Domestic Violence FAQ's

When faced with issues of domestic violence, people often feel as if they have nowhere to turn. Whether you have been accused of domestic violence or think you may be a victim of domestic violence, at the Law Office of Shelly M. Ingram, we want to help you feel protected and preserve your family relationships. Below, we offer answers to some of the questions we are most often asked regarding Maryland domestic violence law.

What is domestic violence?

Domestic violence is any pattern of abusive behavior that is used to gain control over an intimate partner or family member. Domestic violence can be physical, sexual, emotional, or economic abuse suffered at the hands of a spouse, a former spouse, or person with whom you have had a sexual relationship, if that person has lived with you for at least 90 days out of the last year.

What is abuse?

Just like people may not realize they are victims of domestic violence, people often don't recognize abuse. Abuse is any physical act that causes bodily harm, assault in any degree, rape or sexual offenses, false imprisonment, and stalking, but abuse is also any act or threat of action that causes a person to fear that they are in imminent danger of bodily harm. You do not have to be physically abused to be a victim of domestic violence. Domestic violence does not discriminate. You do not need to live in fear. When the Courts are closed or you are unable to speak with a lawyer, you can still file for a protective order or a peace order with the District Court Commissioner. A District Court Commissioner is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.


What is a protective order?

A protective order is a civil order that protects a person from abuse and domestic violence. Your eligibility to ask the court to issue a protective order is determined by your relationship to the alleged abuser. Protective orders typically apply to people in intimate relationships, people who are related, and people that have a child in common. 


What is a peace order?

Like a protective order, a peace order is a civil order that protects a person from abuse and domestic violence. Your eligibility to ask the court to issue a protective order is determined by your relationship to the alleged abuser. Peace orders typically apply to people who have casual, non-family relationship, for example: co-workers, neighbors, dating, and strangers.

The answers to these questions are general in nature and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or to replace specific legal advice. If you would like to speak with an attorney about your domestic violence case, we invite you to contact our office (301) 658-7354 to schedule a confidential office consultation where we can discuss the particulars of your unique situation.

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Shelly has devoted her legal career to family matters both in and out of the courtroom. As a child of divorce and a person who has been divorced herself, Shelly understands the uncertainty and frustrations of custody and divorce... Read More