Protective Order Hearings in Collin County, which are also commonly known as restraining orders or orders of protection, generally become effective after a judge has found family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future between two people.
Family violence situations often result from false allegations or situations where one party wishes to gain a more favorable position in a divorce or child custody case. The protective order hearing may be your only chance to present your side of the case and avoid a restraining order put in place against you.
If you have been served with a petition for a protective order, it is important to contact a criminal defense lawyer immediately. If you fail to appear at the protective order hearing, the court will enter a default protective order against you simply because you did not show up.
It is essential to hire an experienced criminal defense attorney who can represent your best interests at the hearing and make every effort to avoid having a protective order put in place against you.
Protective Order Hearing Defense Lawyer in Plano, Allen, Frisco, and McKinney, TX
If you have been served with a petition for a protective order in Plano, or any of the surrounding areas in Collin County, including Allen, Anna, Blue Ridge, Carrollton, Celina, Copeville, Fairview, Farmersville, Frisco, Garland, Josephine, Lavon, Lowry Crossing, Lucas, McKinney, Melissa, Murphy, Nevada, New Hope, Parker, Princeton, Prosper, Richardson, Royse City, Sachse, Saint Paul, Van Alstyne, Weston, or Wylie, make sure you contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy.
Attorney Richard McConathy is knowledgeable in all areas of Texas’s family violence laws. He will fight to help you achieve the most desirable outcome for your particular situation. Call the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy for a free consultation at (469) 304-3422 about your protective order hearing.
Collin County Protective Order Terms
When dealing with a potential protective order and protective order hearing in Plano, it is important to understand the key concepts. The following terms are defined in Chapter 71 of the Texas Family Code:
- Family Violence – This can occur when one family member commits an intentional act against another to cause bodily injury, physical harm, assault, or sexual assault. Family violence is also commonly known as domestic abuse, domestic violence, spousal abuse, or dating violence.
- Petitioner – This is the individual who filed the application for the protective order or the individual who claims they are the victim of family violence
- Respondent – This is the individual for who the protective order is being requested and who allegedly committed family violence against the petitioner.
- Injunction is a court-ordered prohibition against doing a specific act. A protective order typically has several injunctions.
- Protective Order – This is also commonly known as a restraining order, protection order, or protection against family violence. A protective order issued by the court prevents or requires the respondent to engage in certain acts. The court will grant a protective order if the judge finds family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future.
Protective Order Hearing Process in Texas
The protective order hearing process is defined in Chapters 82, 83, and 84 of the Texas Family Code. The process is initiated when one individual claims another individual has committed violence against them, or they are afraid the other person will commit violence against them in the future. This person, the petitioner, will then file an application for a protective order.
After the petitioner has filed for a protective order, the court will then determine if a temporary protective order should be ordered based solely on the petitioner’s allegations before the final protective order hearing. If the court grants a temporary order, it is effective for a maximum of 20 days.
The final protective order hearing must be held no later than 14 days after the application was filed. The respondent will receive notice of the hearing, the date of the hearing, and a copy of the application prior to the final protective order hearing.
At the protective order hearing, the respondent may plead their case, present favorable evidence, have witnesses testify on their behalf, and demonstrate any other reason why the court should deny the protective order. The respondent may also have an attorney defend them at the hearing.
Collin County Protective Order Injunctions
If the court grants a protective order after the hearing, or a default order has been entered because the respondent did not appear, the respondent may be prohibited from engaging in certain acts or required to commit certain acts. According to Sections 85.021 and 85.022 of the Texas Family Code, some of the most common injunctions in the protective order can include:
- Award of the exclusive use and possession of community property or jointly owned or leased property to the petitioner;
- Prohibition from removing a child from the petitioner’s possession;
- Prohibition from transferring or disposing of mutually owned or leased property;
- Petitioner granted exclusive possession of a residence and order the respondent to vacate the property;
- Prohibition from removing a pet from the possession of the petition;
- Prevention from communicating with or threatening the petitioner;
- Prevention from committing any act of family violence;
- Prevention from going to any protected child’s school or daycare;
- Prevention from going to the petitioner’s work or school;
- Prevention from going to the petitioner’s residence;
- Prohibition from possessing a firearm;
- Required completion of a battering intervention and prevention program;
- Financially support the petitioner or children, if obligated to do so; and/or
- Any other relief the court determines is necessary.
A protective order in Texas is effective for a maximum period of two years.
A violation of a protective order is generally a Class A misdemeanor. If convicted, maximum penalties include one year in jail and a $4,000 fine.
If the alleged violator has two or more prior violation convictions or commits an assault or stalking offense, they can instead be charged with a third-degree felony. Maximum penalties for a third-degree felony include a $10,000 fine and a prison sentence ranging from two to ten years.
Texas Protective Order Hearing Resources
Protective Order? Restraining Order? Peace Bond? — This handout explains the differences between protective orders, restraining orders, and peace bonds. While some people believe all of these terms mean the same thing, they do not. The handout summarizes the uses, benefits, and restrictions of each. A Peace Bond is issued by a Magistrate and requires an individual (who is not a household or family member) to post a bond conditioned that the individual will not commit a specific act of harm for a period of one year. The individual must post either a surety bond or a cash bond for one year (in the amount set by the judge after a hearing), or go to jail for one year or until the adequate bond is posted.
Emergency Protective Orders | Texas Advocacy Project — Read about how emergency protection orders work. You can also find answers to a variety of frequently asked questions. The Project’s Emergency Protective Order (EPO) services make sure that you know and understand your rights regarding domestic violence.
Myths about protective orders — Over the years, the Tarrant County Criminal District Attorney’s Protective Order Unit has heard a wide range of interpretations from applicants, attorneys, police officers, the average person on the street, and even some judges regarding what a protective order is, how it works, what it can and cannot do, when it works and does not work, and who can and cannot request one. This article addresses the top six myths. These include: Restraining orders and protective orders are essentially the same things, undocumented people can’t request a protective order, a victim who is still in a relationship with, still living with, or married to her abuser cannot request a PO, victims who have never reported the abuse to the police (or who have no proof of abuse) cannot get a protective order, someone can get a protective order only if the abuser has been physically violent, and someone who completed or filed an Affidavit of Non-Prosecution (ANP) in a criminal case can’t get a PO.
Protective Order: Fact Sheet | Texas Law Help — This article tells you how to get a protective order and what protections it may be able to provide to you. This article was written by Texas RioGrande Legal Aid and updated by TexasLawHelp. You can also read related articles.
Find A Collin County Attorney for Protective Orders Hearing | Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy
Contact the Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy today for a consultation if you have been served with a protective order in North Texas. Richard McConathy is an experienced criminal defense lawyer in Dallas with nearly two decades of experience. He will make every effort to help you avoid a protective order and to represent your best interests at your hearing.
Call (469) 304-3422 or contact us online today for a consultation about your protective order hearing. The Law Offices of Richard C. McConathy represent clients throughout Dallas County and the surrounding counties of Denton County, Collin County, and Tarrant County.