Houston Protective Order Lawyer
Applying for or Challenging a Protective Order (PO) in Texas
In Texas, victims of domestic violence, stalking, and abuse may seek protection from further harm by way of a Protective Order (PO). Issued by the court, a Protective Order can provide immediate relief from violence or threats of violence, including sexual assault.
A Protective Order can:
- Prohibit the person named in the order from harming or threatening you.
- Prohibit the person named in the order from contacting or coming within a certain distance of you, your children, your pets, your home, your workplace, and/or your children’s schools.
- Prohibit the person named in the order from possessing or carrying a gun.
The judge may also make orders about related issues, such as child custody, child support, visitation, and spousal support. A person who violates a Protective Order may be arrested and may face serious criminal penalties.
If you are interested in obtaining a Protective Order in the Houston area, or anywhere in Harris County, Kay Polk, Attorney at Law may be able to assist you. Our firm has a considerable amount of experience with Protective Orders and can advise you of your options and how to proceed. We can also help if you need to challenge a Protective Order based on false allegations of violence or abuse. Our services are confidential, and we will work swiftly to protect your well-being.
How to Obtain a Protective Order
If you have been the victim of any type of violence or threat of violence, you may be able to seek a Protective Order against your alleged abuser. This may apply in cases of sexual assault and stalking, even if you do not live with or have a close relationship with the abuser. It is free to apply for a Protective Order, but there are specific steps you must take, and you may find it helpful to work with an attorney who can make sure your rights are fully protected every single step of the way (particularly considering the fact that the other party may try to challenge the Protective Order).
To obtain a Protective Order in Texas, you must:
- Fill out an Application for Protective Order, along with an Affidavit (if you want your date of birth and address to be kept confidential) or a Declaration (if you want your date of birth and address to be public information).
- Once you have filled out these forms, take them along with two copies to the courthouse in the county where you or the other person lives, or in the county where your divorce case is pending (if applicable).
- File your Application for Protective Order in the appropriate court. If you are in immediate danger, the judge may issue a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order that protects you until your court hearing.
- You will need to appear in court at a hearing for your Protective Order, which typically takes place in about two weeks. You must have the other person “served” prior to this hearing, which means that they will be given a copy of your Application and Affidavit or Declaration.
- Depending on the outcome of the hearing, a Protective Order may be issued. This typically lasts two years, but in some cases, the court may issue a Protective Order that lasts longer.
Getting Ready for Your Protective Order Hearing
Even if you already have a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order in place, you will need to go to court for your Protective Order hearing. You need to take the time to prepare for your hearing by filling out and bringing a Protective Order with you, bringing any evidence with you (photographs, clothing, medical records, etc.), bringing witnesses with you, and bringing proof of your and the other person’s income and expenses. You should also bring any past Protective Orders with you.
Houston Protective Order attorney Kay Polk can help you prepare for your hearing and can represent you to ensure your needs are met. It can be frightening to appear in court, particularly if your abuser is present. By clearly presenting the situation and ensuring all supporting evidence and documentation is provided, we can help you pursue a Protective Order that is in your best interests.
Call (713) 234-6260 today for experienced and compassionate legal help.