Protective orders are also known as protection orders, restraining orders, or orders of protection, but the name generally applies to a court order intending to keep an abusive party away from an alleged victim. Protective orders are commonly issued in family violence or domestic violence cases.

The problem with protective orders is that the terms can be remarkably easy for some people to violate, even when they did not have any criminal intent. Repeat convictions for this crime can carry severe consequences for a person because the criminal charges could become more serious and involve longer prison sentences and larger fines.

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Violation of Protective Order Defense Lawyer in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grapevine, Keller, and Southlake, TX

If you were arrested for allegedly violating the terms of a protective order in Fort Worth, Arlington, Grand Prairie, or another community in Tarrant County, you will want to be sure that you immediately retain legal counsel. Contact The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy as soon as you possibly can.

Our firm will be able to conduct our own investigation into your incident and develop the strongest possible defense against your criminal charges. You can have us examine your case and discuss all of your legal options with you when you call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.

Protective Order Requirements in Tarrant County

Texas Family Code § 85.001 establishes that at the close of a hearing on an application for a protective order, the court must find whether family violence has occurred and family violence is likely to occur in the future. If the court finds that family violence has occurred and that family violence is likely to occur in the future, the court:

  • must render a protective order as provided by Section 85.022 applying only to a person found to have committed family violence;  and
  • may render a protective order as provided by Section 85.021 applying to both parties that is in the best interest of the person protected by the order or member of the family or household of the person protected by the order.
 

A protective order that requires the first applicant to do or refrain from doing an act under Texas Family Code § 85.022 must include a finding that the first applicant has committed family violence and is likely to commit family violence in the future.

Texas Family Code § 85.021 establishes the requirements of order applying to any party. The statute provides that in a protective order, the court can:

  • prohibit a party from removing a child who is a member of the family or household from the possession of a person named in the order or the jurisdiction of the court
  • prohibit a party from transferring, encumbering, or otherwise disposing of property, other than in the ordinary course of business, that is mutually owned or leased by the parties
  • prohibit a party from removing a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Texas Human Resources Code § 121.002 from the possession or actual or constructive care of a person named in the order
  • grant exclusive possession of a residence to a party and, if appropriate, direct one or more parties to vacate the residence if the residence is jointly owned or leased by the party receiving exclusive possession and a party being denied possession, is owned or leased by the party retaining possession, or is owned or leased by the party being denied possession and that party has an obligation to support the party or a child of the party granted possession of the residence
  • provide for the possession of and access to a child of a party if the person receiving possession of or access to the child is a parent of the child;
  • require the payment of support for a party or for a child of a party if the person required to make the payment has an obligation to support the other party or the child; or
  • award to a party the use and possession of specified property that is community property or jointly owned or leased property.
 

Texas Family Code § 85.022 establishes the requirements of order applying to the person who committed family violence. In a protective order, the court can order the person found to have committed family violence to perform acts specified by the court that the court determines are necessary or appropriate to prevent or reduce the likelihood of family violence and may order that person to:

  • complete a battering intervention and prevention program accredited under Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 42.141
  • complete a program or counsel with a provider that has begun the accreditation process described by Texas Family Code § 85.022(a-1); or
  • counsel with a social worker, family service agency, physician, psychologist, licensed therapist, or licensed professional counselor who has completed family violence intervention training that the community justice assistance division of the Texas Department of Criminal Justice has approved, after consultation with the licensing authorities described by Texas Occupations Code Chapters 152, 501, 502, 503, and 505 and experts in the field of family violence.
 

Texas Family Code § 85.022(a-1) provides that a program or provider serving as a referral option for the courts under Texas Family Code § 85.022(a)(1) or (2) must be accredited under Code of Criminal Procedure Section 4A, Article 42.141 as conforming to program guidelines under that article. Texas Family Code § 85.022(b) further provides that in a protective order, the court can prohibit the person found to have committed family violence from:

  • committing family violence;
  • communicating directly with a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, in a threatening or harassing manner; a threat through any person to a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order; and if the court finds good cause, in any manner with a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, except through the party’s attorney or a person appointed by the court;
  • going to or near the residence or place of employment or business of a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order;
  • going to or near the residence, child-care facility, or school a child protected under the order normally attends or in which the child normally resides;
  • engaging in conduct directed specifically toward a person who is a person protected by an order or a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order, including following the person, that is reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass the person;
  • possessing a firearm, unless the person is a peace officer, as defined by Section 1.07, Penal Code, actively engaged in employment as a sworn, full-time paid employee of a state agency or political subdivision; and
  • harming, threatening, or interfering with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, as defined by Section 121.002, Human Resources Code, that is possessed by or is in the actual or constructive care of a person protected by an order or by a member of the family or household of a person protected by an order.
 

Texas Family Code § 85.022(c) further states that in an order under Texas Family Code § 85.022(b)(3) or (4), the court must specifically describe each prohibited location and the minimum distances from the location, if any, that the party must maintain. Under Texas Family Code § 85.022(d), the court must in a protective order suspend a license to carry a handgun that is held by a person found to have committed family violence.

