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Divorce and Family Law Attorneys serving Plano, Allen, Frisco, McKinney, Wylie, Murphy, Fairview, Lucas, and surrounding areas.

Protective & Restraining Orders

This page is intended as a very general overview of issues related to protective orders and restraining orders. The statements and information provided on this website are for informational purposes only. This site is not intended to provide legal advice to the reader and NO attorney-client relationship shall be deemed to arise from the receipt of this page. An attorney-client relationship only arises after the attorney and client have signed a written attorney-client agreement, after the attorney has evaluated the background facts provided and has accepted the representation of the client's legal action.

Protective orders and restraining orders are enforceable court orders that can address anything from domestic violence to misuse of community property. Protective orders are issued specifically to protect victims of domestic violence, while restraining orders can address a broad range of other issues.

In order to obtain a protective order, the party seeking it must show the Court that the other party has committed family violence, or threatened family violence, and that there is a likelihood of further family violence if the Court does not grant the protective order. The Court may grant a temporary protective order without holding a hearing, but before granting a final protective order, the Court must hold a hearing at which all parties have the chance to be heard. These hearings are often scheduled very quickly, so if you have been served with a protective order, it is important to consult with an experienced family law attorney as soon as possible.

A protective order will often include provisions requiring the recipient of the order to refrain from contacting or going near the place of residence or employment of the applicant, and sometimes the parties' children. The protective order will also commonly suspend any concealed handgun license held by the recipient and may even require him or her to immediately vacate their residence if they still live with the applicant. Protective orders are enforceable by the police, meaning if the recipient of the order violates its terms he or she can be arrested and charged with a crime. In addition to being charged with a crime, the judge who issued the protective order may sanction the party who violates its terms.

Since the issuance of the protective order requires that family violence has been committed, there is quite often, also a criminal assault charge that has been filed against the recipient of the protective order as well. As former prosecutors, Eric and Jennifer have a great deal of experience handling domestic violence assault cases and are particularly equipped to handle cases that involve this intersection of family law and criminal law.

A restraining order is typically used to prevent one party or the other in a case taking certain actions until the Court can hold a hearing. For instance, a restraining order may prevent either party from excluding the other from their shared residence, prevent them from taking the children out of state, or prevent them from spending money or disposing of property. Unlike a protective order, restraining orders are not enforceable by the police and violating their terms will not result in a criminal charge (though the violation will still probably bring sanctions from the judge who issued the restraining order).

If you have been served with a protective order or a restraining order, please contact us to schedule a free consultation as quickly as possible. It may be possible to have the terms of the order modified, or completely set aside.

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