Our Texas Family Law Firm Can Assist with Your Protective Order or Restraining Order Case
If you are a victim of family violence in Texas, not only can law enforcement officials arrest the offender, but you can also obtain a protective order against that individual. There are two main types of orders of protection: a temporary restraining order and a protective order.
If you are interested in filing for a restraining order or protective order in Houston, having an experienced and knowledgeable family law attorney on your side can increase your chances of getting a favorable outcome in court. At The Tholstrup Law Firm, L.P., we can guide you through the intricacies of the legal process, handle all the paperwork, and represent you in court.
What is Family Violence Under Texas Law?
Family violence is defined as any act committed by a family or household member against another family/household member or a child of that family/household member, which is intended to cause:
- Bodily injury
- Physical harm
- Sexual assault
- or the threat of any of those offenses
Additionally, dating violence means any act that is intended to cause bodily injury, physical harm, assault, sexual assault, or the threat of any of those offenses against a new spouse, intimate partner, or otherwise someone with whom the abuser has or had a “dating relationship.”
Any victim of family violence or dating violence can file for a protective order in Houston, Texas.
What Is a Temporary Restraining Order?
A Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) is issued at the request of one party to the judge ("ex parte") and is almost always issued on a joint basis. In other words, both parties must comply with the terms of the Order. The Order is intended to keep the "status quo" in place as to children and property until a hearing can be held before a judge.
Some Examples of TRO Terms Are That:
- Children cannot be removed from their school
- Money cannot be spent for other than living expenses
- Financial records cannot be bestowed. If there is a significant concern about financial transactions, a third party financial institution may be included in the TRO filing.
How Long Does a TRO Last in Texas?
By law, the hearing must occur within 14 days after issuance of the Order, but may be extended an additional 14 days upon order or the issuing court. All TRO hearings are conducted by private attorneys (or attorneys for the child support collection office). Some courts require mediation before a hearing
What Is a Protective Order?
A Protective Order (PO) is also issued at the request of one party to the judge, but it is because of family violence or the eminent threat of family violence and is an extremely serious matter. It is not a mutual Order. The family violence can be directed at not only family members but also persons in a dating relationship.
The state of Texas Protective Order is good for 20 days before a hearing can be held but may be extended an additional 20 days. The Order shall contain explicit instructions for the respondent (person accused of the wrong doing) not to do which includes coming within a specified distance of the accuser's house, job, children, etc.
How Long Do Protective Orders Last in Texas?
If a person is convicted of family violence under the Texas Family Code, the conviction generally remains on the offender's record for 2 yeas and can be the basis for going straight to jail if there is any violation of the terms of the Order. An Application for a Protective Order can be brought by either a private attorney, but is usually done so by the Harris County District Attorney's Office.