Violation of Protective Order Penalties in Fort Worth, TX

Texas Penal Code § 25.07 is an entitled violation of certain court orders or conditions of bond in family violence, child abuse or neglect, sexual assault or abuse, indecent assault, stalking, or trafficking case. The following text is effective until January 01, 2021:

A person commits an offense if, in violation of a condition of bond set in family violence, sexual assault or abuse, indecent assault, stalking, or trafficking case and related to the safety of a victim or the safety of the community, an order issued under Chapter 7A, Code of Criminal Procedure, an order issued under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, an order issued under Section 6.504, Family Code, Chapter 83, Family Code, if the temporary ex parte order has been served on the person, Chapter 85, Family Code, or Subchapter F, Chapter 261, Family Code, or an order issued by another jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 88, Family Code, the person knowingly or intentionally:

  • commits family violence or an act in furtherance of an offense under Texas Penal Code § 20A.02, 22.011, 22.012, 22.021, or 42.072;
  • communicates directly with a protected individual or a member of the family or household in a threatening or harassing manner; a threat through any person to a protected individual or a member of the family or household; or in any manner with the protected individual or a member of the family or household except through the person’s attorney or a person appointed by the court, if the violation is of an order described by this subsection and the order prohibits any communication with a protected individual or a member of the family or household;
  • goes to or near any of the following places as specifically described in the order or condition of bond: the residence or place of employment or business of a protected individual or a member of the family or household; or any child care facility, residence, or school where a child protected by the order or condition of bond normally resides or attends;
  • possesses a firearm;
  • harms, threatens, or interferes with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal that is possessed by a person protected by the order or condition of bond; or
  • removes, attempts to remove, or otherwise tampers with the normal functioning of a global positioning monitoring system.
 

The following text is effective on January 01, 2021:

A person commits an offense if, in violation of a condition of bond set in family violence, sexual assault or abuse, indecent assault, stalking, or trafficking case and related to the safety of a victim or the safety of the community, an order issued under Subchapter A, Chapter 7B, Code of Criminal Procedure, an order issued under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure, an order issued under Section 6.504, Family Code, Chapter 83, Family Code, if the temporary ex parte order has been served on the person, Chapter 85, Family Code, or Subchapter F, Chapter 261, Family Code, or an order issued by another jurisdiction as provided by Chapter 88, Family Code, the person knowingly or intentionally:

  • commits family violence or an act in furtherance of an offense under Section 20A.02, 22.011, 22.012, 22.021, or 42.072;
  • communicates directly with a protected individual or a member of the family or household in a threatening or harassing manner; a threat through any person to a protected individual or a member of the family or household; or in any manner with the protected individual or a member of the family or household except through the person’s attorney or a person appointed by the court, if the violation is of an order described by this subsection and the order prohibits any communication with a protected individual or a member of the family or household;
  • goes to or near any of the following places as specifically described in the order or condition of bond: the residence or place of employment or business of a protected individual or a member of the family or household; or any child care facility, residence, or school where a child protected by the order or condition of bond normally resides or attends;
  • possesses a firearm;
  • harms, threatens, or interferes with the care, custody, or control of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal that is possessed by a person protected by the order or condition of bond; or
  • removes, attempts to remove, or otherwise tampers with the normal functioning of a global positioning monitoring system.
 

Possession of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal by a person is defined as actual care, custody, control, or management of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal by the person; or constructive possession of a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal owned by the person or for which the person has been the primary caregiver. An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor, except the offense, is:

  • a state jail felony if it is shown at the trial of the offense that the alleged offender violated an order issued as a result of an application filed under Article 7A.01(a-1), Code of Criminal Procedure; or
  • a third-degree felony if it is shown on the trial of the offense that the alleged offender has previously been convicted two or more times of an offense under this section or two or more times of an offense under Texas Penal Code § 25.072, or has previously been convicted of an offense under this section and an offense under Texas Penal Code § 25.072; or has violated the order or condition of a bond by committing an assault or the offense of stalking.
 

A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to one year in jail and/or a fine of up to $4,000. A state jail felony is punishable by up to two years in state jail and/or a fine of up to $10,000. A third-degree felony is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $10,000.

Violation of Protective Order Resources

Protective Order Registry – Texas Courts — In 2019, the Texas Legislature passed SB 325, requiring the Texas Office of Court Administration to develop a Protective Order Registry, and now codified in Texas Government Code §§ 72.151–72.158.  This important legislation is also known as “Monica’s Law” in honor of Monica Deming, who was murdered in 2015 in Odessa, Texas by an abusive ex-boyfriend who had been the subject of two prior protective orders. While state and federal law currently provide peace officers access to limited information on issued protective orders, the Registry provides access to both applications and orders to other members of the justice community.

Protective Order Forms – Texas State Law Library – Texas.gov — Find links that contain forms and instructions for obtaining a protective order. You can find Protective Order Kits — Domestic Violence or Sexual Assault, Protective Order Kits (Office of Court Administration), Pro Se Protective Order Packets (Texas Advocacy Project), and Pro Se Sexual Assault Protective Order Packets (Texas Advocacy Project). You can also learn about other places to find forms, including court websites, state law libraries, or attorneys.

Find A Tarrant County Defense Attorney for Violation of Protective Order | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy

Were you recently arrested for allegedly violating a protective order in Flower Mound, North Richland Hills, Mansfield, or another area in Tarrant County, you will want to be quick to seek the help of The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy. Our firm has decades of experience handling domestic violence cases.

We can work to ensure that you do not face the most serious penalties and may be able to get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. Call (817) 422-5350 or contact us online to receive a free consultation.

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