Protective orders are court orders intended to protect victims from family or domestic violence, stalking, sexual assault, and human trafficking. At our firm, most of our clients have protective orders against them due to family violence, stalking and sexual assault.
Generally, family violence, also called “domestic violence,” refers to physical abuse or threats of serious abuse between family and household members, but it can also include former spouses and foster parents and foster children.
A protective order can order someone to:
- Stop abusing those named in the protective order.
- Move out of the family residence.
- Not transfer or dispose of any marital property.
- Stay away from the victims protected in the order.
- Pay child support.
- Pay spousal support.
- Pay certain household bills, even if they’ve been ordered to vacate their residence.
- Stay away from places the victims frequent, such as their home, work, and school.
Penalties for Violating a Texas Protective Order
If the court finds that a victim is in clear and present danger of domestic violence, the court can grant what’s called a temporary ex parte order, which is good for up to 20 days. Final protective orders are valid for two years, unless the court specifies a different length of time. If a protective order is violated, victims are advised to call the police immediately.
When someone violates a protective order, including an ex parte order, they can be found in contempt of court, fined up to $500, and jailed for up to six months.
If an offender violates a protective order, excluding an ex parte order, they face up to a $4,000 fine or up to one year in jail, or both a fine and imprisonment.
Accused of violating a protective order in Plano, Dallas or Fort Worth? Contact our firm immediately to set up a confidential consultation.