Ever since Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown's cousin was murdered by an estranged partner in 2008, he has served as a champion for those suffering under domestic abuse. Brown has been a force for change in the state of Maryland, working to improve domestic violence legislation and extend additional protections to victims of such attacks. The result: The current administration has implemented a variety of reforms and programs that have actually reduced the number of domestic violence incidents in the state. If you are in a domestic violence situation, these laws may be able to help you reach safety and protect your legal rights.
Two bills were approved in March to help provide additional security for domestic violence sufferers. In the past, these individuals had to provide "clear and convincing evidence" -- a heavy evidence burden -- in order to obtain a protective order. Now, a lower standard known as "preponderance of the evidence" is in place. That means that a victim can now obtain a protective order without having to endure the rigors of aggressive courtroom proceedings.