Every day, someone is the victim of domestic violence or abuse in Texas. According to recent statistics released by the state of Texas, there are more than 200,000 victims of family violence across the state every year.
If you find yourself in a position where you are concerned about your well-being – and potentially the well-being of your children – then you need to take steps to obtain a protective order from your abuser.
I’ll help you better understand the legal process for how to get a protective order in Texas so that you can find relief from your difficult situation.
[ Note: If you are seeking information on how to help a friend, family member, or someone you know obtain a protective order, please have the victim call my office right away. I can walk them through the process of obtaining a protective order in Texas. ]
When Should You Obtain a Protective Order in Texas?
You should pursue a protective order in Texas when you are the target of violence or threatening actions to you and/or your family. This includes sexual assault.
A protective order serves as a court order preventing the assailant from continuing to assault or hurt you and your children. The assailant is disallowed from making contact with you and/or your children in your home, place of work, or at your children’s school location.
The assailant is also disallowed from carrying a gun. If the assailant violates the terms of the protective order, then the police can make an arrest. Essentially, a protective order provides you with formal, legal protection. You can qualify to obtain a protective order if:
- You have been hurt or threatened.
- You believe the assailant will hurt you again.
- You or another close family member (e.g., spouse) has a close relationship with a person who hurt you.
If this is a repeat situation, you can obtain a second protective order if the assailant violated parts of the original protective order.
Additionally, you do not have to have a familial relationship with the person who violated or threatened you. The law allows you to obtain a protective order if you have been stalked or sexually abused by someone that you are not close to.
Steps in the Process of Obtaining a Protective Order in Texas
When you are ready to pursue a protective order, these are the most important steps in the process:
- You need to fill out an application for a protective order at your local county courthouse.
- You will need to include an Affidavit or a Declaration describing the violence or threats.
- You will be assigned a court date for the protective order hearing.
If this is an emergency situation, the court may grant a temporary order called a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order. In some cases, the judge will order the assailant to leave the home immediately.
- The assailant will be served with a notice that you have filed for a protection order.
- You will attend a court hearing to determine whether you should receive protection.
- If approved, the judge will determine how long the protective order should be in place.
Take note that even if you receive emergency protection through a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order, you still must attend the court hearing. Otherwise, the temporary protective order will expire and the judge may not approve your application for a protective order.
- After the judge signs the protective order, take the signed order to your county clerk.
- Make copies of the order to keep with you as formal protection.
- Send copies of the order to places where your children could be targeted by the assailant (e.g. school, daycare, athletic events, etc.).
- Call the police if you believe that your assailant is violating the order, and use the signed order as a source of formal protection.
Find Expert Legal Support With a Protective Order in Texas
You don’t have to be the victim of abuse or threats anymore. You have legal options to protect yourself and your family through a protective order.
If you live in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, or Harris County, I can help you navigate the legal complexities of obtaining a protective order in your local area. I’ll also provide you with expert legal representation during your court hearing to help you present the strongest possible argument for obtaining a protective order.
Call my offices right away at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to talk about how to get a protective order in Texas. I’m here to help you during this difficult time.