In the context of family law, a protective order (also known as a restraining order in other states) is issued by a court, prohibiting the person named in the order from committing further acts of family violence. A Texas protective order can be effective for up to two years and can be enforced by law enforcement.
If you are a victim of domestic violence or if your children are being abused by their other parent, you can ask the court to issue a protective order against the abusive party. A protective order can have many functions, including ordering an abuser to:
- Move out of the marital residence,
- Stay away from you, your home, school, and work,
- Stop abusing you or making threats against you,
- Not contact you, or communicate with you in any way,
- Not harass you, or threaten to harass someone you know,
- Not possess or control any firearms,
- Not go near the children’s daycare, school, or babysitter,
- Not harm the family pets, and
- Not take your children away from you.
If you decide to seek a Protective Order, the abuser will be served and you will need to go to court, but you will not be alone. If pursued through the District Attorney’s office, a prosecutor will be there. If pursued privately or through the DA’s office an attorney from a private law firm can be there to guide you through the process. If the abuser agrees to stop the abuse and leave you alone, an “Agreed Protective Order” may be issued by the court.
If the abuser does not show in court, by default you may automatically receive a Protective Order. However, if he or she denies the accusations of family violence, there will be a hearing and a judge will decide whether or not to issue a Protective Order on your behalf.
Once a Protective Order is issued, if the abuser violates any of the conditions set forth in the order, he or she can be arrested and face criminal charges under Texas law.
To learn more about family violence protective orders in Katy and the Greater Houston Area, contact Hunt Law Firm, PLLC.