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What happens when your EPO expires?

Domestic violence continues to be problematic in many Texas homes, as well as other areas throughout the nation. As a parent, it can be extremely frightening when a violent situation erupts, especially if your children are present, and, therefore, at risk for potential danger. When police respond to such calls, they often have to make split-second decisions after quickly surveying a situation in order to determine how best to proceed to keep everyone safe. One of those decisions might lead to someone's arrest.

If the arrest involves alleged wrongful actions committed against you, the criminal court may determine a need for issuing an emergency ruling against the defendant. This type of order can keep a parent and/or children safe on a short-term basis before charges are formally in place.

Beyond the short-term period

Laws regarding emergency protection orders and other domestic violence issues vary by state. An active EPO typically lasts five to seven days. For a victim of domestic violence, especially a parent trying to keep children out of harm's way, this length of time may feel as swift as the blink of an eye. It's understandable victims often worry what might happen once their EPO's expire. The following are other types of protective orders that may apply to particular situations:

  • Criminal protection order: A judge may order this protection while a criminal case is pending.
  • Restraining order: This is an order usually filed in conjunction with a lawsuit. It restricts and/or prohibits certain behavior against a particular party.
  • Protection order: Once an EPO expires, a long-term protection order may be implemented. Generally speaking, such orders remain active for one to several years; however, in a particularly serious situation, the court may issue a lifetime order.

Some protection orders merely limit the in-person physical distance between certain people. Others include further details regarding any form of contacts, such as phone calls, email or text messages. There are also situations that allow the restricted person to be in the same area as the individual who requested the order but only within a specifically limited distance, such as 100 yards or 300 feet. The justice system is a complex network of systems that can be difficult to navigate even on the best of terms.

If you have been physically or emotionally harmed and you're already under tremendous stress, you may feel completely overwhelmed while trying to make heads or tails of legal terminology and various codes that may pertain to an individual incident. It may be significantly helpful for you to rely on a skilled and experienced attorney as a personal advocate throughout the entire process of your domestic violence ordeal.

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