Texas Family Law Attorney Helping Clients with Restraining Orders in Galveston
Do you need advice about obtaining a restraining order or defending yourself against one? An experienced Galveston restraining order attorney can help with your case. At the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates, we have years of experience handling a wide variety of family law matters and can speak with you today about your situation.
Restraining Orders in Galveston, TX
What is a restraining order, and how does it work? Restraining orders, which are known as protective orders under Texas law, are defined by the Texas Attorney General as “a civil court order issued to prevent continuing acts of family violence, sexual assault, human trafficking, or stalking.” In most situations, protective orders are issued for situations involving family violence (or commonly known as domestic violence). Family violence is typically defined as an act by one member of a household that is intended to cause harm to another member of that household, or a threat of serious harm. The abuse of a child can also be defined as a form of family violence.
Protective orders are designed to prohibit an offender from doing any of the following:
- Committing another act of violence;
- Harassing or threatening the victim (either directly or through a third party); and
- Going near the school or daycare attended by a protected child.
Sometimes protective orders can also do other things, such as to require a person who is alleged to have committed an act of violence to leave the home. Restraining orders typically are served by law enforcement officials,
What Are the Different Types of Restraining Orders?
There are different reasons that a person in Galveston, Texas might seek a protective order. Generally speaking, those reasons can include but are not limited to:
- Civil harassment: Some protective orders can prohibit a person from engaging in stalking behavior, which can rise to the level of civil harassment.
- Domestic violence: Protective orders for domestic violence are among the most common in Galveston. When family violence occurs in the household, the victim can file for a protective order. There are three different types of protective orders, including an emergency order, a temporary order, and a final (or permanent) protective order. Domestic violence protective orders can be sought by almost any family member, including blood relatives, relatives by marriage, current spouses, former spouses, individuals connected because they are parents of the same child, foster parents and foster children, or any current or former member of a household (even if they are not related).
- Workplace: In a workplace, an employee who is being stalked by another employee or assaulted by another employee may be eligible to seek a protective order to prevent additional acts of violence.
- Elderly or dependent adult abuse: There are many different kinds of elder abuse, including sexual abuse. The Texas Attorney General makes clear that seniors may be able to get protective orders in certain circumstances involving sexual abuse or violence perpetrated by a family member.
Three Types of Protective Orders for Family Violence in Galveston
When a court determines that family violence has occurred, it can issue one of three different types of protective orders. Whether one or all of these types of protective orders is warranted is determined on a case-by-case basis.
- Emergency Protective Orders: An emergency protective order is issued by a criminal court when the alleged perpetrator is arrested for family violence in the home in Galveston.
- Temporary Restraining Orders: A temporary protective order (or ex parte order) is issued by a civil court in Galveston. The perpetrator does not have to be arrested or charged with family violence for this type of order to be issued. Rather, a temporary protective order can last for up to 20 days (and may be extended in certain cases) until a court can determine if a permanent order is appropriate.
- Permanent Restraining Orders: A permanent protective order usually lasts for up to two years, but a court can allow the order to last for a longer period of time in cases of serious bodily injury or other forms of family violence.
What Are the Penalties for Violating Restraining Orders?
There are serious penalties for violating protective orders in Galveston, Texas. Penalties can include the following:
- Arrest and criminal charges;
- Contempt of court and fine of up to $500 and six months in jail; or
- Fine of up to $4,000 and up to one year in jail.
Contact a Galveston Family Violence Lawyer
If you have questions about how protective orders work in Galveston for family violence in the home, you should speak with a Galveston family violence lawyer as soon as possible. Contact the Law Offices of Tad Nelson & Associates at (281) 280-0100 for more information.