types of restraining orders

Restraining Orders in Texas

In the Texas Family Code, a restraining order is defined as an official court document that orders the abuser to avoid contact with the victim or risk facing legal consequences, such as contempt of court. The purpose is to protect victims from further abuse.

A restraining order can be requested by the victim or someone acting on their behalf. A Texas judge will decide the duration of the restraining order, which can last from days to years. The person seeking the Texas restraining order must have a valid reason to obtain it, so ample evidence must be gathered in order to prove the argument to request a restraining order. If you are searching for a restraining order in Texas, contact our Austin divorce lawyer at 512-748-0834 and we can help you attain a restraining order.


How to Get a Restraining Order in Texas

In order to get a restraining order in Texas, there are a few steps to take. To get a restraining order you must:

  • Go to your local district courthouse where you live or even the district attorney’s office
  • Fill out a Texas restraining order application
  • Wait for the judge to review your application and answer any questions the judge may have
  • Let the judge know if you face immediate danger
  • Attend the court hearing about your restraining order

3 Types of Restraining Orders in Texas

When the threat of domestic violence is looming large, getting a restraining order might be the best way to protect yourself and your children. There are three types of protective orders that you can file in Texas.

  1. Temporary Ex-Parte Protective Order

    If you have been abused or assaulted by your partner and if you believe that they are likely to do it again, you can obtain a temporary ex-parte protective order with the help of an Austin domestic violence lawyer.  In order to obtain the order, you need to prove that:

    1. you were abused by your partner
    2. you are at risk of being abused again

    How long do restraining orders last?
    After reviewing the evidence you present, the judge will issue a protective order.  This type of restraining order will stay in force for a short period of time – usually up to 20 days. This is an ex-parte order, which means it can be granted by the judge even in the absence of the abuser.

  2. Final or Permanent Protective Order

    If a temporary protective order is not sufficient for you, you can request the court for a final or permanent protective order.

    How long do restraining orders last in Texas?

    If you’re wondering how long restraining orders last in Texas, this permanent order can stay in force for a period of up to two years, so it’s not exactly a lifetime restraining order.

    Unlike a temporary order, a permanent order cannot be issued ex parte. Your abusive partner will also be present at the hearing and they will be given a chance to present their arguments and evidence to dispute your claims regarding their abusive behavior.

    This is why it is extremely important to be represented by an experienced Austin protective order lawyer, as you should be able to convince the judge that a longer protective order is absolutely necessary.

    In some cases, depending on the severity of the harm inflicted by the abuser, the court might decide to extend the protective order beyond two years.

    For instance, if the abuser in question committed an act that would be considered a felony offense, the court might extend the protective order beyond two years – even if the abuser was not convicted of the offense.

  3. Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection

    types of restraining orders restraining order texas how to get a restraining order in texas what proof do you need for a restraining order in texas how to file a restraining order in texasThis is an emergency protective order which is issued if your partner is arrested for committing one or more of the following offenses.

    • Stalking
    • Indecent assault
    • Sexual abuse
    • Sexual assault
    • Trafficking

    Unlike a temporary or final protective order, an emergency protective order is not issued by a civil court. Instead, it is issued by a criminal court. In order to obtain an emergency restraining order, your Austin protective order lawyer does not need to file a petition.

    How long does this type of protective order last?
    This type of restraining order is 31-61 days in the case of serious bodily injury or 61-91 days in the case of using a deadly weapon (source).

    It can be issued upon a request made by your guardian (if you have one), the police officer who made the arrest, or the prosecutor. In some cases, the judge might decide to issue the order on their own.

    If you are a victim of domestic abuse, family law attorney Eric M. Willie, P.C. and his legal team will take up your case and treat it with the sense of urgency and care it deserves. We can help you obtain a restraining order for a sufficient period of time and ensure the safety of your family.

What Proof Do You Need For A Restraining Order In Texas?

Simply expressing feeling unsafe or having experienced abuse by someone with whom you share a familial or personal relationship does not automatically guarantee you a protective order in Texas. To be eligible for a protective order in Texas, certain criteria must be met, and proof of these conditions is required.

You may obtain a protective order if you have been harmed or threatened with harm, and there exists a close relationship between you and the individual causing harm, such as:

  • Marriage
  • Familial ties
  • Dating
  • Cohabitation
  • Parenthood

Additionally, a protective order may be granted if you have previously held a protective order against an individual, and they violated its terms intended for your protection. Furthermore, if you have been the victim of sexual assault or stalking, regardless of your relationship with the perpetrator, you are entitled to seek a protective order. In all cases, evidence substantiating these claims is essential for the issuance of a protective order in Texas.

What Evidence Will Help With Getting A Protective Order In Texas?

When completing the application for a protective order, it’s crucial to provide detailed accounts of the abuse or threats endured by the respondent (alleged abuser). Clearly articulate each instance of abuse and the nature of the violence. Make sure to use descriptive language that accurately portrays the situation, including:

  • Specific dates and locations.
  • A comprehensive description of the circumstances surrounding the family violence and the urgent need for protection

To substantiate the allegations in your petition, presenting evidence is imperative. Evidence can be direct, such as eyewitness testimony of the abuse, or circumstantial, where inferences are drawn to establish facts. In Texas restraining order cases, a combination of direct and circumstantial evidence is often presented to the court. The burden of proof typically rests on demonstrating the allegations by a preponderance of evidence, though some states may require a higher standard. Some of the evidence that can benefit your chances at having a Texas protection order granted include:

  1. Proving Harm – Proving that the respondent harmed you is important. This can be done by presenting:
    • Personal testimony
    • Witness accounts
    • Police reports
    • Medical records
    • Photographs of injuries
  2. Demonstrating Threat Of Harm – Proving that the respondent threatened to harm you can also be beneficial in having a protection order in Texas granted. This can be done by providing the court with evidence such as:
    • Verbal or written threats made by the respondent
    • Voicemails
    • Text messages
    • Social media posts
  3. Establishing A Reasonable Fear Of Imminent Harm – Providing the courts with proof that you have a reasonable fear of imminent harm from the respondent will also increase the chances of having a protection order granted. This can be done by providing:
    • Testimony detailing safety precautions taken
    • Documentation, such as police reports, reflecting the seriousness of the situation.

Providing comprehensive evidence strengthens the case for obtaining a protective order and enhances the likelihood of judicial approval. If you encounter challenges in substantiating any of these factors, particularly in domestic violence cases arising within divorce proceedings, consider reaching out to Eric M. Willie, an experienced Austin divorce attorney. Mr. Willie can provide guidance and legal assistance tailored to yo

Looking for an Experienced Austin Domestic Violence Lawyer Near You?

restraining orders types of restraining orders how to get a restraining order in texas

If you are searching for a restraining order in Texas, contact our Austin divorce lawyer at 512-748-0834 and we can help you attain a restraining order. Our lawyers are well-versed in family law, have handled a large number of domestic violence cases, and know what it takes to convince the court and obtain a protective order.

To find out how our Austin domestic violence attorneys can help you, call us at 512-379-6356 or complete this online form.




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