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Law enforcement officers are a critical link in the survival of a victim of domestic violence. All law enforcement entities in Maryland also provide extensive training and guidelines on domestic violence.
When the police come:
If the officers fail to take a report, write down the officers' names and badge numbers and make sure that they know that you want them to file a report. Go to the police station and ask to file an incident report on your own. You should note in your incident report the names and badge numbers of the police officers who failed to write an incident report for you on the scene.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, the police are required by Maryland law to:
The officer may also:
The Lethality Assessment Program helps law enforcement personnel assist victims of domestic violence who are at risk of being killed.
These factors can be helpful predictors of future violence:
Regardless of which court (in any state) issued a protective order, the police must enforce the terms of the order. This is true even if the order is different from what a Maryland judge in your county might have ordered. In a final protective order, a judge may order a law enforcement officer to use all reasonable and necessary force to enforce a temporary custody awarded in the order. Judges are required to order respondents to surrender any firearms in his/her possession and to not acquire any new firearms for the duration of the order.
Read the Law: 18 U.S.C. §2265
If your abuser violates your Protective Order by coming to your home, school or work, contacting you or abusing you, you should call the police right away.
If the police officers have probable cause to believe that your abuser violated your Order, they can arrest the abuser on the spot without a warrant.
In Maryland, an officer may remove a firearm from the scene of an alleged act of domestic violence if the officer has probable cause to believe that the act has occurred and observes the firearm at the scene. The officer is required to store the firearm until the conclusion of a court proceeding on the domestic violence issue. The court may then order the abuser to surrender the firearm for the duration of the protective order. If the police remove the weapon from the scene but a court proceeding is not begun, the police can return the weapon. Also, the judge must include in the protective order a requirement that the weapon be surrendered, or the other side will be allowed to retake possession of the weapon. Read the Law: Md. Fam. L. Code Ann. §4-511; Md. Fam. L. Code Ann. §4-506(d)(12)
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