If you or someone you know is suffering from domestic violence, please consider contacting the National Domestic Violence Hotline by calling 1-800-787-3224 or texting "START" to 88788. Alternatively, this list of domestic violence resources in Texas may be helpful. Stay safe.
If you're involved in a situation where domestic violence is present, seeking a protective order can help you stay protected while you deal with your legal case. Today, we cover how you can seek a protective order in Texas.
To schedule a consultation with our team for your domestic violence dispute, contact us online or via phone at (817) 497-8148.
Emergency Protective Orders
Before we go through the process of obtaining a protective order through direct action, it's important to make a note about emergency protective orders.
When a law enforcement professional is called to investigate a domestic disturbance and believes that the alleged survivor/victim is in immediate danger of suffering from further domestic violence, they can request an emergency protective order. An emergency protective order can enforce many of the same protections as other types of protective orders, such as requesting an alleged abuser to stay a certain distance from an alleged survivor/victim or avoid contacting them.
Emergency protective orders are meant as a stop-gap measure until a survivor/victim can take the necessary steps to obtain a temporary ex parte protective order and a permanent protective order.
Regardless of whether an emergency protective order is issued, you'll still need to take the following steps to get a permanent protective order. However, if a law enforcement professional issues an emergency protective order at a scene, they may offer to transport the survivor/victim to the district attorney's office or courthouse to pursue a longer-lasting protective order, eliminating that step for that individual.
Visit the Closest District Attorney's Office or Courthouse
Whether you have an emergency protective order or not, you must visit a district attorney's office or courthouse in your county to pursue a temporary and/or permanent protective order.
At the courthouse or DA's office, you'll need to fill out a number of forms. Once you have filled out and file the forms, a judge will review your petition.
If the judge believes you are in immediate danger of suffering from further domestic violence, they can issue a temporary ex parte protective order on your behalf, enforcing protections for you until the court can determine whether a permanent protective order is necessary.
At this stage, the judge will also establish service of process so the alleged abuser is aware the alleged victim/survivor has filed for a protective order. The court will also set a hearing date for a permanent protective order.
At the hearing, both parties will have the opportunity to present evidence to the court. At the end of the hearing, the court will determine whether the survivor/victim requires a permanent protective order against the abuser to remain safe.
It's important to note that permanent protective orders often expire after a certain amount of time. However, you can file a request with the court to extend the order upon expiration. If the court determines that the abuser still represents a threat to the survivor/victim even after the permanent protective order has run its course, it can extend the protective order.
At The Law Offices of Mark M. Childress, our team is here to help you find the best path forward in your domestic violence case. Contact us online or via phone at (817) 497-8148 to schedule a consultation with our team.