Under Title 1, Chapter 5 of the Code of Criminal Procedure it states, “Family violence is a serious danger and threat to society and its members.” It continues: “Victims of family violence are entitled to the maximum protection from harm or abuse or the threat of harm or abuse as is permitted by law.”
If someone is a victim of family violence (sometimes called domestic violence), he or she can apply for a protective order, which is a civil court order that prohibits an abuser from committing further acts of family violence. Protective orders are also used to protect victims of stalking, sexual assault, and human trafficking.
Family violence refers to when one family or household member either: 1) threatens serious physical harm against another family or household member, 2) physically harms another family or household member, or 3) an act of child abuse.
What Can a Protective Order Do to an Abuser?
The victims of family violence can ask the court for a protective order, but in order for one to be issued the petitioner must be able to show the court that family violence took place and that it will probably happen again. If a court issues a protective order, it can do this to the abuser:
Order the offender to STOP committing further acts of family violence.
Order the abuser to leave the victim(s) alone, and to not contact those protected in the order.
Stay away from their children’s daycare or school.
Stay away from the victim’s place of work.
Prohibit the disposal of a certain property.
Order the offender to pay spousal support.
Order the offender to pay child support.
Not possess a firearm (firearm ban under state and federal law).
Order the offender to pay certain household bills, such as the rent or mortgage.
Receive mandatory counseling.
Vacate the family residence.
What if a Protective Order is Violated?
When a protective order is issued in Fort Worth or the surrounding areas, local law enforcement are notified. If an abuser violates a protective order and the police are contacted, law enforcement will take action to initiate an arrest and have criminal charges filed. If a violation does occur, it could lead to a fine up to $4,000 or up to a year in jail, or both a fine and imprisonment. If an offender is found in contempt of court, they face up to a $500 fine, or up to six months behind bars, or both.
To learn more about protective orders in Texas, click here.
Accused of family violence in Fort Worth? Protect your legal rights and contact the Law Office of A. Oliver Hassibi for a free case evaluation!