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Can I Fight a Domestic Violence Order of Protection in Texas?

Posted on in Criminal Defense

Jourdanton family violence attorney

Domestic abuse is prevalent throughout the United States⁠—and Texas is no exception. According to the National Domestic Violence Hotline, one in four women and one in seven men have been victims of severe physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetimes. With numbers this high, it is no wonder why orders of protection are taken seriously. These legal orders, commonly known as restraining orders, can be requested by a person who believes they or their family members are in danger of harm by a family or household member. Although restraining orders are typically not valid for indefinite amounts of time, they can be extended if the court deems it necessary. Legal protection should be put in place for those who need it, but in some cases, these protective orders may be based on false allegations of abuse. If you find yourself facing an unjust order of protection, you do have legal options, and an experienced criminal defense attorney can help.

Types of Protective Orders

There are three types of orders of protection available in Texas, each with its own length of duration. In many cases, the individual filing for the order will get a temporary order initially and work to extend that order in the meantime. The differences between each of the protective orders are described below:

  1. Temporary Ex Parte Order: This order is for someone who has a clear and present danger of family violence. An ex parte order can last up to 20 days, and extensions are available if necessary. This type of order does not require notice to be given to the accused (respondent).

  2. Final Protective Order: This is the longest-standing order available to Texans. If family violence has occurred and is likely to happen again in the future, this is typically what the court will issue. These orders typically last two years, but they can be extended if an alleged victim has suffered a serious physical injury due to the alleged abuse, or if two or more orders have been issued against the same individual. The respondent of this type of protective order must receive notification that it is being issued against him or her.

  3. Magistrate’s Emergency Order: If the alleged abuser is arrested for family violence, stalking, or sexual assault, this type of order may be granted. This emergency order lasts at least 31 days up to 91 days. No notice has to be given to the person against whom the order is being filed.

How Can I Defend Myself?

It is not uncommon for orders of protection to be filed against someone who does not deserve it. This can be due to a misunderstanding, or it can sometimes be a ploy to keep the individual away from his or her children in a custody dispute. The respondent of the order is able to request a motion to dissolve or a motion to modify the order if he or she sees fit. 

If you believe that a protective order was issued against you unfairly, you can argue to have the order dissolved altogether. You will need to file a motion in court, and you will be assigned a court hearing date to present your defense. You can also request to modify the order. If you believe that the order is too harsh or too broad for your situation, you can file a motion to change the terms of the order. This would not make the order disappear altogether, but it may help you address some of its negative effects, such as your ability to spend time with your children.

Call a Jourdanton Criminal Defense Attorney

Cases involving domestic abuse and orders of protection are often contentious and one-sided in the courtroom. Because these situation are often based on a he-said, she-said scenario, it can be difficult to defend yourself when being accused of domestic violence. Our BCP Criminal Defense Attorneys firmly believe that you are “innocent until proven guilty,” and we do not let the stigma of domestic violence affect our defense strategy. With over 40 years of combined experience, we have assisted numerous clients with defending against criminal accusations. If you would like to challenge or modify a protective order that was issued against you, contact our Atascosa County family violence lawyers at 830-769-1010 to schedule a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://texaslawhelp.org/resources/protective-order-forms

https://statutes.capitol.texas.gov/Docs/FA/htm/FA.85.htm

 

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