Protective Orders Versus Restraining Orders

Temporary & Permanent Protective Orders Attorney in Texas

Restraining orders are often confused with protective orders, but the two are not the same and each serves a different purpose. A protective order is designed to protect one person from the violence of another. The terms of a protective order are enforced by law enforcement officers and those who violated the terms of the protective order will be arrested and may be criminally prosecuted. Restraining orders are different and are not enforced by law enforcement officers. If you think you need a restraining order lawyer, we recommend contacting one as soon as possible to protect your safety.

What Is A Restraining Order?

Restraining orders are common and may be part of any divorce proceeding. They are designed to control and supervise the conduct of the parties during the divorce process. The orders are often issued when the original petition for dissolution of the marriage is filed and may be made upon request of the party or by the court on its own motion. The orders go into effect even if the other party has no notice.

Some common restraining orders provided for in Texas Family Code § 6.501 include prohibiting either party from:
• Depleting the bank account.
• Closing the bank account and canceling charge cards.
• Incurring new debt.
• Selling property.
• Damaging any property or taking any action that will reduce its value.
• Hiding assets, including intellectual property that may be a marital asset.
• Failing to pay insurance premiums and prohibiting the change of beneficiary.
• Talking badly about each other in front of the children.
• Making any false record of any property of either party.
• Making harassing or obscene phone calls to the other.
• Threatening harm either on the phone or in writing.

Essentially any type of behavior can be prohibited by a restraining order during the pendency of the divorce proceedings. If a reasonable reason is presented to the court for why a restraining order is necessary, it is likely the court will agree and issue the order.

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 a specific relationship including one of the following:

• 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.

If you need to apply for a protective order, call us to schedule an appointment with our family law attorney in the Dallas or Frisco area today.

A protective order 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 Can I Get 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.

Can I Get A Temporary Emergency Protective Order?

In urgent circumstances, an emergency protective order 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.

What Type of Protection Can My Petition for a Protective Order is Granted?

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 are Protective Orders and Restraining Orders Enforced?

Unlike protective orders that are enforced by law enforcement, law enforcement officers have no authority over a person who violates the terms of a restraining order. It is not a criminal matter, but a civil one. If one party violates a restraining order, the remedy is for the other party to file a motion with the court that issued the order requesting the court to enforce its order and/or to hold the violating party in contempt.

If the court finds the violating party in contempt, it may send the party to jail. The court may also impose a fine or order both jail time and a fine. Community service may be ordered instead of jail time or a fine. The court does have the authority to order a first-time offender to shape up and comply with the order without imposing any harsher penalty. It all depends on the circumstances and the nature of the violation.

On the other hand, violating an order of protection is a serious crime. If an aggressor violates any terms of the order, or you suspect they have, contact the police right away for your own safety and to make sure the order is enforced.

As soon as a victim of violence becomes aware that a protective order has been violated, they need to immediately notify emergency personnel.

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.

Who Can File for an Emergency Order of Protection?

• 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 in hopes of reaching your desired outcome. Contact Jeff Anderson today to schedule a confidential consultation at (972) 248-8383 or fill out a contact form online.

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