Restraining and Protective Orders in Dallas
Have you been served with a restraining or protective order in Dallas? Is this order preventing you from staying in your own home, or seeing your children? You likely have many questions about your rights and how to get it removed. The Dallas restraining order attorneys at The Law Offices of RJ Harber are here to help explain your rights and help you during this challenging time. It is important to note that violating a protective order is a criminal offense, so it is unwise to try to resolve this situation without the help of an experienced attorney.
How Do Restraining Orders Work?
A Texas court can issue a restraining order, which is known as a family violence protective order. The protective order is issued to protect a victim against harassment, stalking, abuse, and further acts of violence. The application for a family violence protective order is filed in criminal or civil court. The application is filed, and the order is issued by a judge in either a criminal court or a civil court. The alleged victim must prove to the judge that “family violence” took place or might possibly take place.
The Office of the Texas Attorney General defines family violence as:
- any act by one member of a family or household intended to physically harm another member, or
- a serious threat of physical harm, or
- the abuse of a child. Family includes blood relatives or relatives by marriage, former spouses, parents (married or not) of the same child, foster parents and foster children, and any member or former member of a household.
If a protective order has been issued against you, you will be served papers notifying you. The papers will contain a hearing date in the court that issued the order. If the papers indicate that a temporary restraining order exists, you must follow the conditions of the order. If you don’t follow the conditions of the order, you could be held in contempt of court, arrested and jailed. Following the conditions of the temporary restraining order does not mean that you are admitting guilt.
I’ve been served with a temporary restraining order. What does this mean?
The temporary restraining order is valid for a maximum of 20 days. The court hearing will take place within 14 days of the issuance of the temporary restraining order. The purpose of the court hearing is for the judge to decide whether or not to enter a protective order. You must attend this hearing, and you are entitled to a lawyer at this hearing. If you do not attend the hearing, a default order will be issued against you, and you will be subject to the conditions of the protective order. You can present evidence and testimony at the hearing to prove that you did not commit the family violence acts alleged. If the judge does not dismiss the order, the order will be valid for two years.
How do I remove a protective order?
If a protective order has been issued against you, it can only be removed if after one-year passes and a judge reviews your case. The judge will decide if the order is no longer necessary for the protection of the victim. The judge can remove the protective order or modify the conditions of the order. Also, after one-year passes, if the victim agrees to remove the order, the judge can either remove the order or modify the order.
It is important to note that even if you and your partner or family decide to reconcile and you are invited over to talk about It, you still could be arrested for violating the protective order unintentionally. Be sure to speak to your lawyer about your plans for reconciliation and discuss the best strategy for removing the protective order.
What are the penalties for violating a protective order?
Anyone who violates a protective order can face monetary fines and jail time. If the protective order was issued by a criminal court, a violation of the protective order could result in a fine of up to $4,000.00 plus jail time of up to one year. If the protective order was issued by a criminal court, and the violator has two or more violations or commits an assault or stalking offense, the violation could result in a fine of up to $10,000.00 and jail time of 2-10 years.
If you have been charged with violating a protective order, you should call a member of our team immediately for help. Our experienced attorneys have successfully helped defend people just like you who were charged with violating a restraining order. The consequences of this accusation can be severe, so it is crucial to have an experienced lawyer on your side to protect you.
The courts take violations of their orders seriously, but an experienced attorney may be able to prove that you did not intentionally violate the protective order. Time is not on your side, however, so make sure to contact an experienced Dallas criminal defense attorney immediately.
Contact a Dallas Restraining/Protective Order Attorney Today
If you have a temporary restraining order or protective order issued against you, it is imperative that you get a lawyer that will fight for you. Don’t leave your fate up to chance.
Call The Law Offices of RJ Harber today to find out how we can help you. As a former prosecuting attorney with the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, attorney RJ Harber understands how restraining and protective orders work in Texas. He is uniquely qualified to help you navigate these complicated orders and help protect your rights and your livelihood. Call us at (214) 389-1189 today to schedule your FREE consultation.