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Texas Protective Orders
In Texas, as in other states, protective orders are intended to protect individuals from abusive partners or others who may try to cause harm. Texas protective orders laws allow for both temporary (20 days maximum) and general (up to two years) protective orders, also referred to as “restraining orders.” Violating a protective order can result in a jail sentence and/or fine.
Refer to the table below to learn about Texas protective order laws, or find out more in-depth information on the subject in the discussion below.
Protective orders can also impact your rights related to conservatorship and access to your children; access to your home; and your right to own or possess a firearm.
The following is a general outline of information regarding protective orders:
Activity Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, employment, school; regarding minors:
Addressed enjoin contact, temporary custody, support; counseling; reasonable court costs
By Order and attorney fees; suspension of firearm license
Duration of Temporary: maximum 20 days, may be extended; General: maximum 2 yrs.
Penalty for a Fine, maximum $4,000 and/or jail, maximum 1 year. If family violence occurs, can be
Violation of prosecuted for a misdemeanor or felony, carry jail minimum 2 years.
Order Temporary: maximum $500 fine or maximum 6 months jail, or both
Types of Protective Orders
Protective orders come in many different forms, as each court order is written to address each specific situation.
Exclude from Private Places
Sometimes, there are reasons that make prohibiting all contact unreasonable. Even between abusive and abused partners, they may need to make contact in order to exchange children as part of a custody order. In this case, the abusive partner may be required to keep away from the petitioner’s private places, like a home, school, or place of employment.
Orders Regarding Minors
Adults are not the only ones who can benefit from a protective order. A court may also issue a protective order to prevent an abusive parent from having contact with a child, to give temporary custody to another parent, or to pay child support.
Because each protective order situation is different, a court may want to order someone to seek counseling in addition to other requirements. For an abuser, the court may order that they seek anger management counseling in addition to enjoining contact with their victims. Drug and alcohol addiction counseling are common as well.
Suspension of Firearm License
Texas issues concealed carry permits and licenses to qualified individuals. If someone has one of these permits, and is accused or convicted of a crime against another person, the court may order the permit holder to surrender their firearm(s) and their carry permit.
Penalties for Violating a Protective Order
Violating a protective order can result in jail time and a fine. The fine cannot exceed $4,000, and the jail time cannot exceed one year for violating the order alone. If violation the order resulted in family violence, the defendant can be prosecuted with for a misdemeanor or felony with jail time of up to two years. This punishment is in addition to any other crimes committed.
If you would like to know more about protective orders, whether you are seeking a protective order, or have had a protective filed against you, contact our office for your free consultation.