What is the crime Violation of Protective Order in Texas?

What is the crime Violation of Protective Order in Texas?

barrierMost people understand that violating a court order is Contempt of Court. In Texas, there is also a law making it a more serious criminal offense to violate the terms of a protective order that was issued on the basis of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking. This crime can also be committed by violating the terms of a jail-release bond for the same types of cases. Here in Travis County, this offense is listed on the docket with the abbreviation VIOL BOND/PROTECTIVE ORDER.

Do not assume that you are guilty just because you were arrested for this offense.

It is possible to violate the terms of a protective order WITHOUT violating the specific law that makes it a more serious criminal offense to violate a protective order.

Go ahead and read that last sentence again. Confusing, right? You definitely need an attorney if you are accused of this offense.


Call (512) 480-9020 to hire us on a Protective Order case in Travis County.


Only Standard Protective Order Conditions

fine-printViolation of custom bond conditions related to the safety of the victim is a crime under Texas Penal Code 25.07. However, a careful reading of that statute reveals that this offense can only be committed by violations of the standard (statutorily defined) protective order conditions, for example by:

  • Committing family violence, or an act related to human trafficking, sexual assault, or stalking.
  • Communicating in a threatening or harassing manner, or communicating a threat through another person.
  • Communicating in any manner if the order prohibits all communication.
  • Going to or near the residence, workplace, childcare facility, or school of a protected person or a member of the family or household.
  • Possessing a firearm.
  • Interfering with an animal in the possession of a protected person.
  • Tampering with a global positioning monitoring system.

Violation of custom protective order conditions is not a crime under 25.07. Many law enforcement officers, lawyers, and even judges are unaware of this distinction.

There is an old saying, “you can beat the rap, but you can’t beat the ride.” This means that, even if you are technically innocent, if you get cross-ways with the police then you are going for a ride in a patrol car. You will be taken to jail, and it will be horrible. You’ll spend too much of your time and money defending yourself against the charge and if they finally realize you were right all along, they just might get vindictive and consider going after you for Contempt of Court.


Call (512) 480-9020 to hire us on a Protective Order case in Travis County.


What is the penalty for Violation of Protective Order?

handcuffedWhen new crimes of Assault or Stalking are committed in violation of an existing protective order then it is a third degree felony punishable by two to ten years in the state penitentiary and a fine up to $10000. Most other violations are “only” class A misdemeanors punishable up to one year in the county jail and a fine up to $4000.

However, repeated protected order violations are felonies. Two or more violations of a protective order within a 12-month period can be combined into a single third degree felony named Repeated Violation of Protective Order.[1]Texas Penal Code Sec. 25.072 This offense is listed on the Travis County docket with the abbreviation VIOL BOND/PROTECTIVE ORDER 2+TIMES W/I 12 MO.

Wdeportationhen a defendant already has two or more convictions for violating any protective order at any time in the past, a single new violation is a third degree felony listed as VIOL BOND/PROTECTIVE ORDER 2+PREV CONV.

A person who is not yet a US citizen will be subject to deportation upon conviction for violation of a protective order by means of violence, credible threat of violence, or repeated harassment under the Immigration and Nationality Act.[2]8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(E)(ii)


Call (512) 480-9020 to hire us on a Protective Order case in Travis County.


Most Divorce Orders Are Not Protective Orders

divorceThis page is only relevant to Texas criminal law cases involving the a violation of a protective order issued after an allegation of Family Violence, Sexual Assault, or Stalking. Our office does not handle divorces, child-custody, or family law cases, but we may be able to provide a referral.

Divorce cases sometimes include a protective order based on an allegation of Domestic Violence. The criminal offense described above DOES apply to those orders but it does NOT apply to many other types of orders that are commonly associated with a divorce case. Some examples of orders that do not apply are temporary orders, custody orders, and restraining orders. Please consult an attorney that focuses on family law matters for questions related to divorce.

References   [ + ]

1. Texas Penal Code Sec. 25.072
2. 8 U.S.C. 1227(a)(2)(E)(ii)

 

Answers to other Frequently Asked Questions

We defend people accused of domestic assault in and around Austin, Texas.
For a quote, call (512) 480-9020 or email inquiry@pacefirm.com

 

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