In Tarrant County and throughout Texas, victims of domestic violence, also called “family violence,” can seek out a Protective Order (also known as a restraining order in some states) to help prevent further acts of violence.
In Texas, there are three types of Protective Orders: 1) Temporary Ex Parte Protective Orders, 2) Final Protective Orders, and 3) Magistrate’s Orders for Emergency Protection. Who can get a Protective Order? Those who can get them include victims of family violence, victims of dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking.
Effects of a Protective Order in Texas
Suppose your spouse or partner has gone to court and secured a Protective Order against you. What does that mean and what are the effects of a Protective Order? A Protective Order can prohibit you, the responder, from:
- Committing further acts of domestic violence (e.g. spousal abuse or child abuse),
- Communicating with your family or household member in a harassing or threatening manner,
- Going near the protected person’s home or work,
- Going near your children and their daycare or school,
- Stalking the person protected in the order, and
- Possessing any type of firearm.
A Protective Order can order someone to move out of their own home. It can order them to pay certain bills and pay child and/or spousal support. Additionally, it can require that the abuser successfully complete a state-approved batterer intervention and prevention program. To learn more, see Title 4, Chapter 85 of the Texas Family Code.
“How long does a Protective Order last?” It depends on the type of Protective Order. A Temporary Ex Parte order for example, can last a maximum of 20 days, whereas a Final Protective Order can last up to two years.
It is against the law to violate the terms in a Protective Order. If a term is violated, the victim can call 911 and the abuser can be arrested, fined, and jailed. If you are accused of family violence in the Greater Tarrant County Area, contact Alband, Lane & Balderama to explore your legal defenses for free.