Protective Order for Domestic Violence Overturned on Appeal

A protective order for domestic violence was entered by the District Court for Howard County against a 33 year old analyst after his estranged wife filed a petition requesting a restraining order based on alleged domestic violence and domestic assault. The husband appealed, knowing that he had done nothing wrong. Under Maryland law, an appeal is heard in the Circuit Court “de novo,” meaning a new trial as if the first one had never taken place. The client was represented by a different lawyer in the unsuccessful first trial, and knew he needed an experienced Howard County domestic violence lawyer for the appeal. That’s why he retained Jonathan Scott Smith, an aggressive former prosecutor with more than 30 years of courtroom experience with a track record of successful results.

Maryland family law permits a person to file a petition and obtain a protective order if there is clear and convincing evidence of “abuse.” Abuse means an act that causes serious bodily harm; an act that places a person in fear of imminent serious bodily harm; assault in any degree; rape or sexual offense; false imprisonment; and stalking. A court may grant a wide range of relief, including: an order to leave the home; an order not to abuse, contact, or harass; an order to stay away from the victim’s residence and work, and the children’s school and child care provider. In addition, the court may grant exclusive use and possession of the family home and vehicle, custody, child access, and emergency family maintenance.

In many cases, the protective order law is abused by people who want to end their marriage and manipulate the legal process to gain an unfair advantage in divorce and custody cases. In the current case, the wife acknowledged that she wanted out of the marriage. She filed for a protective order after leaving the family home, and admitted under cross examination that she not only wanted custody, but to have the child “all the time.”

The wife claimed a long history of alleged abuse and injuries. However, there wasn’t any corroborating evidence. Under extensive questioning by Mr. Smith, she admitted she had never been treated by a hospital or doctor; the police had never been called to the home; there weren’t any witnesses; and there weren’t any photographs of any injuries. In fact, the woman even admitted that she continued living with her husband and sleeping in the same bed after the last alleged incident of abuse. Her claims were also contradicted by testimony she had given earlier, and even by her own petition signed under oath.

The case was heard in the Circuit Court for Howard County. After hours of testimony and argument, the judge concluded that there wasn’t clear and convincing evidence of domestic violence and denied the protective order.

If you or a loved one are falsely accused of domestic violence or domestic assault, and someone is seeking a restraining order or protective order, call Jonathan Scott Smith now 410-740-0101 or contact his office online for immediate help.

Woman Cleared of Violation of Protective Order

Criminal Charges for Violation of Protective Order
A 31-year old Columbia woman was charged with Violation of Protective Order and Telephone Misuse after her estranged husband claimed she repeatedly called and texted him in violation of an existing protective order that had been sought by her husband. Every person accused of a crime, including criminal charges of violation of protective order, is presumed to be innocent and has the right to fight those charges.

What are the Penalties for Violation of Protective Order in Maryland?

If a person is convicted of violation of protective order in Maryland, they are subject to criminal penalties. The crime is a misdemeanor. For a first offense, the court may impose a fine up to $1,000.00 and imprisonment up to 90 days, or both. For a second or subsequent offense, the court may impose a fine up to $2,500.00 and imprisonment up to 1 year, or both. Judges treat violation of protective order charges very seriously.

Woman Cleared of Violation of Protective Order Charges

Jonathan Scott Smith of the Smith Criminal Defense Firm in Howard County, Maryland prepared a vigorous defense. On Mr. Smith’s recommendation, the accused woman refused all plea bargain offers. Mr. Smith obtained telephone records revealing that it was the husband who repeatedly initiated telephone contact with wife, and then engaged in back and forth communications. The husband’s conduct completely contradicted his claim that he was being harassed by his wife. The prosecution caved and dismissed all charges.

Howard County Criminal Defense Attorney

Mr. Smith is a top rated attorney and former prosecutor with more than 30 years of extensive trial experience. Attorney Smith has handled thousands of criminal cases in the local courts, including numerous violation of protective order charges. With a solid and longstanding reputation for personal service and thorough preparation, we get many of our new cases as referrals from existing or former clients, or from other attorneys. Mr. Smith fights hard for his clients. That’s why many satisfied clients think so highly of him.

Top Rated Columbia and Ellicott City Criminal Lawyer

Mr. Smith’s extensive trial experience — and track record of successful results in violation of protective order and other criminal cases— has earned him the recognition of his peers, with an AV® Preeminent™* Peer Review Rating in the Martindale-Hubbell peer review rating process, and a 10.0 Superb AVVO rating. These are the highest ratings possible for legal skill, ethical practice, lawyer’s years in practice, disciplinary history, professional achievements and industry recognition. Attorney Smith is considered to be one of the best criminal lawyers in Howard County.

Contact Our Office

To schedule an appointment with an experienced criminal defense lawyer, contact us online or call us at 410-740-0101. Put the skill and experience of a former prosecutor to fight for you. We accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.

Attorney Jonathan Scott Smith represents clients in violation of protective order, other criminal defense matters, DUI / DWI, MVA Hearings, traffic offensesdomestic violence and child abuse charges throughout Maryland, including the cities of Columbia, Clarksville, Sykesville, Fulton, Elkridge, Frederick, Mt. Airy, Ellicott City, Laurel, Westminster, and Baltimore. Lawyer Smith also provides experienced legal representation for clients in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Prince Georges (Prince George) County, Howard County and Montgomery County, MD.


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