Protective orders are designed to provide victims with a measure of legal protection against their offenders. This may not seem like it’s enough, though, if your offender makes indirect threats toward you, shows up near your place of work, or harasses family members.
If you believe that you have experienced a violation of a protective order in Texas, then you can take action. You are not alone in the fight against your offender, and I will unpack the steps you can take to help increase your level of protection.
Action to Take When There is a Protective Order Violation
You can protect yourself and other affected family members by taking the following steps.
– Call the police. If you feel severely threatened or in danger, especially if family violence is involved, then you should call 911 or local helplines to find immediate assistance.
– Always make sure you have the Protective Order with you. If you report a violation of the protective order and the police come to your home, you should be ready to produce the documentation if asked.
Also, it’s a good idea to keep the order with you in case you need to flee from your offender and find a safe place. This way, you can present the order to a police officer or another authority figure who can help you out until it’s safe to return home.
– Be prepared to follow your safety plan. You should prepare yourself and other family members (e.g., your children) to follow your safety plan if there is a serious situation. As part of your plan, you should develop a secret phrase, a safe place to meet if separated, and other signals to help you during an incident.
– Gather evidence. You should attempt to gather as much evidence as possible about a potential violation of the protective order:
- Capture emails, phone calls, voice mails, text messages, social media posts, and other forms of communication (both directly to you and indirectly to others) about the violation.
- Make logs of when your offender was violent, attempted to be violent or committed another form of violation.
- Try to gather eyewitness accounts of the violation to support your claim.
This will help you present the best possible case to a judge when reviewing evidence of the violation to determine the next course of action to protect you from your offender.
– Enforce the original order. Sometimes the violation is not violent, and your offender could be trying to play games or try to get into your head as an attempt to get your attention.
If you believe that your offender is trying to skirt around the protective order, such as trying to reach out to friends and family about you or trying to follow your social media activity, then I can help you enforce the protective order.
As a family law attorney, I’ll work on your behalf to present the evidence and advocate on your behalf for the court to reinforce the terms of the order. In addition to this step serving as a strong reminder to your offender, this could also lead to necessary punishments.
Punishment When There is a Violation of a Protective Order
According to the Texas Family Code, there are multiple types of punishments that are designed to deter your offender from continuing to interfere in your life.
– A person who commits a basic violation of a protective order could be held in contempt of court. This carries a potential jail sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to $500.
– Repeat violations of a protective order could result in further charges, including a longer period of confinement and a larger fine.
– A person who violates the order by performing an act that is specifically prohibited by the order could be punished by a one-year jail sentence and a fine up to a $4,000 fine.
– If there is continued family violence after a protective order is issued, the offender could be prosecuted by a separate court. This could result in prosecution as a separate misdemeanor or felony offense. If convicted, your offender could be imprisoned for at least two years.
Because of the various punishments available for a violation of a protection order, it’s important to work with a family law attorney to fight on your behalf. I will pursue the strictest form of punishment allowed by law to provide you with the maximum protection that you need.
Find Support With a Violation of a Protective Order in Texas
I understand it’s difficult continuing to fight against your offender when you have already obtained a protective order. Let me stand in your corner to provide you with the legal support you need.
I practice family law exclusively so that I can provide the best legal support to my clients. I currently help individuals in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County find support with a violation of a protective order in Texas.
Do you live in one of these counties? Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss your case. I’m here to help.