In Texas, victims of domestic violence may secure restraining orders to protect themselves and members of their households. To obtain a restraining order, the domestic violence victim must file a restraining order request along with details of the domestic violence abuse he or she suffered.
In some cases, an emergency protective order may be issued by a criminal court when the abuser has been arrested for domestic violence. Houston attorneys at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, represent clients with restraining order matters. We know that domestic abuse cases can be difficult and emotional for victims and their family members, and we want to help our clients secure the protection that they need.
Types Of Domestic Violence Restraining Orders And How To Obtain Them
There are three types of domestic violence restraining orders in Texas, including emergency protection orders, temporary restraining orders, and permanent restraining orders. See below for an explanation of the orders.
Magistrates order of emergency protection – This type of restraining order is commonly known as an emergency protective order and is generally issued after someone has been arrested and charged with domestic violence. Emergency protection orders will typically last between 31 and 91 days.
The victim, the state, or law enforcement officers may request that the judge issue an order of emergency protection for the domestic violence victim, and in most cases, the judge has the discretion to issue an order or deny the request. However, in cases where the defendant inflicted serious bodily injury or brandished a deadly weapon, the court must issue an emergency protective order.
Ex parte temporary restraining order – Victims of domestic abuse are often in need of immediate restraining orders, and they may ask the court to issue a temporary restraining order. Unlike emergency protection orders, temporary and permanent restraining orders are civil court matters. The judge may issue a temporary restraining order at your application for restraining order hearing.
Ex parte means that the judge makes a decision without all of the parties present; therefore, it is not necessary for the abuser to be present for the judge to issue a temporary restraining order. Temporary restraining orders are generally in effect for 20 days, and you may request an extension of the order if necessary.
Permanent restraining order – In Texas, domestic violence victims can complete and file protective order forms requesting the court to issue an order of protection against their domestic violence abuser. There will be a protective order application hearing, and the permanent restraining order hearing will be set for a future date.
Restraining orders are typically in effect for a maximum of two years, but there are exceptions under some circumstances. For example, if the court finds that the defendant committed an act of domestic violence constituting a felony offense or caused serious bodily injury, the terms of the restraining order may exceed two years.
What Does A Domestic Violence Restraining Order Do?
Depending on case-specific facts, restraining orders can order domestic abusers to do certain things, such as move out of your home. They can also order defendants to refrain from specific conduct and activities. In a domestic violence restraining order, the judge can order the restrained person to do the following:
- Stay away from you and certain places, such as your place of work or your child’s school.
- Cease contact with you – directly and through other people.
- Attend anger management classes.
- Move out of your home.
- Pay child support.
- Relinquish possession of all firearms.
- Cease harassment or threats against you and your child.
- Undergo drug testing.
- Enter a treatment program for substance abuse.
- Follow the terms and conditions of a visitation schedule.
How We Can Help
When it comes to your safety, it is important that you have a legal advocate in your restraining order matter. To secure a permanent restraining order, you must present credible evidence of the defendant’s violent conduct and the injuries you suffered. Our attorneys can help gather necessary evidence, prepare your restraining order application, and argue your case to the judge.
Domestic Violence Restraining Order Attorney
If you need help obtaining a domestic violence restraining order, attorneys at Vinas & Graham, PLLC, can help. We handle restraining order cases for our clients in Houston, and we will do everything we can to help you get protection and security for you and your family.
Contact our office at 713-229-9992 or on our website to schedule an initial consultation. Follow our Facebook page for more information about domestic violence restraining orders and other types of cases that our law firm handles.