If you have a protective order against an ex-spouse or another offender, you may have questions about determining whether this individual has violated the protective order.
First and foremost, you want to make sure the other party has crossed the line into violating a protective order in Texas. Otherwise, making an accusation could stir up a hornet’s nest of issues that you shouldn’t have to deal with again.
I’ll provide you with a clear explanation of what the law in Texas deems a violation of a protective order when it comes to family violence. This way, you can take the appropriate action by working with me and the court system to enforce the protective order and support your safety.
Texas Law: Violation of a Protective Order in Texas
When the original protective order was created to protect you from your offender, the court should have identified specific acts that the offender must refrain from doing.
According to Texas law, the prohibited acts could be violence-related, communication-related, or other types of prohibited acts depending on the nature of the offense(s) that prompted you to seek out a protective order.
1. Violent Acts
If your offender continues to act violently toward you or another family member following the establishment of the protective order, then you will want to contact the police right away. I will also work with you to enforce the protective order to receive all protections that you are due.
Suppose your offender has not actually physically assaulted you, but you still believe there is a serious threat or possibility of violence. In that case, you need to gather the appropriate evidence to prove why you believe you remain in danger. This way, we can prove to the court that additional measures need to be taken against your offender.
2. Communication Violations
Alternatively, violence might not be the central issue. Instead, your offender could cross the line through their attempts to communicate with you or about you threateningly. Texas law focuses on the method of communication as the key to determining whether an offending party has violated a protective order against you as a protected individual.
According to Texas law, your offender will be found in violation of the protective order if they “knowingly or intentionally” commit an offense through designated forms of communication.
If your offender communicates directly with you in a “threatening or harassing manner,” then they have violated the terms of the protective order.
Legal disputes typically arise in this area because what could be considered threatening by one person might not be considered threatening by another person. That’s why evidence is critical to support your belief that the other party has threatened you or harassed you through their communication.
You need to retain records of emails, texts, voice mails, letters in the mail, social media messages, or other direct forms of communication from the offender directly to you that prove your argument.
Then, we can gather this communication and present it to the court to prove that a violation has occurred. If you’re not sure whether the communication has crossed the line, please contact me to discuss. I can help you evaluate the nature of the communication to see if it has reached the threshold of violating the original order.
Another type of violation is when your offender sends a threat to you through another person. Perhaps your offender sends a threatening message to another family member, a teacher at your child’s school, a supervisor at your place of business, or another person connected to you that is directed toward you.
Offenders will typically take this path if they cannot get in communication with you, if they want to try to intimidate you, or if they think they can bypass the court order by sending a message to another individual.
Again, evidence is key. Make sure you obtain records or statements regarding this form of indirect communication. Take note of dates and times, the method of communication, and what was said. Also, ask the person who received the message if they are willing to serve as a witness.
3. Visiting You at Certain Locations
The original order should have identified specific places and/or general types of places where your offender is disallowed from approaching you or going near. According to Texas law, these locations include the following list:
- Your residence
- Your place of employment
- Your business (if you own or run a business)
- Residence or place of business of another member of the household
- A child care facility, residence, or school where any child that is protected by the original order “normally resides or attends”
If your offender violated this aspect of the order, or if you believe that your offender came close enough to any of the identified locations, then we can work together to enforce the order to continue protecting you. I’ll also help you work through any disputes that could arise over your offender claiming to not know that they violated this aspect of the order.
4. Other Prohibited Acts
Texas law also makes note of other prohibited acts that could lead to a violation of the protective order. Your offender is disallowed from the following:
- Possessing a firearm
- Interfering with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal that you possess
- Tampering with, disabling, removing, or attempting to remove a GPS monitoring system
Find Support With a Violation of a Protective Order in Texas
The safety of you and anyone else affected by family violence is my top priority. If your offender has violated the protective order terms, then let’s get to work on gathering evidence and presenting your argument to the court.
I have helped numerous victims in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County find support with a violation of a protective order in Texas. If you live in one of these counties, then call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your situation.
I’m here to fight for your rights and serve as a legal advocate on your behalf. In addition to calling me for support, please call the police for help if you believe that you or another family member is in immediate danger.