What Must I Know if There Is a Protective Order Against Me in Texas?

brown gavel on white background

When you are accused of a crime against another person, whether that is domestic violence, stalking, or other harassment charges, the victim may petition the court for additional protection against you. One common shield granted is a protective order. If someone has taken out a protective order against you, it’s important to understand what this means for you. The following blog explores more about these legal matters, what happens if you violate a court order, and why you must connect with Houston criminal defense attorneys to protect your legal rights.

What Is Protective Order?

A protective order is issued by the courts that places restrictions on the individual accused of committing a crime against their victim. For example, if you are accused of domestic violence, your partner can receive a protective order against you, granting them additional protection. These include but are not limited to, the following:

  • Not to contact the victim, their family, or even shared children
  • Refraining from carrying a firearm, even if you have a license
  • Not to hurt, threaten, or harass the victim or their family

Depending on the circumstances of your case, you may find that the judge can order more specific rules you must follow. This can include leaving the home, paying child support, or attending substance abuse programs.

It’s important to understand that many people use the terms restraining order and protective order interchangeably. However, these are two different things, so understanding how they differ is critical. Generally, a restraining order is not criminally enforceable and can be used as part of a civil lawsuit. A protective order, however, is much more serious. This involves a police response and criminal penalties for a violation.

What Happens if I Violate This Order?

If there is a protective order out against you and you violate this order, as previously mentioned, you will face criminal consequences for these matters. As such, if you break the rules, you will face a class A misdemeanor in Texas, carrying up to a year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000.

However, if you have two subsequent convictions for violating a protective order, you will face a third-degree felony offense. This will warrant between two and ten years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.

You should know that even if you reconcile with the individual who took out the order against you, this does not mean you can violate the order. To have the conditions removed, all parties must go to the court and request a termination of the order. As such, even if you end up on good terms with the individual but violate the terms, you can still go to jail as this is still a court order.

When you are arrested for violating a protective order, it’s imperative to ensure you obtain legal representation for these matters, as they can lead to additional criminal charges against you. At the Gonzalez Law Group, we understand how complex these matters can be, which is why we are dedicated to helping you through these times. Connect with us today to learn how we can fight for you.