Unless you work in law enforcement or the legal profession, you probably haven’t given much thought to the differences between a restraining order versus a protective order in Angleton, TX. Most people assume that these terms are interchangeable. While they are both designed to prevent contact between certain people, their consequences, restrictions and language are quite different. Read on to learn more about the critical distinctions.
Restraining orders are often granted during court cases like divorces. Their goal is to prevent contact between parties, including physically staying away from each other. A temporary restraining order (TRO) and an injunction are codified under the Texas Family Code. They can restrain people from making contact with each other, but they may also prohibit certain acts, such as not using joint funds throughout the duration of the case. A TRO or an injunction may also include provisions about custody and visitation, support payments and more. Your attorney will list which acts must specifically be “restrained.”
Restraining orders have civil penalties, not criminal. Law enforcement does not have the power to enforce restraining orders. If a party violates the order, it will be addressed in civil court.
Protective orders are designed to protect people from abuse or violence, which is often committed by a family member. They demand that the abuser stop harassing, stalking, threatening, physically harming or otherwise causing trauma to the victim. A protective order can be issued even if the victim doesn’t ask for one. They will typically describe the length of time the order is enforceable, how any violations will be treated and any specific details that need to be addressed. The protective order may also extend to other people living in the victim’s household. The abuser is not allowed to possess or carry a firearm, and is often required to stay a certain distance away from the home, workplace and schools their victims attend.
Judges can also require the offender to attend substance abuse and anger management classes, leave their family home, undergo drug testing and set parameters for child support and visitation.
Unlike restraining orders, protective orders have criminal consequences. Law enforcement officers have the authority to arrest the violator. The defendant may be put in jail for up to two years for each violation of the protective order, and may pay up to $4,000 in fines for each violation. If the violation ends in violence against the people the order was meant to protect, the defendant will likely face additional misdemeanor or felony charges.
While “restraining orders” and “protective orders” are often used interchangeably in Angleton, TX, their differences are stark. In short, protective orders have more serious consequences than restraining orders (although it’s wise to avoid violating either).
If you’ve been accused of violating a protective order, make sure to call an attorney first. Then call Brazoria County Bail Bonds, so you can await your hearings from the comfort of your own home. Call us today to learn more about how we can assist you.