Can You Get a Restraining Order Removed?
Texas offers two types of restraining orders – family violence protective orders and sexual assault protective orders – both of which are issued by a judge. To obtain a restraining order, a plaintiff must file an application with the court clerk in the county of his or her residence. The application is reviewed by a judge who will decide whether to grant a temporary restraining order based on the testimony of the plaintiff. The temporary restraining order, or ex parte order, will last until the date of the hearing, where the plaintiff and respondent will be able to present testimonies and evidence regarding the order. If granted, these orders can be difficult to remove or modify, but it is not impossible if you have the right legal advocate on your side.
What Happens Next
When a plaintiff files a restraining order against you, you will be served, or delivered, papers notifying you of the allegations, your scheduled hearing, and any restrictions you must comply with if a temporary restraining order was issued. A law enforcement official, professional server, or friend or family member of the plaintiff will usually carry out the delivery of these papers.
Your acceptance of these papers does not mean you are admitting guilt, but you are still responsible for following the terms of the order or risk being held in contempt of court for violating it. It is legally binding regardless of what you might think of the allegations.
Restraining Order Hearing
You are not helpless in this process. At the restraining order hearing, which is usually held 5 to 30 days after the application for the order, you will be given your first chance to fight its validity and are entitled to legal representation during this time.
During the hearing, you must prove you did not commit any of the allegations of family or dating violence, or sexual assault against the plaintiff to have the order against you dropped. It is crucial to obtain witness testimony as well as another other evidence you might have to support your innocence. This will undoubtedly be an emotional and troubling experience, but it is important to remain calm as you are telling your side of the story, so take some time to practice this. If the judge grants the plaintiff’s order, it will be valid for a specific timeframe that cannot exceed 2 years. If the duration of the order is not specified, it will remain in place for 2 years.
Removing an Existing Order
After a year has passed, you are entitled to revisit this issue by filing a motion with the same court that issued the order to determine if the restraining order is still necessary for the plaintiff’s safety. This review hearing will be similar to the initial hearing and you will be allowed to present any evidence you have for your defense.
Penalties for Violations
Never, under any circumstances, should you ever violate a restraining order. This is a serious crime and you will be held either civilly or criminally responsible. Penalties can include up to $4,000 in fines and up to 2 years in jail. It can also ruin your chances to have the order removed. Even if the plaintiff gives you permission to violate the order, this is not legal and you can still be penalized for doing so. A restraining order is legally binding and it is only removed when a judge legally rescinds it.
Dallas Criminal Defense Attorneys
At Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP, our Dallas criminal defense attorneys investigate domestic abuse charges. Being charged with criminal assault, aggravated assault, stalking, harassment, or violating a restraining order are all serious offenses that should never be taken lightly. However, there are incidents where police act on assumptions, or individuals make false accusations out of a desire for revenge or to seek an advantage in a family law dispute. That is why the defense attorneys at Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP chooses to investigate every case, regardless of the circumstances, to present the facts and prove your innocence. We believe everyone has the right to a good defense because we know how serious the consequences are.
A restraining order can impact a person’s life in several ways, including their viability in the job market, ability to possess a firearm, and even limited or no child visitation rights. Do not let these false charges ruin your life and future. Get the strong and effective legal help you deserve with us. You can trust that your case will be in good hands with us.
Call us today at (214) 301-5007 to schedule your free case evaluation with Crain Lewis Brogdon, LLP.