In the state of Texas, protective orders (more commonly referred to by the general public as restraining orders) exist to protect people from abusive partners or anyone else who may attempt to cause them harm. There are both temporary (up to 20 days) and general (up to two years) restraining orders, and the violation of such an order can result in a significant fine or a sentence to jail time.
A restraining order will require the “restrained” party to refrain from doing certain things, such as making contact with the alleged victim or coming within a certain distance of that person. Emergency protection orders are often issued in domestic violence situations to protect victims, while a longer, more permanent restraining order can be arranged by an attorney in Lubbock, TX working with the family court.
A protection order can include provisions such as:
- No contact provisions: The subject of the order is prohibited from texting, calling, emailing, attacking, stalking or disturbing the victim in any way. This may also be referred to as an “enjoin contact” provision.
- Peaceful contact provision: The alleged abuser is allowed to peacefully communicate with the victim for a limited set of reasons, such as for child care and transfer for visitation. Even in such cases, though, it is likely that the abuser will be required to stay away from private places, such as a home, school or place of employment.
- Firearms provision: The abuser is required to surrender any firearms he or she possesses and will not be allowed to purchase a firearm while the order is in effect. In Texas, the state issues concealed carry permits and licenses to qualified individuals. The owner of a concealed carry permit will also be required to surrender their carry permit in addition to any firearms they own.
- Move out provision: The abuser is required to move out of a home shared with the victim.
- Counseling provision: The abuser is required to attend counseling, such as anger management classes. If the abuser has a history of drug or alcohol abuse, therapy or rehabilitation might also be required as part of the order.
- Orders regarding minors: Children can benefit from protective orders in the same way abused adults can. The protective order might include stipulations that prevent an abusive parent from having any contact with the child, giving temporary custody and child support to the other parent. It is important to note that not all restraining orders do this, and in many cases the court will allow the abusive spouse to continue to see the child.
A person who violates the terms of a protective order will be fined, and potentially put in jail. The fine can be up to $4,000, and a jail term for violation of such an order can extend up to a year. If the violation of the order resulted in violence, however, the penalties become more severe.
For more information about protective orders in Texas, reach out to the Law Office of Rob Biggers to speak with an experienced attorney in Lubbock, TX today.
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