An attorney assisting their client with a protective order in Texas

What You Need to Know About a Protective Order in Texas

Domestic violence is a serious issue across the state of Texas. To address this issue, the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCFV) has taken steps to form Domestic Violence High-Risk Teams (DVHRTs) in counties across the state.

In the latest statewide data report on domestic violence, the assembled DVHRT teams identified the following patterns as it relates to high-risk domestic violence:

  • The highest age range for victims is 21-30 years old.
  • The highest age range for suspects is 31-40 years old.
  • Males are the perpetrator in 90% of reported offenses to DVHRTs.
  • The highest reported type of high-risk relationship is when intimacy is involved.
  • Domestic violence most frequently occurs in relationships of less than one year.
  • A family member assaulting another family member accounts for 10% of assaults.
  • Continuous family violence accounts for 14% of reported assaults.

Consequently, protective orders in Texas are designed to provide legal support to victims of domestic violence, especially individuals in high-risk categories or situations. However, protective orders do not always address the issue.

The same DVHRT study found that 70% of victims continue to be abused by their offenders even after receiving warnings from authorities or after a protective order is issued.

This is why it’s important to work with a family law attorney to help you pursue a protective order that provides you with the greatest possible legal protection upfront. If your offender continues to violate an order, a family lawyer can help you enforce the protective order or obtain another protective order to create additional protections.

Information About Pursuing a Protective Order in Texas

The most important aspect of pursuing a protective order against your offender is realizing that you are not alone and that you don’t have to go at it alone. Texas law provides very specific protections for victims of domestic violence.

A court can order protections for you against someone who “has been violent” or “has threatened to be violent” at a future time. A protective order will prohibit your offender from:

  • Physically hurting you
  • Threatening to hurt you
  • Going near you
  • Going near your children, other family members, relatives, or pets
  • Going near your home, workplace, or children’s school
  • Possessing a gun or being licensed to carry a gun

Evidence is crucial to help you form the strongest possible argument against your offender so that you can receive the protective order. The evidence that you need to gather includes:

  • Eyewitness accounts of violence or threats of violence
  • Communication from your offender (e.g., emails, texts, and voicemails)
  • Police reports if your offender became violent
  • Medical reports if you were physically harmed
  • Other pertinent evidence that proves that your offender committed an offense

Working with me, I will help you gather the evidence and argue on your behalf to obtain a protection order against the offender. I will work tirelessly to ensure that you receive the most protection available in your case. Getting this right upfront will also help down the road.

Information About Enforcing a Protective Order in Texas

A protective order is necessary to create a layer of protection against your offender. However, it does not guarantee a lifetime of security.

As noted before, the latest research indicates that about 3 out of every 4 offenders turn into a repeat offender that violates a police warning or a protective order. Plus, a protective order in Texas typically only lasts two years.

The Texas Family Code states that a protective order should not exceed two years – unless there is an exception. The exceptions include situations where the offender has committed a felony act, has caused serious bodily injury, or has been subject to two or more previous protective orders.

When you consider the frequency of repeat offenses in Texas, it’s important to work with a family attorney that can help enforce the original protective order if your offender continues to violate the order.

Also, after two years have expired for a typical protective order, I can help you obtain a new protective order if you believe that you remain in danger.

Find Legal Support With a Protective Order in Texas

First and foremost, if you believe that you are in serious danger, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your local police department to find immediate protection against domestic violence. For longer-term protection afforded by the Texas legal system, I will advocate on your behalf to obtain a protective order.

As an expert family law attorney, I have helped numerous victims of domestic violence in Fort Bend County, Brazoria County, and Harris County. If you live in one of these Texas counties, please contact me right away to start building your case.

Call my offices at 281-944-5485 or 979-267-7660 to discuss how to obtain a protective order in your county. I am here to help.