Certain crime victims have the right to APPLY for an order of protection. If a family or household member assaults you and is arrested, you may request an Emergency Order of Protection be issued. Please inform the investigating officer on-scene if you want an Order for Emergency Protection. You don’t need to be present when the Order is issued. You cannot be charged a fee by a court for filing, serving, or entering any type of Protective Order.
The Court can enter an order that:
- The abuser not commit further acts of violence
- The abuser not threaten, harass, or contact you at home
- Directs the abuser to leave your household
- Establishes temporary custody of the children and directs the abuser not to interfere with the children or any property
A violation could be a felony charge for the abuser.
What is an Emergency Protective Order (EPO)?
If the abuser is arrested, when they are arraigned, the magistrate may grant an Order of Emergency Protection. The order can contain items 1-4 from above and is good for 31 to 91 days. It will be mandatory that the Order be granted if there is serious bodily injury or if a weapon was used during the assault. The order can be enforced by the police if it is violated.
What is a Protective Order (PO)?
It is issued by family court and can contain items 1-4 stated above. You can apply for a Protective Order with the District Attorney’s office in the county where you live. If you are getting divorced, your private attorney must assist you in filing a PO. If granted, the PO is good for 2 years, or more, and violations are enforceable by police.
The Protective Order can deter violence and provide police and the courts additional authority to intervene, but it is not a shield that automatically stops the next violent act from happening.
What is a Temporary Ex Parte Order?
This order is issued when the application for a Protective Order is completed. This order may contain items 1-4 from above and is good for 20 days. This order is enforceable by the police under certain circumstances.
What is a Restraining Order?
This order is a civil order issued against a non-family member to prevent a person from engaging in certain behavior i.e. contact with the complainant, going certain places, etc. This order is only valid for the period of time in the Order and is NOT enforceable by the police.
For more information or assistance in applying for a protective order contact our office at 817-272-9254 or visit https://access.tarrantcounty.com/en/criminal-district-attorney/civil-division/protective-orders.html