False accusations are perjury
Protective orders rarely come as a complete surprise. When people obtain them by making false claims, they usually make threats before they take action. Allegations of abuse must be sworn under oath before a protective order is issued, which means making false statements is considered perjury. The consequences of committing perjury can be severe, and that may give you an opportunity to stop the process before it starts. If your spouse or a former romantic partner threatens to seek a protective order against you to obtain a strategic advantage in a divorce or child custody dispute, you may be able to convince them to think again by explaining the penalties for committing perjury.
Not the end of the road
Protective orders are often issued because something might happen, so you should not look at receiving one as the end of the road. The law favors the accuser in these situations, but you will have a chance to make your case and clear your name.