3 Types of Protective Orders in Texas
If you or your children are victims of domestic violence in Texas, you can obtain a protective order against the abuser in your family. Also known as a restraining order, a protective order can order the abuser to stop harming or threatening you with harm, stop contacting you and your loved ones or visiting places where you frequent, and have the police confiscate any firearms from the abuser.
There are three types of protective orders in Texas: a magistrate’s order for emergency protection, a temporary ex parte order, and a permanent protective order.
A Magistrate’s Order for Emergency Protection
Also known as an “emergency protective order,” a magistrate’s order for emergency protection is issued by the criminal court following an arrest for family violence, stalking, sexual abuse, sexual assault, indecent assault, or trafficking.
A police officer can request an emergency protective order on your behalf, without the victim being present in court. However, if the domestic violence arrest involved serious injury or the display or use of a deadly weapon, the magistrate must issue this order.
An emergency protective order generally lasts between 31 to 61 days. But if the abuser was arrested for a domestic violence offense involving the use or display of a deadly weapon, then the order is valid for 61 to 91 days.
Temporary Ex Parte Order
Domestic violence victims can obtain a temporary ex parte order in family court, rather than criminal court. If the judge believes that the victim or their children are in clear and present danger of family violence by an abusive family member—based on the information in your application—the court will grant the order.
A temporary order is valid for up to 20 days. However, it can be extended for an additional 20 days upon request from the victim or if the judge decides to do so.
Permanent Protective Order
A court hearing will be scheduled to give the victim and the abuser an opportunity to present their side of the case. If the judge rules in favor of the victim, the permanent protective order is valid for up to two years.
However, if the abuser committed a felony offense, caused serious injury to the victim, or has been subject to two or more protective orders in the past, then the permanent protective order may last more than two years.