If you have a Texas protective order for your security and the safety of your family, it can be terrifying to think about what the abuser may do when the stated time period comes to an end. According to the terms included in the order, a restraining order may be in effect for a few weeks, months, or even years, depending on the situation. Even when the order is not expiring, you may live in fear due to types of misconduct by an abuser that were not specifically addressed in the order, but are now becoming an issue. You are vulnerable because police cannot take action against conduct that is not officially illegal.
Fortunately, Texas law provides a modification process for protective orders, giving you legal options to extend your protection. However, because the process to modify a restraining order can be complicated, you should discuss your circumstances with a skilled Galveston, TX domestic violence lawyer.
Types of Protective Orders Under Texas Law
There are three classifications of restraining orders in Texas, which are applicable to different situations depending on the details of your case.
- Emergency Restraining Order: An EPO is an order that must be issued by the court immediately after an arrest; you can also apply for one due to an incident of domestic violence where there was no arrest. You are not required to be present in court, nor do you need to give notice to your abuser regarding the proceedings. An EPO may last from 31 to 91 days.
- Temporary Protective Order: A court may issue a TRO for up to 20 days upon filing of a petition related to a domestic abuse situation. It can protect you from a range of abusive conduct, since the law allows a judge to direct the abuser to do or not do certain acts.
- General Order of Protection: This type of order can go up to two years where a court determines that violence has occurred and is likely to occur again if the abuser is not enjoined. A judge may issue this restraining order for beyond two years, but only if the abuser was the subject of two or more previous orders or caused serious bodily injury to the victim.
Proceedings to Extend or Modify a Restraining Order Terms
To make changes to the terms and conditions of a protective order, you must file a motion that includes your specific requests, such as:
- To extend the time period as provided by law; or,
- To include any item or acts that could have been contained in the original order.
You do have to give notice to the respondent if you petition the court to extend or modify a restraining order, but this requirement is fulfilled by sending the documents via registered or certified mail to his or her last known address.
Legal Help from a Galveston, TX Domestic Violence Lawyer
If your protective order is coming to an end or you have reasons to modify the existing terms, it is critical to consult with a dedicated domestic violence attorney. Our lawyers at Tad Nelson & Associates can assist with modifications, extensions, or any other details related to Texas restraining orders, so please call our Galveston, TX office today at (281) 280-0100 to set up a consultation. You can also visit us online for more information on our services.