Has someone recently taken a protective order, otherwise known as a “restraining
order” out against you for
family violence (domestic violence) in Denton County? If so, it’s important that
you understand the effects of a protective order and what can happen if
you violate it.
What is a
protective order? In Texas, it is a civil court order that prohibits someone from committing
further acts of family violence. However, a victim can also get a protective
order against someone who has sexually assaulted them, forced them into
human trafficking, or who has been stalking them.
Family violence (also known as
domestic violence) refers to spousal abuse, child abuse, and violence between other household
or family members. Family violence can refer to physical abuse between
household or family members or threats to commit serious bodily harm between
“Family” includes any of the following: spouses, parents and
children, stepparents and stepchildren, foster parents and foster children,
grandparents and grandchildren, any other blood relative or relative by
marriage, and members of the same household.
What Can a Protective Order Do to Me?
Suppose a protective order was taken out against you for family violence.
In that case, a protective order can:
- Force you to leave the family home,
- Order you to stay away from the people protected in the order (e.g. your
spouse and children),
- Order you to relinquish your firearms,
- Order you to stay away from your children’s school or daycare,
- Order you to pay child and spousal support (for up to one year), and
- Order you to receive mandatory counseling.
It doesn’t cost an alleged victim of family violence anything to
get a protective order. However, protective orders are issued on a case-by-case
basis; it’s up to the judge to decide. The court can impose a fee
upon the offender for the costs associated with the protective order,
unless the offender can show the court that he or she has little to no income.
What if I Violate a Protective Order?
If you violate a protective order, including an ex parte order, local law
enforcement will be notified. From there, law enforcement will seek an
arrest and criminal charges will be filed against you.
You may be found in contempt of court, fined up to $500, or sent to jail
for up to six months, or both. A violation of a protective order, excluding
an ex parte order, is punishable by up to a $4,000 fine, or up to one
year in jail, or both.
Need a Denton criminal defense attorney for a family violence or violation
of a protective order case?
Contact our office for a