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Domestic Violence & Protective Orders in Texas

If you or a loved one has recently been arrested for domestic violence in Texas, not only does a conviction result in serious criminal penalties like jail or prison time, but even an arrest leads to being subject to a protective order, also known as a restraining order in many states. A protective order requires a specific person to avoid communicating or seeing an alleged victim and his/her loved ones, surrender any firearms and dangerous weapons, and follow any custody/visitation terms ordered by a judge.

The following are the three types of protective orders available to domestic violence victims in Texas:

  • Magistrate’s order for emergency protection – Commonly referred to as an “emergency protective order,” this type of protective order is issued in criminal court as soon as the alleged offender is arrested for committing domestic violence, stalking, or even sexual abuse or assault. The alleged victim does not need to be present in court and a magistrate can issue an order or an officer or prosecutor. Yet, if the domestic violence offense involved in a serious injury or use of a deadly weapon, then the magistrate must issue the order. An emergency protective order is generally valid between 31 and 61 days, but if the crime involved a serious injury or use of a deadly weapon, then it lasts between 61 and 91 days.

  • Temporary ex parte order – This type of order offers immediate protection for alleged victims and family members of domestic violence. A victim can obtain a temporary ex parte order without the alleged offender present in court. If a judge believes the offender presents a “clear and present danger of domestic violence” to the victim and their loved ones, then he/she will issue the order. This order lasts up to 20 days, unless otherwise extended by a judge.

  • Permanent (final) protective order – This type of order is issued after both sides present their cases in a court hearing heard by a judge. A permanent protective order typically lasts up to two years; however, a judge may issue a longer order if the alleged offender committed a felony, caused serious injury, or was subject to two or more previous protective orders. An offender can file a motion to have the order discontinued after the order has been in effect for one year.

Violating a protective order in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a jail sentence of up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000. However, if you were previously convicted for violating a protective order at least twice in the past, then the subsequent offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years.

Arrested for domestic violence in Tarrant County? Contact Alband, Lane & Balderama today at (817) 997-4366​ for a free consultation.

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