It’s horrific to realize that your safety is compromised because of someone who you have a dating relationship with as those people are whom you expect love, not violence. You may be relieved to know that Texas law provides you with options if you’ve experienced domestic violence. Various forms of legal relief are available, including an emergency court order to protect you and your family. The downside to statutes regarding protective orders is that someone can obtain one against you within a short time frame and limited opportunity to defend yourself, affecting your rights to due process and others.
Regardless of what side you occupy in a domestic violence matter, retaining experienced legal counsel is critical. Your safety is a high priority, so you’ll need assistance in the court process. If you’ve been falsely accused or based on a misunderstanding, you need help fighting the allegations. Our team at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC is prepared to advocate on your behalf so please contact a protective order lawyer in The Woodlands today to discuss your options. Some information about the laws may also be useful.
Overview of Texas Protective Order Laws: Texas treats domestic violence matters very seriously, so the relevant statutes allow a person to obtain an order which protects the victim from harm or threats of physical violence. The process begins when a person, the movant, files documentation requesting that the court enter a protective order against another individual, the respondent. The language of the order prohibits the respondent from certain actions or conduct, described below.
There are three different types of protective orders available in Texas, each of which applies to a different scenario:
- Temporary Ex Parte Order: In an emergency situation when there’s a clear, credible threat of violence to the individual or family members, he or she can get a temporary protective order. The term “ex parte” refers to the fact that the movant can request the order, and a court can grant it, without notice to the respondent. Because of the impact on the respondent’s right to be heard in court, the temporary order can only last 20 days.
- Magistrate’s Emergency Order: When a person has been arrested for a crime that amounts to domestic violence, this order will go into effect to protect the victim. A magistrate’s emergency order can be in effect for 31-61 days.
- Final Protective Order: Both types of orders above are temporary to protect the victim until a full hearing can be held. In the interest of due process, the respondent is entitled to have the opportunity to present his or her own facts, evidence, and defense. If the movant can show that domestic violence has occurred and is likely to continue, the court will enter a final protective order enjoining the respondent from engaging in prohibited conduct. This order can extend up to two years.
The attorneys at The Ramos Law Group, PLLC are committed to providing quality representation in cases involving all types of protective orders. The legal process for a victim of domestic violence can be complicated, especially when you’re stressed and living in fear of violence. As a respondent, you might be confused about not getting a chance to defend yourself in court. We can guide you through the proceedings and advise you at each step along the way.
Conduct That a Protective Order Covers: Every case is different, so there’s a wide range of acts that a person could be prohibited from in a protective order. A movant may request that the order of protection cover any more of the following:
- Prohibiting the respondent from contacting the movant;
- Excluding the respondent from the movant’s residence, place of employment, school, or other locations – which could mean the respondent has to relocate;
- Banning the respondent from interactions with children or giving sole custody to the movant;
- Requiring the respondent to seek counseling for substance abuse or anger issues;
- Prohibiting the respondent from possessing a firearm.
It’s a crime to violate the terms of a protective order in Texas, so a respondent could be sentenced to jail time up to one year and a maximum fine of $4,000. Note that if the violation of the protective order involves the commission of a separate offense, the respondent could face multiple charges.
Get Legal Help from a Protective Orders Attorney in The Woodlands
As you can see, Texas laws on restraining orders in domestic violence cases are complicated, so it’s important to have experienced counsel to assist. For more information on the legal process involved with obtaining a protective order, please contact The Ramos Law Group, PLLC. Our lawyers are ready to represent you in court in connection with the proceedings. We can assist in the event of an emergency, and we can advise you throughout the process.
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