If you have ever been threatened by someone and fear they will commit violence against you, it can be difficult to know what to do. Victims of domestic violence in particular face a challenging set of choices because their abuser is frequently their romantic partner, making it difficult to get a divorce or otherwise leave the relationship.
Violence, including the threat of violence, is serious business under Texas law. Seeking something known as a “Protective Order” can give victims or potential victims of violence an option that keeps them safe by keeping their abuser away. If you have suffered violence or someone is threatening you, understanding Protective Orders is key to ensuring your future safety.
What is a Protective Order in Texas?
Protective Orders are court orders that are intended to separate someone violent from their victim. Protective Orders can apply to perpetrators of violence such as beating, hitting, slapping, and choking, as well as perpetrators of sexual assault. Even threats of violence can be sufficient to warrant a Protective Order in Texas. There are three kinds of Protective Orders available:
- Temporary ex parte - These are issued right away to provide victims of violence immediate protection without requiring the perpetrator to appear in court. They generally last up to 20 days, although they can be extended for an additional 20 days if necessary.
- Permanent - After the abuser and the victim appear in a hearing to present testimony and evidence, judges can issue a permanent Protective Order that generally lasts up to two years. However, in certain circumstances, such as felony acts of violence or violence involving serious bodily injury, judges may issue a permanent Protective Order that lasts even longer.
- Magistrate’s order for emergency protection - These are generally called “emergency protective orders,” and are ordered by a criminal court after a perpetrator has been arrested for an act of violence such as assault, stalking, or sex trafficking. Even if a victim does not request a Magistrate’s order for emergency protection, certain kinds of crimes require this type of Protective Order.
What Can a Protective Order Do?
Judges have wide leeway to customize a Protective Order that suits the circumstances of a particular case. Common features of Protective Orders include, but are not limited to:
- Requiring an abuser not to hurt or threaten a victim
- Requiring an abuser to stay away from a victim and his or her children
- Prohibiting an abuser from contacting, stalking, or harassing a victim, their relatives, and pets
- Removing an abuser’s weapons and prohibiting them from applying for a gun license
- Prohibiting an abuser from coming within a certain distance of the victim’s home, school, or workplace
Get Help From a Parker, TX Protective Order Lawyer
The scenarios in which someone needs a protective order can be frightening and confusing. If you are considering filing for a protective order against a spouse or intimate partner who is abusing you, speak with a Collin County protective order attorney with the Law Office of Brian Bagley. We will review your options and provide you with great legal counsel so you can make an informed decision. Call us today at (972) 843-7158 to schedule a free initial consultation.