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Your Guide to Restraining and Protective Orders in Texas

In Texas, restraining orders and protective orders are used in domestic abuse cases to protect individuals from experiencing harm. In this post, we’ll cover how they work and what happens if a violation occurs.

How Restraining Orders Work

Restraining orders are typically filed along with petitions for divorce or child custody cases. A restraining order prohibits certain behaviors from the antagonistic party to protect the other party from injury or property damage.

If a restraining order is violated, it is not enforceable by the court because it is applied to a civil case rather than a criminal case. Violations do not automatically transfer to criminal behavior, as they do with protective orders.

How Protective Orders Work

Protective orders can be filed within intimate relationships. This includes spouses, parents of the same child, dating partners, family members, foster parents and foster children, and members of the same household. When a protective order is filed, it prohibits the alleged offender from contacting the person who filed the order for a certain length of time.

The prosecuting attorney and the department of protective services also have the right to file a protective order against you based on your circumstances.

Different Types of Protective Orders

There are two different types of protective orders based on length.

A temporary protective order lasts for up to 20 days and may be extended. A general protective order can last up to two years.

The judge will issue the order according to the alleged victim’s needs. These specific stipulations will be added according to the unique situation.

Enjoin contact—No contact with the alleged victim

Exclude from private places—No contact in alleged victim’s home, school, or place of employment

Order involving minors—Stipulations to prevent child abuse, award temporary custody, or pay child support

Counseling—Ordered for anger management or substance abuse

Firearm License Suspension—Temporary loss of permit, firearms, and ammunition

Violations of Protective Orders

If you violate the terms of a protective order, you could be held in contempt of court and face different penalties depending on the violation.

For violating a temporary protective order, you could face up to six months in jail and a fine of up to $500 for a first offense.

For violating a general protective order, you could face up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000 for a first violation. If any violence occurs during the violation, you could face felony charges along with up to two years in jail.

Seeking Legal Help for Protective Orders

You may have questions about the regulations attached to your protective order, or you may have been accused of violating the terms of the protective order. Whatever the situation, an experienced Texas criminal defense attorney can help you.

Seeking Legal Help for Protective Orders in Texas

Since a violation can mean jail time and fees, it’s wise to consult with a lawyer who has a track record of success in these types of cases and can help you build a defense to your charges. Sometimes an estranged spouse or former dating partner may contact you under false pretenses to set you up for a violation.

Contact us today for a free case review. We’ll look at the facts of your case and help you find the best possible outcome with a solid defense.


About the Author:

The strength of Brian S. Eppes as a lawyer is in his unique and varied background. Like many other private attorneys, at one point he worked as a prosecutor. However, he also served in George W. Bush’s White House, has helped Texas legislators to write laws, and spent time at a tax and estate planning firm. These experiences have enabled him to look at cases in a different way than his peers and find creative solutions that benefit his clients.


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