Were you recently arrested for family violence at your home? Or, did your
partner or spouse go to court and take out a
protective order against you? In either case, it’s important that you learn about
Texas protective orders and how they can control what you say and do.
To learn more about protective orders in Texas, please read our list of
frequently asked questions. If you need further information, or if you’re
facing criminal charges for
family violence, we urge you to contact our office for help!
What is a protective order?
It’s a civil court order issued by the court, barring the person
named in the order from committing further acts of sexual assault, harassment,
human trafficking, stalking, or family violence.
What is family violence?
Some states call it domestic violence, however, here in Texas we call
it “family violence,” which refers to when a family or household
member threatens or physically harms another family or household member.
Who counts as family?
Family includes parents and children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster
parents and foster children, spouses, other blood relatives, adoptive
parents and adoptive children, and current and former household members.
What can a protective order do?
Protective orders generally prohibit offenders from:
- Stalking a victim
- Engaging in human trafficking
- Committing family violence
- Threatening a victim, directly or indirectly
- Harassing a victim
- Going near the daycare or school where his or her child attends (assuming
the child is protected in the order)
What else can a protective order do?
can do other things, such as order the offender to pay spousal and child support,
order the offender to stay away from the family’s home, order the
offender to relinquish all firearms, and receive mandatory counseling.
An order may also prohibit the offender from transferring or selling any property.
Do I meet the requirements for a protective order?
If the court finds that someone did commit family violence or sexual assault,
or if they are guilty of stalking, such individual would qualify for a
protective order against them. Protective orders are unique to every situation
and are granted on a case-by-case basis.
How do victims get protective orders?
They apply for them through the district or county attorney, through a
legal aid service, or a private lawyer. Victims must file their applications
in the county where their abuser lives. Texas does not impose a residency
requirement for applying, and protective orders can be obtained in every county.
Do offenders have a right to a hearing?
Unless the applicant requested a later date, the court sets hearings within
14 days of the date the application is filed. However, if the court feels
the family is in serious danger, the court can issue a temporary ex parte
order, which is valid for 20 days.
How long do final protective orders last?
Final protective orders are generally good for two years, unless the court
specifies a different length of time.
What if a protective order is violated?
Local law enforcement agencies receive notice of all protective orders
in their jurisdiction, and they keep a list of these orders. If an offender
violates an order and the victim notifies law enforcement, the offender
will be arrested and charges will likely follow.
Depending on the facts of the case, a violation is punishable by a $500
to $4,000 fine, and between 6 to 12 months in jail.
Looking for a Plano
criminal defense attorney?
Call The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today!