Brandy Austin Law Firm PLLC
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As an experienced Arlington, TX family lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC can explain, there are unfortunate times when it is necessary to file a restraining order against someone. You can see it in cases of domestic violence, the abuse of power in workspaces and schools, harassment, and more. If a crime has been committed or threatened to happen, it is necessary to file a restraining order against the person. However, there are two different kinds of restraining orders that can be filed in court and how the matter is handled. These orders are restraining orders and protective orders.

What is a Protective order?

A protective order is an order placed to protect victims from family violence. When a protective order is filed, it prevents the abuser from acting violently. This is done to end the recurrence of abuse committed by the offender. The protective order is usually ordered after the alleged offender has been arrested for a serious crime. Some of these categories include stalking, sexual assault, abuse, the threat of abuse, violence, and in some cases, trafficking. A protective order, unlike a restraining order, is only associated with criminal allegations. In Texas, If a protective order is filed, the order forces the offender to stay away from the victim.

What kind of Protective order can be filed in Texas?

In Texas, 3 different kinds of protective orders can be filed. One of these options included temporary ex parte, permanent or final protective order, and emergency protection order. Temporary ex parte is a court order designed to provide immediate protection from the abuser. This order can last for 20 days and can be extended if needed. In order to get a temporary ex parte order, there has to be a clear presence of danger toward a person. Once that is proven in court, the judge will approve the request for the order. 

A permanent or final protective order, on the other hand, is only issued if the initial temporary order wasn’t effective within the first two months. A permanent order is placed to protect the victim from any contact coming from the offender in the future. Permanent order can last for a maximum of 2 years. 

Finally, the Magistrate order of emergency protection or otherwise known as an “emergency protective order” is issued after the offender has been arrested for a serious crime. These crimes included family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, stalking, and trafficking. Emergency protection can last up to 61 days. However, if the offender threatens the victim’s life or acts upon it, the time can extend to 61-91 days.

What is a restraining order?

A restraining order is a legal document that restrains specific individuals from coming in contact with each other. A restraining order is when the court orders a person to refrain from engaging in certain behaviors. A restraining order is typically used during an ongoing case or a lawsuit. A restraining order however, is mainly used during a civil case. When a restraining order is filed, it is not for criminal reasons.

What happens if someone violates the restraining order?

In Texas, if an offender is caught violating a restraining order, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Under the court of law, Class A misdemeanors are a type of criminal offense. A Class, A misdemeanor, unlike a felony, can get someone a year in jail or a fine of up to 4,000s. However, if the offender has a protective order under the reason of sexual assault, abuse, assault, or stalking, they could get a felony charge for violating the order. If an offender violates their order more than once, they can be charged with third-degree felony.