The purpose of a restraining order is to create a legal boundary between you and another person who may have violated your rights. If you are a victim of abuse of any kind, you have a right to live your life without a fear of threat or injury from another person. In Texas, multiple types of restraining, or protective, orders are available to help ward off further abuse.
Family Violence Protective Order
The purpose of a family violence protective order is to prevent violent acts between family members and children in a household. If you have a spouse or relative who threatened you with physical violence, or actually committed a physical act against you, a protective order against the person may be possible. Texas has a special clause in the family violence protective order that can protect you against abuse from a "dating relationship" as well. Once you request a restraining order against your partner, the judge will consider the length of the relationship, whether the relationship involved close interaction, and the "nature" of the relationship.
Sexual Assault Protective Order
The intent of a sexual assault protective order is to safeguard you against future harm by a sexual perpetrator. If a person commits sexual offenses against you, the protective order will prevent further communication and physical contact from the individual, and strip the individual of firearms. The order blocks the perpetrator from going near your home, workplace and other areas that are crucial to your daily life. Sexual assault protective orders can last the entire life of the perpetrator, or be issued to expire at a certain date. If the order does not specify a time period, the order ends two years after the issue date.
Emergency Protective Orders
You can request an emergency protective order in Texas as soon as the perpetrator appears before a city magistrate. If the act against you involves family violence or sexual assault, and you feel that your safety may be in jeopardy, an emergency restraining order can provide a safety net before an actual, court-ordered restraining order is issued. If the perpetrator violates the emergency protective order, the court may, as of 2010, issue a fine of $4,000 or require jail time of up to one year.
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