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I Have Been Issued an Order of Protection. Am I Facing Legal Trouble?

A protective order is a legal order issued by a state that requires one person to stop harming another. There are 2 ways an order of protection can be executed. One way is through the criminal justice system, the other is through a civil court.

A civil domestic violence action consists of someone asking the court to protect them from a person abusing them. You are not asking for the person to be charged with committing domestic violence against you but you are asking for protection so that they don’t commit the action again.

It is important to know that if the person you are getting the order against violates the court order, they may be sent to jail for that violation. In a civil case, someone brings a case against the abuser and most times you can release the protective order whenever you feel necessary.

If someone is charged with a crime like assault, harassment, murder, and theft the criminal law system will handle this order. The accused will be charged with a crime and the prosecutor has control over whether the case continues or not.

Unlike in civil cases, in criminal, you will not be able to release the order of protection when you want. The case is established by the state and not the victim. A protective order should be taken very seriously because if found in violation of any of the conditions you might end up in jail or facing criminal charges.

Types of Protective Orders:

If there are reasonable grounds to believe that someone is a victim of sexual assault, abuse, stalking or trafficking the judge can grant a protective order. This order can last up to a lifetime or for a shorter amount of time stated in the order of protection.

  • Temporary ex parte: This order is temporary and is usually used for immediate protection.Such as incidents involving sexual abuse, stalking, and trafficking. These protective orders usually last until your court hearing and are commonly used for protecting children against abuse.
  • Emergency Protection: In a criminal case when an abuser has been arrested for committing family violence, sexual assault, or stalking these are issued by the criminal court.
  • Enjoin Contact: this order is usually referred to as a restraining order and prevents the defendant from having any contact with the petitioner.

Family Violence

Under Family Code Title 4, Section 85.001 at the close of a hearing for an application for a protective order the court shall find whether family violence has occurred and, that family violence is likely to occur in the future.

If the court finds that it has occurred they shall render a protective order as provided by Section 85.022 applying only to the person who committed the family violence, or to both parties in the best interest of the person protected by the order.

In some instances, the court may require that separate protective orders be applied to both parties and that they refrain from doing certain acts under section 85.022.

Sec 85.022 discusses the requirements of a protective order applying to a person who committed family violence. The court may order the person to:

  1. Complete a battering intervention and prevention program.
  2. Not communicate with someone protected by the order in a threatening or harassing manner.
  3. Not commit another act of family violence.
  4. Not go near the victim’s house, place of employment, or their families.
  5. Not engage in conduct directed toward a person who is protected by the order or their families.
  6. Not Possess a firearm, unless they are a peace officer.
  7. Not harm, threaten or interfere with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistant animal.

Section 85.026 Violating a Protection Order

Under this statute, a person who violates a protection order may be punished for contempt of court by a fine of not more than $500 and/or by confinement in jail for no more than 6 months.

No person, including the person who is protected by the order, is allowed to give permission for anyone to ignore any provision fo the order. The only way an order can not be changed is by the court.

Additional Resources

Family Code Title 4 Sec 85.001– Click this link to view the Texas Legislatures Family Code statute that talks about protective orders and family violence. It discusses what the court will look for at a hearing for an application for a protective order, as well as the delivery of protection orders to the other party.

Protective Order Attorney in Broward County 

An attorney will be able to look over the order and make sure that you understand all of the legal provisions within it. If you have violated your order or protection contact The Hoffman Firm to find out about your legal options. Attorneys at The Hoffman Firm have many years of experience representing clients throughout Broward County.

If you have been given an order of protection in Miami, FL contact The Hoffman Firm at (305) 928-1669 today for a free consultation.

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