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Texas Protective Orders Laws

In Texas, as in other states, protective orders are intended to protect individuals from abusive partners or others who may try to cause harm. Texas protective orders laws allow for both temporary (20 days maximum) and general (up to two years) protective orders, also referred to as "restraining orders." Violating a protective order can result in a jail sentence and/or fine.

Refer to the table below to learn about Texas protective order laws, or see Details on State Protective Order Laws for more general information.

Code Section Family 71.01, et seq. Repealed; now Family 71.001 et seq.
Activity Addressed by Order Enjoin contact; exclude from dwelling, employment, school; regarding minors: enjoin contact, temporary custody, support; counseling; reasonable court costs and attorney fees; suspension of firearm license
Duration of Order Temporary: maximum 20 days, may be extended; General: maximum 2 yrs.
Penalty for a Violation of Order Fine, maximum $4,000 and/or jail, maximum 1 year. If family violence occurs, can be prosecuted for a misdemeanor or felony, carry jail minimum 2 years. Temporary: maximum $500 fine or maximum 6 months jail, or both
Who May Apply for Order Adult member of family; prosecuting attorney; department of protective and regulatory services
Can Fees Be Waived? Yes; fees paid by respondent
Order Transmission to Law Enforcement Copy to chief of police where protected resides and to department of public safety
Civil Liability for Violation of Order Yes, contempt of court

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Texas criminal attorney or a Texas domestic violence lawyer, or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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