A Protective Order is sometimes confused with a restraining order, but the two are not the same and each serves a different purpose. According to Texas law, a Protective Order is designed to protect people from harm either by family members or others with whom they have a close relationship. A court may issue either a temporary or permanent protective order depending on the evidence and circumstances of each individual situation.
Who Can Apply for A Protective Order
In order to get a protective order, the victim and the person from whom the victim wants protection must have one of the following relationships:
• Be currently or previously married to each other.
• Be related either by blood or marriage. This includes current and former in-laws.
• Have a child together whether or not they are married or have ever lived together.
• Either currently or in the past have lived in the same household.
The actual application can be filed by:
• Any adult member who meets the relationship requirement.
• An adult member on behalf of a child who is the victim.
• A prosecuting attorney.
• The Department of Human and Regulatory Services.
How to Obtain a Permanent Protective Order
A person seeking such an order files an application with the court requesting protection describing what happened and why the order is necessary. If the victim is in the process of divorce involving the alleged perpetrator, the application must be filed in the family law court that has jurisdiction over the divorce.
In urgent circumstances, the application can be made on an ex parte basis, which means without giving the alleged perpetrator notice. The court may issue a Temporary Protective Order which will be in effect for 20 days. A hearing will be set to take place within that time where both parties appear and present evidence to support their side of the case.
After the close of the hearing, if the judge finds there has been family violence or a threat of family violence, the law requires the court to issue a permanent protective order that may be in force for up to two years. The order may prohibit the offender from going near the victim, the victim’s home, workplace or school. It may prohibit all means of communication including telephoning, texting and emailing.
How the Order is Enforced
As soon as victims become aware the order has been violated, they need to immediately call the police. The officers will work to find the offender, arrest him or her and urge that charges be filed. If the violation occurs in the presence of law enforcement, the police are required by law to immediately arrest the offender. Depending on the circumstances and the nature of the order that was violated, the offender may be fined up to $4,000 and sent to jail for up to one year. Both a fine and jail time may be imposed.
Protective Orders Restrict the Abuser’s Right to Bear Arms in Texas.
In Texas, an alleged violent party facing a protective order may temporarily or permanently lose their right to bear arms. This could have serious implications for peace officers or people with similar careers that require a weapon. However, the reason that these restrictions are imposed is to protect victims from very violent and dangerous situations.
Magistrate’s Order of Protection
Magistrates have the authority to issue a Magistrate’s Order for Emergency Protection whenever a defendant makes a first court appearance if the defendant has been arrested for any offense involving family violence, stalking, sexual assault or human trafficking. Magistrate’s may issue the protective order whether or not the victim has asked for one. The following people may request the magistrate to issue such an order.
• The victim.
• The victim’s guardian.
• Any peace officer.
• The state’s attorney.
Contact a Lawyer for Protective Orders Today
Do you think you need a protective order lawyer? Whether you are seeking a protective order or one has been imposed upon you, Jeff Anderson will fight in your corner without judgment. Protective orders are serious business; you need someone representing you in court with the skills necessary to reach your desired outcome. Contact Jeff Anderson Family Law Attorney today to schedule a confidential consultation at (972) 248-8383 or fill out a contact form online.