In the state of Texas, two types of restraining orders are available – family violence protective orders and sexual assault protective orders – both of which are issued by a judge after a plaintiff files an application and proves that a legally defined form of family violence or sexual assault has occurred. These orders exist to protect victims of harassment, stalking, or abuse from further acts of violence. After a year, those who have restraining orders issued against them may review it and file a motion requesting to determine if it is still necessary. However, this is not your first opportunity to try to remove it.
Restraining Order Hearing
If a restraining order has been taken out against you, your first notification of it will be when you are served or delivered papers that inform you of the allegations, the hearing, and possible the existence of a temporary restraining order. It is imperative to follow the terms of the order, or you risk being held in contempt of court for violating it. This order is legally binding whether you sign for it or not, but accepting it does not imply guilt.
Within 5 to 30 days, you will have a full hearing, wherein you are entitled to legal representation. In order to successfully have the restraining order against you dropped, you have to demonstrate that you did not commit the alleged act of violence or harassment against the plaintiff. For this, you will need witness testimony, or other forms of evidence that may support your defense and confirm your innocence. If you fail at this stage, the order will be valid for a specific timeframe, which is not to exceed 2 years, unless a judge deems it appropriate.
How to Drop an Existing Order
Texas Family Code allows those who are the subject of a protective order to ask the court to reevaluate his or her case to determine if the order is still necessary after a year has passed. If the court reviews your case and finds that the protective order is no longer necessary, it will expire early.
The law also allows you to request that the order be modified. If you cannot have an order dropped, modification might be another option to look into.
As well-meaning as the law is regarding protective orders, many are often brought in bad faith by those who seek a greater advantage in a divorce case, or simply want to retaliate against another individual by abusing the court system. If you are the subject of a restraining order, it is important to seek skilled representation to protect your rights.
Dallas Domestic Violence Lawyers
Having a protective order taken out against you is a serious matter and are often associated with crimes of violence, which can remain on your record. Additionally, you will not be allowed to possess a firearm and your actions will be heavily restricted. Given the ramifications of this, you must seek legal counsel as soon as possible.
At Scott H. Palmer, P.C., our skilled Dallas domestic violence lawyers understand that a lot is at stake in your case and will do everything possible to ensure your rights are not trampled on. Combined, our skilled legal team has decades of experience, giving us the qualifications necessary to assist you with your case. Attorney Scott H. Palmer is Board Certified in Criminal Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.
We offer free phone consultations to new clients and will travel to meet clients if they are in jail or otherwise unable to visit our offices.
Call us at (214) 891-3382.