Protective Orders Lawyers in Annapolis

Fighting to protect you and your future.


Case Results and Reviews

Patrick fought fiercely in trial and did very well. Now I have both joint physical and joint legal custody of my 16-month-old son, and my future with him is no longer limited.

Henry S.

I retained Mr. Crawford for a child support modification, and I could not be more satisfied. He was very knowledgeable and speedy in resolving my issue while guiding me with care and compassion. His fees for his excellent work are very reasonable. Top-notch family lawyer.

Matt W.

I am extremely satisfied with Patrick and his abilities to get me the best results in my case. He kept me informed about it and was relentless in pursuing a victory for me. He even answered some questions after my case was settled. I highly recommend him to my friends and everyone in need.

Ashley J.

Annapolis Protective Order Attorney

A protective order is an order from the court that is entered to protect people in a family situation from domestic violence. For purposes of a protective order, a “family member” includes a person with whom someone has a child, even if they are not married. A case for a protective order is a separate case from any related case for divorce or child custody. It is common for parties who are in the process of separating during a divorce or child custody case to experience a conflict that is severe enough that one party seeks a protective order.

Protective Orders Lawyers in Annapolis

Do not try to represent yourself.

Someone who attempts to represent himself or herself without an attorney is taking a huge risk. A protective order is usually sought in the context of a larger divorce or custody dispute, and it will likely have a huge impact on such a dispute. A person who is unrepresented in a protective order case will likely make a less persuasive case and receive a less favorable outcome than otherwise, and that outcome may damage their chances of success in the divorce or custody case.

Having an experienced attorney is extremely important. Only an attorney has the necessary understanding of the law and the court process. An attorney will guide you through the process, advocate for you, and make a forceful case for you at trial if necessary. When the process ends, you likely will have peace of mind and a much better outcome.

Hire a skilled and aggressive attorney.

Patrick is not like other protective order attorneys. Patrick has a boutique legal practice in which he provides high-quality service to a small number of clients. His practice is small, and that is how he likes it. He is the only attorney in his office. Having a small practice allows Patrick to provide a highly personalized service in which he gets to know each client and delivers representation that is tailored to achieve that client’s unique goals. He has spent the last 14 years handling family law cases, including numerous protective order cases. He has represented his clients in all stages of their cases, including settlement, trial, and appeal. He is aggressive while also being careful to avoid wasteful efforts and strategies that usually serve only to increase the client’s legal fees. Patrick directs his efforts in a focused and intelligent way on things that are most important to the client and that are calculated to bring results. He invites his clients to participate meaningfully in setting the case direction, he is friendly, and he is responsive.

On what grounds will the court grant a protective order?

In general, the court will grant a protective order if one party shows that a member of his or her family has physically assaulted that person or their children, or threatened to do so in a credible way.

What will the protective order say?

The protective order may say different things. It may order that the offending person stay away from the other family member, their home, and their place of work. It may order that such person also stay away from their children or the children’s school. Alternatively, it may not order those things and may simply order that no further assaults or threatening behavior occur. All protective orders require that the person who is the subject of the order relinquish any firearms to the police for the duration of the protective order. In addition, a protective order may grant the following:

  • Temporary child custody or visitation
  • Family maintenance

Temporary Custody

As part of a protective order, the court may grant temporary child custody and visitation. Custody or visitation that is granted as part of a protective order is merely temporary. It lasts only as long as the protective order lasts, which is no longer than 18 months. Furthermore, it will be superseded by any order for child custody that the court enters in a separate child custody case. For these reasons, the parties to a protective order case should not rely upon a protective order to provide long-term custody or visitation. If the parties are serious about receiving custody or visitation, they should immediately make a separate request for such things in the appropriate court.

Family Maintenance

As part of a protective order, the court may order that one party pay family maintenance to the other. Family maintenance is similar to alimony or child support in the sense that consists of payments of money from one party to another for the support of the family members. No formula exists that may guide the court in the course of setting the amount. The court determines such amount based on what the parties need to maintain the status quo. Family maintenance lasts only as long as the protective order lasts, which is no longer than 18 months. Family maintenance is not intended as a long-term replacement for alimony or child support. If a party needs alimony or child support, they should immediately make a separate request for such things in the appropriate court.

How long does a protective order last?

A protective order usually lasts for either 6 months or one year. At the end of such time, upon the request of one of the parties, the court may extend the protective order for 6 more months.

Violation of a Protective Order

Violation of a protective order is a serious crime that is punishable by jail. A violation can be as simple as driving past someone’s home when a protective order prohibits them from going near the home. If you have a protective order against you, it is extremely important that you carefully obey every term in such order. Failure to do so could result in your incarceration and subsequent prosecution.

What is a peace order?

A peace order is similar to a protective order. The main difference is that a peace order involves individuals who are not part of a family situation. As an example, if unrelated neighbors wanted protection from one another, they would need to request a peace order.

How do I request a protective order?

In order to apply for a protective order, a person may go to any courthouse during regular business hours and file a request for a protective order. Or the person may contact the District Court Commissioner, which is available 24/7.

Any protective order obtained immediately upon application will be an “interim” or “temporary” protective order only, which lasts up to only one week. At the end of such week, a final protective order hearing will occur at which a judge will hear from both parties and will decide to either grant or deny the request for a final protective order. If it grants the request, then the protective order will last for up to one year.

Protective orders can be complicated.

The protective order process can be complicated. Effectively navigating through a protective order case requires an intimate knowledge of court rules and procedure and the ability to make a persuasive case to the court. It also requires the ability to foresee the possible effect of a protective order on a future divorce or custody case. Protective Orders Lawyers in Annapolis is usually necessary.

Contact Patrick Crawford today.

Regardless of how complex your protective order case is, Patrick is ready and eager to provide you with aggressive and personalized representation. The experienced Protective Orders Lawyers in Annapolis will discuss your case with you and work tirelessly to secure a favorable outcome. Contact Patrick Crawford today.

Protective Order Attorney in Annapolis

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This page has been written, edited, and reviewed by a team of legal writers following our comprehensive editorial guidelines. This page was approved by attorney Patrick Crawford, who has more than 16 years of legal experience practicing family law.

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