Texas Protective Orders: Criminal and Family Law Attorney Answers Questions

Samuel Bassett | 888-981-0046 | Schedule Your Consult Today

“That’s what typically leads to these protective orders; violence or threats of violence. Once that starts happening you put yourself in legal jeopardy.”

In cases involving allegations of domestic violence, the alleged perpetrator may have a protective order filed against them. What does this mean, and what are the legal rights of someone on the receiving end of this order?

Samuel Bassett is a criminal law and family attorney based in Austin, TX, with Minton, Bassett, Flores and Carsey. He is licensed in State and Federal court, and he has extensive trial experience throughout Texas in both family and criminal law.

In this interview, he answers frequently asked questions about Texas protective orders and explains what to do if you are quarantined in a potentially dangerous domestic situation.

To learn more, contact the attorney directly by calling 888-981-0046 or by submitting a contact form on this page.

Key Takeaways From Samuel Bassett:

The first thing to do if you have been served with a protective order is to read it thoroughly and abide by whatever instructions are contained therein. A protective order will typically prohibit someone from having contact with an individual or from going to certain places. A hearing is usually set regarding the protective order within 10-14 days, at which point the person can bring a defense representative with them to argue their side of the case.

Initial protective orders are temporary and go into effect until the hearing for long-term orders can be conducted.

A temporary protective order is issued by one party against another after the first party has presented facts before a judge in the form of an affidavit or testimony. The judge makes a preliminary decision regarding the necessity of a protective order until a hearing with both sides present to argue their case can occur. A full-protective order may be issued after a hearing in which both sides are present and allowed to present evidence, witness testimonies, and anything else they have which they believe could elucidate the situation. After a temporary protective order has been issued, it is unlikely that the parties involved will be allowed to remain in the same house until a hearing regarding long-term orders has been concluded.

Protective orders are usually part of the proceedings in a criminal case such as domestic violence; however, they may also be included in civil matters such as divorces or child custody proceedings.

While a protective order is not a criminal proceeding in itself, it often gives rise to factual assumptions regarding why the protective order went into place, which are often criminal in nature. Bassett refers to protective orders as “quasi-criminal” proceedings because of this.

However, the violation of a protective order is considered a crime. Law enforcement will be provided with a copy of the protective order if it is approved; at that time failing to adhere to the instructions in the order would be considered criminal. Additionally, if someone is issued a long-term protective order, they may be prohibited from owning a firearm and may be required to surrender any they do have.

In most cases, if someone is prohibited by temporary protective orders from seeing another adult, that person’s children are included in the restrictions.

While this is the case for most temporary protective orders, the long-term protective orders which will be decided in court often work out an agreement in which a person may pick up the children at a neutral location for visitation, have visitation with the children as long as there is no contact between the other adult, or organize for supervised visitation of the children. Deciding how child visitation will go in a long-term protective order hearing is decided similarly to how custody hearings are conducted in divorce proceedings.

If a conflict is escalating, leave the situation.

Regardless of who you are certain is right or wrong in an argument, it is imperative to remove yourself from any situation before the conflict escalates. Violence, threats of violence, or even allegations of these can land a person with a protective order, both temporary and long-term. Bassett says in many of the cases he has seen, choosing to leave the conflict before tempers rise could have prevented one party from feeling that a protective order against the other is necessary.

To learn more, contact Samuel Bassett directly by calling 888-981-0046 or by submitting a contact form on this page.

Disclaimer: This video is for informational purposes only. In some states, this video may be deemed Attorney Advertising. The choice of lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely on advertisements.

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