Texas residents who may have concerns about their safety or the safety of their children in domestic situations may understandably wonder about their options to protect themselves from harm. Many may have heard references to restraining orders but may not be familiar with exactly what types of orders are available or what they actually do.
The Texas Statutes explains that a protective order, as it is called in Texas, may be able to be issued if two things are found to be true. The first is that some form of violence has taken place and the second is that some type of family violence is considered possible and even likely to happen again. It is important to know that there are different types of protective orders.
According to the Texas Council on Family Violence, when a person who has been accused of domestic abuse is seen by a magistrate after being arrested, the magistrate has the ability to order what is called a Magistrate’s Order for Emergency Protection. This type of order is intended to keep the alleged victim safe from additional harm or violence and may be in place for 91 days if a weapon has been involved. Without a weapon, this type of order lasts between 31 and 61 days.
Another short-term protection is the temporary ex parte order which is also intended to stop further violence and to even prohibit contact between the person accused of the violence and the person who is said to have experienced the violence. This order may be in effect for up to 20 days. A final protective order can run for as long as 24 months.