The state of Texas does not take accusations of family or domestic violence lightly. In fact, if someone accuses you of an act of violence an order of protection can be filed against you without your knowledge or an opportunity to fight the order in court. An order of protection can have lasting, far-reaching consequences for your personal and professional life. Chris Abel has been fighting for the rights of his clients that have been falsely accused for years and has a record of success in defeating these types of claims.
Orders of Protection
An order of protection is a civil remedy that comes with criminal penalties if violated. It is defined as a civil court order issued to prevent continued acts of family violence. Under the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure Article 5.01, “victims of family violence are entitled to the maximum protection from harm or abuse or threat of harm or abuse.”
In order to qualify for an order of protection, an alleged victim must only show that an act of family violence has occurred and is likely to happen again. The alleged victim must be related to you through blood or marriage, currently or previously lived with you, or has had a child with you.
Ex-Parte and Permanent Orders of Protection
Typically, when the court grants an order of protection it will set a hearing date within 14 days. However, if the court decides that you pose a “clear and present danger” to the alleged victim it can issue an ex parte order of protection. These orders are filed without a hearing or notice to you. An ex parte order is valid for 20 days, but it can be renewed on 20-day intervals.
If the court grants a permanent order of protection against you, it can last for up to two years or longer. A permanent order of protection can have significant and profound effects on your rights as well as in your personal and professional life.
Consequences of an Order of Protection in Texas
Some terms of an order of protection are fairly straightforward and expected. For example, you can be ordered not to commit anymore acts of family violence. However, other terms of a protective order can seriously impact your life. Other terms of an order of protection may include:
- No contact with your family, spouse, or children;
- Cannot be close to child’s school or daycare center;
- Mandatory vacation of your home, although you must still pay the bills;
- Loss of firearm rights;
- Mandatory counseling;
- Payment of child support;
- Loss of parental rights;
…and other restrictions that can greatly affect your life.
If you are found guilty of violating any aspect of an order of protection, the penalties are severe. A first time violation can be considered a Class A misdemeanor offense, and you will be forced to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in fines in addition to serving up to one year in jail.
It is important to remember that the alleged victim cannot rescind or waive an order of protection. Even if they reach out to you to work things out, it is important to not respond and contact your attorney immediately.
Contact a Denton County Texas Defense Attorney Now
A false allegation of family violence and an order of protection can strip you of your rights, take you from your family, and ruin your reputation. If you or someone that you know has been falsely accused of violence and had an order of protection filed against them in the Tarrant County or Denton County area, let Chris Abel help fight these claims. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.