In some circumstances, particularly after a domestic violence incident, a court may issue a protective order, which mandates that the subject of the order maintain certain conditions to stay away from the protectee. If you are the potential subject of such an order, a Fort Worth protective order lawyer may be able to help you maintain your freedom and mobility. Otherwise, you may be unable to move freely, see family members, and otherwise live a comfortable, normal life.
Protective Orders and Domestic Abuse
When a Court will issue a Protective Order
A court will review any applications for a protective order and determine if family violence occurred or is likely in the future. Family violence includes assault or similar attacks against a past or current dating partner, past or present family member, and past or present household member.
Subject Matter of a Protective Order
People sometimes refer to protective orders as injunctions. An injunction is an order from the court for a party to refrain from doing something. Some of the issues that orders address include:
- No contact with the other party
- Exclusion from a home
- Prohibited from being close to the other party’s school or job location
- No contract with minor children
- Temporary custody determination
- Child support
- No interference with pets
- Attorney’s fees
- Revocation of a firearm license
Length of Enforcement Time
A temporary injunction is usually only in place for 20 days. Afterward, the court must hold another hearing. Sometimes the initial trial is an emergency, and the court will decide without the defendant/respondent being present. Later, the government must ensure that the subject of the order receives notice and has an opportunity to attend later hearings. A final order usually can be issued for up to two years. Afterward, if the parties need to resolve family law issues, they may need to file an action in family court.
Penalties for Violating a Protective Order
If the court issues an order, the court expects those under the mandate to obey. Even if the order has expired, the court may punish someone if the order was in effect when the alleged act took place. If a person violates a protective order, the court may punish the actor for violating the command, as well as for any underlying offense, as found in Texas Statute Penal Code §25.07. Violating an order is a Class A misdemeanor unless the actor had twice previously broken an injunction or committed assault or stalking. The punishment could start at one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine.
Schedule an Appointment with a Fort Worth Protective Order Lawyer
If someone has accused you of violating a protective order or wants a protective order issued against you, you may find an attorney’s aid to be invaluable. The rippling effects of an order could be significant and could seriously limit your freedom. Speak with a Fort Worth protective order lawyer to see what you can do to protect yourself and your family.