Violation of a Protective Order

A protective order, otherwise known as a restraining order, is an order issued by the court to prevent an individual from interacting with another party. The order prohibits an individual from committing certain acts or engaging in certain types of behavior. Normally, a protective order is issued for the protection of the issuer.

Most protective orders come from domestic violence. A judge will assess if violence occurred and if it is likely to occur in the future. If the judge determines that potential violence is possible, he or she will grant a restraining order. Violating a protective order does come with criminal charges. This applies even if the petitioner initiated the interaction or behavior.

If you or someone has been charged with violating a protective order, it is in your best interest to obtain an experienced criminal defense attorney.

Houston Attorney for Violation of a Protective Order in Texas

Protective orders are issued for the safety of the petitioner and the respondent. Any person who violates a protective order may face criminal charges. Those found guilty of violating a protective order may be required to pay expensive fines, and serve possible jail or prison time. You must not be idle if you have been charged.

Attorney Brian Benken at The Benken Law Firm are experienced in defending those who violate court orders. He understands that sometimes relationships can be complex when a restraining order is involved. Brian Benken will collect evidence and battle for you in court. Start your defense today with The Benken Law Firm.

Brian Benken represents clients throughout all parts of Harris County including Hosuton, Alief, Brays Oaks, and Westchase.

Call us now at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation.

Overview for Violation of a Protective Order in Texas


Requirements of a Protective Order in Harris County, Texas

A protective order prohibits the respondent from visiting certain places or doing certain actions. In addition to the protective order requirements, the court may require the respondent to change his or her lifestyle.

While the court is issued, the respondent may be required to move if they are living with the petitioner. Additionally, if the respondent and petitioner share a child, the court may give limited or no custody of the child to the respondent. In some cases, the respondent may be obligated to pay financial support for the child.

Texas Family Code § 85.022 states the respondent must abide by certain terms to the protective order and is prohibited from engaging in in any of the following:

  • Committing any sort of act of domestic violence;
  • Threatening the petitioner or any family or close friends of the petitioner;
  • Conversing in a harassing or threatening manner directly with the petitioner or any family or close friends of the petitioner;
  • Communicating in any platform with the petitioner or any family or close friends of the petitioner;
  • Being in the vicinity of the child-care facility, residence, or school of the petitioner or close family or friends of the petitioner;
  • Being in the vicinity of the business or employment of the petitioner;
  • Being in the vicinity of the residence of the petitioner or family or close friends of the petitioner; and
  • Possessing a firearm.

The term “family violence” is any threat or act of physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault to another family or household member. It is also known as domestic violence or abuse. The term “household member” is any person who resides or previously resided in the same home as the alleged offender. This can be roommates, family friends, or godparents.


Texas Penalties for Violating a Protective Order in Houston, Texas

Those who violate a protective order will be criminally charged. Even if the petitioner initiated the contact, the respondent will still be prosecuted in court. This scenario happens constantly in protective orders, and it does not serve as a admissible defense in court.

An individual who violates the terms of a protective order will face a Class A misdemeanor. The penalties for a Class A misdemeanor include:

  • Up to 12 months in Harris County jail; and
  • Possible fine of up to $4,000.

The penalty will be elevated to a third-degree felony if the respondent has two or more protective order violation convictions. The charges will also be enhanced to a third degree felony if the respondent violated the order by stalking or committing assault. The legal consequences for a third-degree felony include:

  • Up to 10 years in prison; and
  • Possible fine of up to $10,000.

Additional Resources

Issuance of Protective Order | Texas Family Code – Follow the link provided to read the section of the Family Code over protective order. You can find information about the requirements of an order, exception for violation of expired protective order and the duration of a protection order. The code can be read on the Texas Statutes and Constitution website.

Houston Bar | Domestic Violence Services – Visit the official website for the Houston Bar Association. Find more information regarding the domestic violence hotline, the women’s shelter for Houston, and a list of homeless shelters in the Houston area.


Harris County Lawyer for Violation of a Protective Order in Texas

Have you violated a protective order that was issued to you? Are you unsure on how to proceed with your legal defense? If so, it is important that you get in contact with a skilled attorney. A practiced attorney can clarify your legal options and assess the best direction for your case.

Brian Benken is a attorney who has a strong focus in criminal defense. He understands that the legal process is overwhelming.  Brian Benken wants to help you navigate this legal issue. Stay ahead and start your defense today. Call attorney Brian Benken at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation.

Attorney Brian Benken accepts clients throughout all communities in Harris County such as Houston, Pasadena, Westbury, and South Park.

Contact us now at (713) 223 - 4051 for a free consultation.


This article was last updated on October 4, 2018.

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