If you are accused of violating a protective order in Texas, you could be facing criminal penalties, including jail time.
Violation of a court order in Texas is considered contempt of court, which often carries financial penalties. When you violate a protective order that is in effect because of stalking, domestic violence, or sexual assault, it can be a serious criminal offense. If you have been charged with violating a protective order in Texas, you need a Travis County criminal defense attorney. At Granger & Mueller PC, we have over 25 years of experience defending Austin area residents.
What are Protective Orders?
A protective order is another term for a restraining order. These should be taken seriously as you have been given a direct order by the court to refrain from engaging in certain activities. The duration of the protective order will vary based on the judge’s discretion. In most cases, they can last for two years. If you are in jail or prison, the protective order may be in effect for up to a year after your release.
In the event you violate that court order, you can be facing jail time and fines. The reason violation of a protective order is taken so seriously is because these orders are typically issued in connection with domestic abuse cases. The idea behind a protective order is to help keep the victim from being threatened, assaulted, or even just pressured.
If there is a protective order in force against you, you are not allowed to possess firearms, and the court may require that you attend treatment programs for substance abuse or anger management courses.
Penalties for Violating a Protective Order
The judge will decide at the bail hearing whether or not you violated a protective order with the intent to stalk or commit family violence. The judge may even hold you over for trial without granting bail. In most cases, a violation of a protective order is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to one year in county jail and a $4,000 fine.
The penalties are much worse for someone who has two or more prior convictions as it is treated as a third-degree felony. The sentence for a third-degree felony is anywhere from two to 10 years in prison. Be advised that if you violate a protective order two or more times within a year, the court can combine both into a single third-degree felony, which is typically known as a repeated violation of a protective order.
What is Cconsidered a Violation?
It is important to understand that the court may find someone in violation of a protective order even if the victim was not hurt. If your ex invites you over for a reconciliation meeting and there is a protective order in effect, you can still be arrested. If you are found in possession of a firearm, it is also a violation.
Fighting a Violation of Protective Order Charge
Just because you have been charged with a protective order violation, it does not mean you should not fight and just give up. Contact the skilled criminal defense attorneys at Granger & Mueller PC today at 512-474-9999 to schedule a free initial consultation.