What is a Pretrial Stay Away Order and No Contact Order in Maryland?

I have recently encountered a number of clients who have come to me for help with their cases where they have a pretrial “stay away order” or a “no contact order” in place. These orders are not the same as a protective order or peace order, though they accomplish the same sort of thing.

A pretrial stay away or no contact order means the Commissioner or Judge (whichever put in place the Defendant’s pretrial release conditions) has ordered that, as a condition of the Defendant’s release pending trial, the Defendant either stay away from a specific location or have no contact with a certain person. Typically the location to stay away from will be the incident location and the person to stay away from will be the complainant/alleged victim in the case. The Judge or Commissioner is ordering this as a condition of the Defendant’s release from jail pending the trial date in his or her case.

Keep in mind that this has no impact on the Defendant’s actual guilt or innocence, and should not be interpreted as a sign that the Defendant has a good or bad case. Judges will typically order this as a precaution to make sure nothing happens in the meantime while the Defendant is released and out on the street awaiting trial.

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