Denton Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders Lawyer
Victims of crime have several options in the legal system to prevent future criminal or harmful actions. Restraining orders, protective orders, emergency protection orders, and peace bonds are different instruments that are all intended to prevent acts of violence. Victims of domestic violence typically file for restraining orders, protective orders, or emergency protection orders in the courts of the county that they live or they have a divorce proceeding in. The process will usually involve the victim having to attend a number of hearings to present evidence, and the person against whom the order is sought will have the opportunity to attend a hearing to present their own evidence before a final order can be issued.
Victims of domestic violence can often be very confused and frightened about pursuing legal orders of protection, but they should not be afraid. Alexander & Associates helps clients all over the greater Denton area obtain the restraining orders they need after domestic violence. Call (972) 420-6560 or fill out an online contact form to learn more about how our Denton domestic violence attorneys can help you get the protection you need.
Do I Need A Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders Lawyer?
The Denton County Justice of the Peace Office cannot give legal advice. As a result, many victims of domestic violence who are unsure what type of court order they should apply for are left to their own devices to determine their path forward.
You will want to work with an attorney because the attorney will know whether you will be best served by a restraining order, protective order, or emergency protection order. The lawyer can also handle all of the paperwork involved in seeking a restraining order or protection order, which will reduce the likelihood of you having your application denied because of an innocent oversight. An attorney will also know what specific restrictions you should ask the court to enforce. This can be important in many divorce cases in which couples share homes.
Again, the person against whom your court order is being sought will have an opportunity to attend a hearing and argue against the court order. Your lawyer will know how to collect the necessary evidence to prove to the court why a protection order or restraining order is necessary.
Why Choose Alexander & Associates To Handle My Case?
Alexander & Associates is a full-service law firm helping clients in both criminal and family law matters. Our firm understands how emotional these issues can be for the people we represent, and our attorneys will work closely with you so you always get answers to every one of your questions.
Karen Alexander is a former director of the Denton County Bar Association as well as a former president of the Denton County Criminal Defense Lawyers Association and a member of the Denton County Family Law Bar Association. She was named an Outstanding Denton County Mentor in 2003 and won the Appreciation Award from the Denton County District Attorney’s Office in 2002.
Our firm has office locations in Frisco and Lewisville. We have experience in all legal aspects surrounding divorce in Texas and help people achieve the most favorable outcomes to their situations.
Domestic violence adds another level of stress to the already trying process of divorce, but you should make every effort to keep yourself and your family safe. Do not hesitate to retain legal counsel for assistance getting the restraining order or protection order you need.
Types of Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders Cases We Handle
The differences between the four aforementioned legal instruments are as follows:
- Peace Bond — A peace bond may be issued by a magistrate or a justice of a peace to require an alleged offender to post a bond that prohibits them from committing an act of violence for one year. If a person who receives a peace bond threatens to commit an offense against a protected person or property, they forfeit the surety bond or cash bond that was posted for their release. Police are not notified when peace bonds are issued.
- Restraining Order — A person or their attorney can file for a restraining order, which is only issued in conjunction with a civil suit, such as divorce. Restraining orders can prohibit harassment, bank account activity, and other activities. A temporary order can be issued at a hearing in which the alleged offender is not present and will remain in effect for 14 days until there can be a final hearing. If a court issues a permanent injunction, it typically remains in effect until the divorce is finalized. A violation of a restraining order is punishable by contempt of court which can result in a fine of up to $500 and up to six months in jail. Police are not notified when restraining orders are issued.
- Protective Order — A person, their attorney, or a prosecutor can file for a protective order. Like a restraining order, a temporary order remains in effect for 14 days and final orders usually remain in effect for two years. A violation of a protective order is a criminal offense. A violation is typically a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $4,000, but a person who has two prior convictions for violations will be charged with a third-degree felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. Police are notified when protective orders are issued.
- Emergency Protection Order — A person, their attorney, a victim’s guardian, a prosecutor, a police officer, or a magistrate on their own can request an emergency protective order. The emergency protective order is issued at the first appearance a person makes after an arrest for domestic violence, stalking, or dating violence. The order remains in effect for up to 91 days from the date it is issued. Violations are subject to the same penalties as protective orders. Police are notified when emergency protective orders are issued.
The judge that handles your petition is also prohibited from giving legal advice. The best way for a person to be certain that their application is properly prepared for a hearing is to enlist the assistance of an experienced attorney.
Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders Statistics
The Texas Department of Human Services estimated that 898,508 women were physically abused in Texas in 2002, yet only 183,440 incidents of family violence were reported to law enforcement. The Texas Department of Public Safety reported that 117 Texas women
were killed by their intimate male partners that same year.
According to the Texas Council on Family Violence (TCVF), 146 women were killed by a male intimate partner in 2016. TCVF reported that Texas family violence programs received 172,573 hotline calls in 2016, the National Domestic Violence Hotline received 15,584 calls and 1,809 chat requests from Texas in 2017, and Love is Respect, the National Dating Abuse Hotline, received 1,276 calls, 767 chats and 288 texts from Texas in 2017.
Contact a Denton Domestic Violence and Restraining Orders Attorney
Do you need help obtaining a restraining order or protection order because of an act of domestic violence committed before or during your divorce in Texas? You will want to make sure that you have legal representation as soon as possible.
Alexander & Associates represents individuals in communities all over Denton County. Our divorce team can review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (972) 420-6560 or contact us online to schedule a case evaluation.