Violation of Protective Order

Violation of Protective Orders

The Violation of Protective Order when in conjucntion with a prior or pending Domestic Assault, Family Assault, or Family Violence case, is a serious offense. In Travis County it means a warrant or arrest, and may cause an existing Personal Bond for the assault case to be canceled. Judges in Travis County are recluctant to release the accused after a Violation of Protective Order.

Violation of Protective Orders are commonly Class A Misdemeanors, depending on the conduct. If there is an Assault or Stalking that occurs during the Violation of Protective Order, then it's a 3rd Degree Felony (plus a new assault or stalking offense). Sometimes a phone call or text message will trigger a new charge of Violation of Protective Order. Even if the other party (the alleged victim) initiates contact, the mere response is a violation.

How Long do Protective Orders Last?

Protective Order lengths vary, but if it's longer than 90 days, there has to be a hearing before a Judge. The hearing is not a criminal trial, but instead the Judge must agree that "more likely than not" domestic assault has occurred." If so, then a Protective Order can last years.

Defenses and Technical Issues

Violation of Protective Orders are governed by a large number of different statues, including those in the penal code, the family code, and civil statutes. Depending on which type of Protective Order is present, and how it was served on the other party, there may be a variety of defenses available.

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What are the Punishments?

Violation of Protective Order cases can be either Misdemeanors or Felonys. Violation of Protective Order offenses can often lead to jail time and a temporary or permanant loss of parental rights. There may also be a loss of Firearm Rights, and individuals on Probation will need to surrender all registered (and unregistered) firearms.

Penalties for Violation of Protective Order
Level of Offense Punishment
Class C Misdemeanor Not Applicable
Class B Misdemeanor Not Applicable
Class A Misdemeanor Not more than 1 year in a county jail, and/or no more than $4,000 fines
State jail felony Not Applicable
3rd Degree Felony 2-10 Years in Prison, and/or no more than $10,000 fines

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