What is a Protective Order?

What is a Protective Order?

In Texas, when someone commits family violence, otherwise known as spousal or child abuse, domestic violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking, the court can issue what’s called a “protective order.” What is a protective order exactly?

Some states have restraining orders, but in Texas we call them protective orders; these are civil court orders issued against someone in an effort to STOP the person from committing further acts of violence or stalking.

In Texas, family violence (some states call it domestic violence) is defined as: 1) a family or household member intending to cause physical harm to another family or household member, 2) a family or household member making a serious threat to cause physical harm to another member, or 3) child abuse.

What constitutes family?

According to Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, a family member includes relatives by blood or marriage, parents of the same child (even if they are not married), foster parents, former spouses, or any member of the same household or former member of the same household. In effect, current or former roommates would be included.

What can a protective order do?

It can prohibit an abuser or offender from:

  • Committing further acts of child abuse, spousal abuse, sexual assault, stalking, or other acts of family violence,
  • Harassing the victim (directly or indirectly),
  • Threatening the victim,
  • Going near the family residence,
  • Going near the victim’s place of employment, and
  • Going near a daycare or school attended by a child protected in the order.

Sometimes, a protective order can prohibit an offender from selling, disposing of, or transferring marital property. It can also order an offender to pay child and spousal support, vacate the family residence, receive mandatory counseling, relinquish firearms, and more.

Violating a Protective Order

Please keep in mind that local law enforcement agencies maintain a list of all protective orders that have been issued in their area. If an offender violates a protective order taken out against him or her and the police are notified, the police will work to arrest the offender and file criminal charges against them.

If a protective order has been taken out against you, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC for criminal defense representation!