Violation of Protective Orders in Texas
If you have been falsely accused of violating the terms of your protective order, it is important to seek legal help right away. Dunham & Jones, Attorneys at Law are experienced in defending protective order violations and make every effort to fight the allegations against you. Call us today at 800-499-8455 to discuss the circumstances of the violation and actions to fight for the dismissal of the order entirely.
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Why Hire an Attorney?
False allegations of violating the terms of a protective order can result in serious consequences if you are found guilty of the offense, which may include imprisonment, fines, difficulty retaining employment or finding a new job, among other repercussions. Therefore, it is important to consult an experienced domestic violence attorney as soon as possible to help you create the best legal defense for your particular case.
What Is a Protective Order?
A protective order is commonly associated with allegations of family violence or domestic violence in Texas and can also be known as a restraining order or order of protection. A protective order is issued by the court if they have found at a hearing that family violence occurred by one family or household member against another and it is likely to happen again in the future.
In Texas, domestic violence is defined as an intentional act of violence by one family or household member against another that results in bodily injury or physical harm. Domestic violence can also involve dating violence, which is defined as an intentional act of violence by one person in a dating relationship against another that results in physical injury or bodily harm.
The Texas Family Code defines a family or household member as any of the following:
- Individuals who are foster parents;
- Individuals who are former spouses;
- Individuals related by marriage;
- Individuals related by blood;
- Individuals who have previously resided in the same home;
- Individuals who currently reside in the same home;
- Individuals who are step-parents; and/or
- Individuals who are parents of the same child or children.
Additionally, the Texas Family Code defines a petitioner as the person who requested the protective order, and is also commonly known as the applicant, protected individual or complainant. The respondent is the person who the protective order was issued against, and is also commonly known as the alleged offender or the defendant.
Requirements for Respondents
If a protective order is issued against a respondent, or an alleged offender, they must follow certain terms and conditions as stated in sections 85.021 and 85.022 of the Texas Family Code.
The alleged offender, or respondent to a protective order, may be required to:
- Continue to financially support the petitioner and any other dependents.
- Temporarily give up their rights to the residence or any property jointly owned or released by the respondent and petition; or
- Temporarily relinquish their parental rights or access to their children;
The respondent may also be prevented from:
- Engaging in any act of domestic violence;
- Possessing a firearm;
- Communicating with the protected family or household member in any way, except through a lawyer;
- Harassing a protected family or household member in any way;
- Threatening the protected family or household member in any way;
- Going to the residence of a protected household or family member;
- Going to the school of a protected family or household member;
- Going to the business or place of work of a protected family or household member; and/or
- Going to a child-care facility of a protected family or household member.
Legal Grounds for Protective Order Accusations
An individual may be accused of violating the terms of a protective order in Texas if they knowingly or intentionally engage in any of the following:
- Commit a sexual assault offense;
- Commit a stalking offense;
- Commit an act of family violence;
- Commit an aggravated sexual assault offense;
- Communicate in a harassing or threatening way with a household or family member protected by the protective order;
- Communicate in any way that is prohibited by the protective order with a protected household or family member;
- Go to or near a protected family or household member’s place of employment;
- Go to or near a protected family or household member’s residence;
- Go to or near a protected family or household member’s school or child care facility;
- Possess a gun or firearm; or
- Threaten a household or family member protected by the protective order.
Penalties for Violating a Protective Order
A conviction for violating the terms of a protective order can generally result in a class A misdemeanor conviction, which is punishable by a fine up to $4,000 and/or a jail term up to one year if the individual has:
- Previously been convicted of two or more protective order violations, or
- Allegedly violated the terms of a protective order by committing a stalking or assault offense,
They can be convicted of a felony of the third degree, which is punishable by a fine up to $10,000 and/or a prison term ranging from two to ten years.
Contact Our Firm Today to Discuss Your Charges and Defense Strategies
If you have falsely accused or charged with violating the terms of a protective order in Texas, contact Dunham & Jones, Attorneys at Law. Our attorneys work diligently to obtain the most favorable outcome for your case. For a free consultation, call 800-499-8455 or complete the online form.