Domestic Violence Protection Orders in Texas

With domestic violence making headlines as of late (with Johnny Depp being accused of ongoing domestic violence by wife, Amber Heard, and television actor Michael Jace, sentenced to 40 years in prison for shooting his wife to death), our Dallas family violence attorneys feel that it is necessary to recap your rights when faced with domestic violence. No form of domestic abuse is “too innocent” to not report and prevent. If you or a loved one is the victim of domestic abuse, consult with a legal representative from our family law firm to learn more about your protective options.

Your Legal Protections Against Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is a very serious allegation, and you should only seek protective injunctions if you are seriously being abused. Accusations, like abuse itself, can have severe criminal repercussions that only the guilty should have to deal with. With that in mind, if you are the victim of domestic violence, do not allow it to continue for another day. At the Law Offices of Stephen Clark, we are here to protect you. In the meantime, here are four civil and criminal protection orders that you can file for to protect yourself:

Emergency Protection Order

In most states, if the police are called into a home because of complaints of domestic violence, they are required to remove one of the two parties involved. Typically, the abuser is forced to leave. In many of those same states, the police can give the victim an Emergency Protection Order (EPO), which is a short-term protection order that grants the victim more time to secure a long-term protective order. In Texas, this EPO is referred to as a Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection (Tex. Code Crim. Proc. arts. 17.291, 17. 292, and 17. 293).

Protection Order

A protection order differs from an EPO in that it is effective for a much longer period of time, typically for one to five years. In extreme cases, a protective order may serve to protect an individual for the remainder of their life. If the victim continues to feel threatened by his or her abuser, they may renew the protection order after it expires. Protective orders may include children, other family members, roommates, or current romantic partners; they are not just for married individuals. This means that if a spouse was convicted of domestic violence, and if his or her husband or wife pulled out a protective order against them, the accused individual may not have contact with the children of the marriage as a result. To understand what a protective order can and cannot do in Texas, refer to the Texas Family Code, Chapter 85.

Restraining Order

A restraining order is an order that requires parties to a lawsuit to do or not do certain things. Despite popular belief, a restraining order is not the same as a protective order. Restraining orders may be requested “ex parte,” meaning that one party may ask the court to do something without first informing the other party. If the restraining order is granted, then the other party will be granted a hearing to explain their side of the story.

Criminal Protection Order

A criminal protection order is an order meant to protect the victim of a crime while the criminal case is pending. This is to ensure that the defendant does not have any contact with or try to harm the victim or his or her family.

Consult a Dallas, TX Domestic Violence Lawyer

At the Clark Law Group, our domestic violence attorneys help you take measures to protect yourself and your loved ones from violent individuals. If you are the victim of domestic abuse, or if you know of someone that is, call our office at (469) 906-2266 to speak with a compassionate family lawyer to discuss your legal options. You can also schedule a private consultation online.

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