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. Our Austin divorce lawyer 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.
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:
- you were abused by your partner
- 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.
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.
Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection
This is an emergency protective order which is issued if your partner is arrested for committing one or more of the following offenses.
- Indecent assault
- Sexual abuse
- Sexual assault
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.
Looking for an Experienced Austin Domestic Violence Lawyer Near You?
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.
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