What Is the Difference between a Protective Order and a Restraining Order in Texas?

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Your home should be a secure environment to share with those you care about and trust. Occasionally, however, household members violate trust and become violent. Domestic violence is physically and emotionally traumatic, and determining your next course of action can feel overwhelming. Fortunately, you are not alone in bearing this burden. Youngblood Law, PLLC has assisted numerous men and women escape abusive relationships. Whether someone has threatened or committed violence against you, you can seek a protective order.

When you hear the phrase “protective order,” you may immediately think of a restraining order. But these two court orders are not the same and apply to different circumstances. Domestic violence can quickly escalate, so don’t wait to take action. If someone has been violent before, they are likely to be so again.

At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we set our clients up for success. We provide valuable family law advice and representation. Call us at (817) 601-5345 to schedule your no-obligation consultation with your Fort Worth domestic violence defense lawyer. Read on as we break down the nuances between the two court orders so that you know which might apply to you.

What Is a Protective Order?

Let’s first examine what defines a protective order. A judge may issue a protective order if you are or have been the victim of domestic violence. You can also receive a protective order if someone has threatened to be violent to you.

As a result, a protective order forbids another person from harming you or threatening to harm you. The protective order extends not only to you but also to your loved ones—even to your pets. In addition, per Texas law, an offender cannot carry a gun or have a license to carry one.

All sorts of situations may call for a protective order, including:

  • Domestic violence
  • Sexual abuse
  • Stalking
  • Human trafficking

To procure a protective order for domestic violence, the abuser must be close to you or a loved one. For example, they can be a domestic partner or the friend of a domestic partner.

How to File a Protective Order

First, you should apply for a protective order at your county court immediately after experiencing a violent incident. If you wait, a judge might not deem you in imminent danger and won’t be as inclined to issue a protective order.

After filing the order, you’ll likely attend a court hearing where a judge will rule on the protective order. However, if you’re fearful you’ll re-experience the abuse before the hearing, a judge may issue a temporary protective order. This order is called a temporary ex parte protective order.

Before your hearing, you should express to the judge what you wish to get out of a protective order. For instance, if you don’t want the offender to contact your children, you should inform the judge. Expressing your ideal outcome raises your chances of receiving a protective order that makes you feel safest.

Lastly, if you want to get a protective order, strongly consider hiring a domestic violence defense lawyer or a family law attorney. A family law attorney knows how to navigate the courtroom and pulls out all the stops to help you receive a protective order. A lawyer also communicates with a judge on your behalf.

What Is a Restraining Order?

A restraining order is a legal document issued in a civil case, most often in a divorce case or lawsuit. The purpose of a restraining order is to maintain civility between opposing parties during the court proceedings.

The restraining order defines how the parties should interact and not interact with each other. The order may also forbid the parties from accessing a joint bank account and other shared assets while the court proceedings are underway.

If you’re getting divorced or involved in a property dispute, consult with a divorce lawyer or restraining order lawyer to see if you should request a restraining order.

Consequences of Violating Protective and Restraining Orders

Violating a protective order involves harsher consequences than breaking a restraining order due to the threat of physical danger. If an offender violates a protective order, they risk arrest and other harsh penalties.

A protective order also empowers the police to act if the offender violates the order. The police can arrest the offender in such cases, and a judge can charge the offender with a criminal offense.

In contrast, a restraining order does not enlist the police if a party violates the order. Instead, it’s the affected party’s responsibility to notify the court about the violation. Then, the court sets a hearing during which a judge may impose monetary damages and additional restrictions on the offending party.

Duration of Protective and Restraining Orders in Texas

A protective order typically lasts about two years in Texas. However, it may last longer than two years in severe cases. There are even protective orders that last for a lifetime.

A restraining order is usually shorter, often lasting for several months. In any case, the order lasts for the duration of the civil court proceedings. However, like protective orders, high-conflict cases may warrant years-long or even indefinite restraining orders.

Success-Oriented Protective Order Lawyers Near Me | Youngblood Law, PLLC

At Youngblood Law, PLLC, we provide custom work for each client, understanding that divorce and family law is not a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all strategy. We approach every case with compassion and non-judgment, utilizing our years of experience and knowledge of the law while avoiding unnecessary toxicity. One of our protective order lawyers will handle your case with professionalism and competence, setting you up for success moving forward.  To schedule your consultation, call us at (817) 601-5345 or fill out our online contact form here.


Copyright© 2022. Youngblood Law, PLLC. All rights reserved.


The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.

Youngblood Law, PLLC
2501 Parkview Dr Ste. 500
Fort Worth, TX 76102
(817) 601-5345

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