Any type of assault or violent act is criminal in nature, but there are situations where an arrest and conviction do little to protect the innocent victims. The criminal process may run its course over several months, during which time your safety and that of your family are in jeopardy. Fortunately, you do have other options under Texas laws on domestic violence. If the individual is a relative or you share another type of personal relationship, it may be possible to get a protective order. You may even qualify to obtain an order on an emergency basis. When you are on the other side of the issue, however, these statutes can work to your detriment. An accuser can obtain an order without notice to you, putting you at a disadvantage.
Whether you are seeking a protective order or recently found out that one was entered against you, time is of the essence to consult with a skilled attorney. Our team at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC has extensive experience and in-depth knowledge of the laws that apply to your case, so we can deliver solid legal support. Please contact our office to schedule a consultation with a protective orders lawyer in Pearland, and read below for some of the basic concepts.
Protective Orders Under Texas Law: In addition to any criminal charges that may stem from domestic violence, state law provides victims with civil options to protect themselves and other family members who may be at risk for domestic violence. The remedy is obtaining a protective order, a legal process that begins by filing a petition in court. In it, the victim alleges facts regarding harm, threats, or other acts of domestic violence by the other person – the respondent. The petitioner will also request that the court enter an order prohibiting the respondent from engaging in certain conduct.
If the court grants the request and issues a protective order, the language may include:
- A ban on contacting or communicating with the petitioner;
- A requirement that the respondent stay a minimum distance from the petitioner and designated locations, such as the petitioner’s home, a shared business, place of employment, school, and other locations;
- An order for the respondent to relocate from any residence he or she shares with the petitioner;
- Disallowing the respondent from exercising parental rights with minor children or granting custody to the petitioner;
- A suspension on the respondent’s Second Amendment rights; and,
- Other directions, depending on the details of the case.
Types of Protective Orders in Texas: Though the prohibitions contained within an order of protection are often very similar, there are differences in the legal process for obtaining court relief. Based upon the circumstances, a petitioner may request:
- Temporary Ex Parte Order: When the threat of domestic violence is immediate, the petitioner may obtain a protective order on an emergency basis without notice to the respondent. An affidavit alleging the nature of the violence will be submitted to the judge for consideration. Because of the impact on the respondent’s constitutional rights, the temporary order can only be 20 days in duration.
- Magistrate’s Emergency Order: If one individual was arrested for criminal domestic violence, the charges automatically trigger a protective order to protect the victim. The order may remain in effect up to 61 days, depending on the criminal proceedings.
- Final Protective Order: The orders described above are temporary in nature, so there must be a full hearing if the petitioner/victim seeks long-term protection. During this proceeding, the respondent will have a chance to present evidence and testimony. A judge may issue a final protective order that lasts up to two years if the evidence shows that domestic violence is likely to continue.
Our Legal Services in Protective Order Cases: Because our attorneys at The Ramos Law Group represent both petitioners and respondents in these matters, we will need to assess your situation to determine the best strategy. Your safety is critical, so we can assist in preparing the petition and gathering evidence necessary for an emergency order. If you received documentation about a protective order, you do have rights as a respondent. We will aggressively defend your interests since false allegations or misunderstandings should not serve as the basis for a protective order.
Discuss Your Rights With A Protective Orders Attorney In Pearland, TX
Regardless of your position in a domestic violence case, it is critical to reaching out to an experienced lawyer right away. On the one hand, your safety may be at risk; on the other, there are adverse implications for your rights to due process. To learn how we can help, please contact The Ramos Law Group, PLLC to set up a consultation.
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