Texas Protective and Restraining Orders

Sometimes during family law proceedings (divorces, child custody disputes, etc.) a couple may experience the threat of domestic violence. If that is the situation for you, a court can issue a Protective or Restraining Order to prevent future possibly attempts of family violence. In Texas, there are two types of emergency orders available to protect victims of family violence: 1) Restraining Orders and Protective Orders. Each has different strengths and weaknesses.

Restraining Orders

Restraining Orders are the quickest and easiest to obtain in Texas. No proof of domestic or family violence is required in order to obtain a Restraining Order. Moreover, the victim is rarely required to even put forth testimony or evidence of any alleged abuse. Courts almost always want to be cautious, so they will quickly provide Restraining Orders to be safe. Restraining Orders are not particularly strong if the other party is in violation. When Restraining Order violations occur, the repercussions usually are not very severe (in comparison to a Protective Order).

Protective Orders

The issuance of a Protective Order is governed by Section 17.292 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure. As stated in the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure: "Family Violence is a serious danger and threat to society and its members. Victims of Family Violence are entitled to the maximum protection from harm or abuse or the threat of harm or abuse as is permitted by law." If your spouse has subjected you or your children to Family Violence and you want to ensure the violence does not continue, an experienced Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney can assist you with securing a Protective Order.

Obtaining a Protective Order has a higher requirement than that of obtaining a Restraining Order. Courts will almost always require a significantly higher level of proof of Family Violence (or a real and apparent threat of Family Violence). As well, the complaining victim may be required to testify on the record in court. If the Protective Order is granted and the individual then violates it, there are significant legal (and criminal) repercussions — which possibly can include jail. Furthermore, with few exceptions, people who have Protective Orders against them are not allowed to be in possession of firearms.

The following actions are criminally enforceable by law, meaning a violation can result in an arrest and a criminal proceeding. Protective Orders are designed to prevent:

• Future acts of family violence;

• Threats Harassment;

• Obscene and inappropriate phone calls;

• Visiting a protected child at his or her school or daycare.

How Do I Get a Protective Order?

To obtain a Protective Order you must file an application in the county where the offender resides. These orders are available in all Texas counties. To avoid running into problems with obtaining a Protective Order in Texas, contact a knowledgeable Dallas-Fort Worth Attorney today for assistance to help get started.

Protective Order Violations

Based on the above, it is extremely easy for an individual to find they are in a position where they are the subject of a Protective Order. If you’ve had a Protective or Restraining Order issued against you by a spouse/significant other, then you likely will be subjected to a number of restrictions regarding your level of contact with them. In some cases, a judge may issue a temporary Restraining Order without your appearance in court to defend yourself against the accusations. If this happens, it is incredibly easy to be in violation of the terms of the Restraining Order (and you might not even know it).

If you are arrested for violating a Restraining or Protective Order you can be place in jail and even held without bail, if the judge feels you may pose a continuous or significant threat if released. Protective Order violations are authorized pursuant to Section 25.07 of the Texas Penal Code. Charges of violating a Protective Order are classified as Class A misdemeanor criminal offenses. However, if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has previously been convicted of two or more times of violating a Protective Order, or has violated the Protective Order by committing an assault or the offense of stalking, the offense is classified as a 3rd-degree Felony.

If you are in need of a Protective or Restraining Order, or have been arrested for or are accused of violating a Protective Order, or are named in a Protective Order and you are seeking to reverse or modify the Order, it is imperative that you obtain experienced and competed legal counsel as quickly as possible. Please call The Law Offices of Carl David Ceder, PLLC, at 214.702.CARL (2275) for a free consultation.