Domestic Violence & Protective Orders in Texas

If a Texas resident is arrested for domestic violence, not only will he/she face harsh criminal penalties, but the person can also be subject to a protective order, which is commonly known as a restraining order. A protective order prevents an alleged offender from contacting, visiting, or being within a certain distance from an alleged victim and his/her loved ones, as well as pay child/spousal support and surrender any firearms. 

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

  • Emergency protective order – Known as a “magistrate’s order for emergency,” this type of order is issued by the criminal court after the alleged offender is arrested for domestic violence, sexual abuse or assault, stalking, or trafficking. The magistrate can issue the order based on his/her own decision or upon the request of a police officer, prosecutor, or guardian. The alleged victim does not need to be present in court. An emergency order is valid between 31 and 61 days. 

  • Temporary ex parte order – This type of order is issued by a judge if he/she has reason to believe an alleged abuser presents an imminent danger of domestic violence to someone else or a family member. The alleged abuser does not have to be present in court. A temporary order lasts up to 20 days or until the next court hearing. 

  • Permanent (final) order – This type of order is issued by a judge after both sides present their case (in person) in court. If granted, a permanent order lasts up to two years. After one year has passed since the order became effective, the alleged offender can file a motion to ask the order to be discontinued. 

Violating a protective order in Texas is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a maximum jail sentence of one year and a fine not exceeding $4,000. If an alleged offender has two or more previous convictions of violating a protective order, then the subsequent offense is a third-degree felony, punishable by imprisonment for up to 10 years and a maximum fine of $10,000. 

Facing domestic violence charges in College Station or Bryan, TX? Contact The Law Office of Shane Phelps, P.C. today at (979) 773-7028 for a free consultation. 

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