Criminal Protective Orders Vs. Civil Protective Orders in Texas
Finding out that a partner, an ex, a roommate, or even a parent has filed a restraining or protective order against you can be shocking. Feeling a wide range of emotional responses is totally normal, and you may wonder what implications such an order might have on your future and your reputation. Fortunately, you do not have to deal with these orders alone; people against whom these orders are filed may be able to successfully have them removed or prevented from becoming permanent with the help of a Texas criminal defense lawyer.
Types of Protective Orders
If someone feels (or claims to feel) they or their family members are in danger from someone else, they can petition the court for a protective order. Protective orders are intended to prevent ongoing acts of stalking, family violence, or human trafficking, and there are three basic types of protective orders in Texas.
The first two - temporary ex parte protective orders and permanent protective orders - are handled in civil courts in cases where an alleged victim fears violence, stalking, harassment, etc. from an alleged abuser. A temporary ex parte order is issued without the alleged abuser present and usually lasts up to 20 days. Later, a permanent protective order can be issued after a hearing takes place that allows both the alleged victim and the alleged abuser to present their case in court. Permanent protective orders will often last for up to two years, although they can stay in place for longer if the court determines that this would be necessary. A petition for a civil protective order can be filed by a current or former spouse, a blood relative, a co-parent, or other members of a person’s family or household. Note that there are also family temporary restraining orders, which are only issued during divorce or custody cases.
An emergency protective order is a different type of protective order that is issued by a criminal court after an alleged abuser is arrested for accusations of violence, abuse, assault, stalking, or similar offenses. A judge can order an emergency protective order without the target of the order being present or able to defend themselves. In certain cases, such as those involving serious physical injury to an alleged victim, a judge is obligated to issue an emergency protective order; however, in other cases, the judge can issue the order for up to three months at his or her discretion. If an alleged abuser is convicted of the charges against him, the terms of probation or parole may include prohibitions on his behavior similar to those of a protective order.
All three types of protective orders can prohibit their targets from engaging in acts that can seriously reduce their quality of life, including accessing their own home and speaking to their children. The person who has filed the protective order has enormous power, since the respondent can face serious consequences if they are accused of violating the restrictions placed upon them.
Can I Fight a Protective Order Against Me?
Your options for fighting a protective order of any kind depend on the circumstances of the case, whether you were arrested, and whether there is any evidence against you. However, you may be able to defend against the accusations, and after hearing arguments by both sides and reviewing evidence relevant to the case, a judge will determine whether there is a need for restrictions that will protect the petitioner or their family members from suffering harm. Having an attorney on your side can ensure that you will be able to defend against accusations and show that a protective order is not necessary.
Call a Plano, TX Protective Order Defense Lawyer
If someone has filed a petition for a civil protective order against you, or if you need to fight against a criminal protective order after being arrested for domestic abuse or a similar offense, you deserve qualified representation from a Tarrant County, TX protective order defense attorney. At The Crowder Law Firm, P.C., we can help you fight any false allegations that could damage your reputation. Call us today at 214-303-9600 to schedule a free consultation and learn more about how we can help.