If you are in possession of a protective order for domestic violence, it is important that you read it over fully and understand what it outlines.
The subject of a protective order must follow its terms for the duration of the order. Violating any of the terms results in penalties.
Potential terms of a protective order
According to the Texas Judicial Branch, a judge determines the terms of each protective order based on testimonies from the alleged victim (applicant) and the subject (respondent) of the order. It is common for the judge to order that the respondent stay away from the applicant and cease all communication. Other potential orders the judge may make include:
- Respondent moves out of residence shared with the alleged victim
- Child custody is temporarily given to the applicant
- Respondent must complete counseling, battering intervention and prevention program or alcohol abuse program
- Respondent must suspend the gun license
- Respondent may not harm, or threaten to harm, the applicant, family member or pet
Duration of a protective order
An alleged victim can request a temporary order from a judge. If approved, the order is in effect immediately until there is a hearing which typically takes place within two weeks. During the hearing, both the applicant and respondent have a chance to present their cases. According to the Texas Constitution and Statutes, if the judge approves an order at the hearing, the judge determines the duration of the order, but it may not exceed two years. After one year, the respondent can request a review of the order.
Penalties for violating terms of the order
A violation of any of a protective order’s terms may result in contempt of court charges as well as a misdemeanor or felony charge. Penalties include fines, jail time or both.