Everyone who fears domestic violence has the right to request legal protection from the court. The Law Office of Michael Muñoz can help you build a strong petition for a protective order against violence, and we can make sure you understand all the legal implications of obtaining such an order. It can feel overwhelming and confusing to navigate the legal process for a protective order, especially as it typically involves a hearing, so having an experienced lawyer on your side can help make the process smoother and more approachable. You should not have to navigate such a challenging time alone; let Attorney Muñoz stand beside you and guide you towards legal protection with experienced and knowledgeable hands.
Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Michael Muñoz today to get started. We represent people throughout Tarrant County & Dallas-Fort Worth.
Who Can Get a Protective Order?
Individuals who have experienced abuse from the following household, family, or intimate partners may apply for a protective order on behalf of themselves or their child:
- A current or former spouse
- A blood relative, such as a parent, sibling, or child
- A relative by marriage
- Someone with whom they have a child
- A foster parent or foster child
- A current or former dating partner
- A current or former ex of their current or former partner
To obtain a protective order, the petitioning spouse should first go to the district attorney’s office or the courthouse to apply. They will then need to fill out the necessary forms, which will require information about the petitioner and the abuser, such as where they reside and the relationship between the two parties. The judge will review the application and decide whether to grant a temporary order and/or a permanent order, which will require a court hearing that the abuser should also attend. The abuser should be served a Notice of an Application for a Protective Order.
In order for a judge to grant a permanent protective order, they must believe that there is a likelier chance (more than 50%) that the abuser committed family violence against the petitioner and will likely do so again in the future.
What Can a Protective Order Do?
There are a few different types of protective orders based on the severity of the situation:
- Temporary “ex parte” protective order: Designed to provide immediate protection from the abuser for up to 20 days; mainly ordered to protect the petitioner until the hearing for the permanent protective order
- Final (permanent) protective order: Effective for up to two years, after which it can be extended in serious situations
- Magistrate’s order of emergency protection (emergency protective order): Issued by the criminal court after the abuser is arrested for an act of family violence and lasts for 31-61 days or 61-91 days if the abuser committed family violence using a deadly weapon
Each protection order will have unique terms and provisions based on the petitioner’s needs and situation. Temporary protection orders may also have fewer terms, or at least more limited terms, than final/permanent protection orders, as they last a shorter duration.
Protection orders can require the abuser to:
- stop committing acts of family or dating violence or any acts that are reasonably likely to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment, or embarrass the petitioner or any of their family/household members;
- halt all communication with the petitioner or the petitioner’s family members;
- halt communication meant to threaten or harass;
- stay away from the petitioner’s home or place of employment or those of the petitioner’s family or household members;
- stay away from a school or daycare center that a child protected under the order attends;
- complete a battering intervention and prevention program or attend counseling with someone who specializes in family violence;
- follow any custody/visitation terms in the order, including temporary custody orders;
- not remove any shared child from the petitioner’s possession or from the jurisdiction of the court;
- stop any transfer or disposal of property that they own or lease with the petitioner;
- not remove a pet, companion animal, or assistance animal from the petitioner’s possession;
- pay child support or spousal support for the duration of the protective order;
- leave the petitioner’s home or other specified property if certain conditions are met and allow the petitioner to remain there;
- not possess any firearms and incur a handgun license suspension if they are found to be guilty of family violence;
- not harm, threaten, or interfere with the care, custody, or control of the petitioner’s pet, companion animal, or assistance animal, or that of the petitioner’s family or household member; and
- abide by any other behavior necessary to prevent or reduce the likelihood of family or dating violence.
If you have questions about obtaining a protective order, reach out to the Law Office of Michael Muñoz for legal support. Attorney Muñoz has worked on a range of complex cases throughout his career at the Texas Attorney General’s office and as a private practice lawyer. He will help you build a strong petition for legal protection from an abuser.
You should not have to fear for your safety when the law is here to protect it. Schedule a free consultation with the Law Office of Michael Muñoz to discuss your situation in more detail.