In September 2023, a significant change was made to Texas law regarding family violence protective orders. House Bill 1432 removed the requirement for victims to prove that future violence is “likely to occur” before obtaining a protective order. This amendment aims to make it easier for victims of domestic abuse to secure the legal protection they deserve.

This change can significantly impact both those seeking a protective order and those who may be subject to one. Let’s explore how the new law affects you.

For Victims of Family Violence

If you have experienced domestic violence, the new law offers a more streamlined path to obtaining a protective order. Previously, you would have needed to convince the court that your abuser posed a credible threat of future violence. This could be a challenging hurdle, especially for victims in emotionally charged situations or those lacking concrete evidence.

Now, the focus shifts to the reality of the abuse you’ve already endured. If you can demonstrate a history of family violence, the court is more likely to grant a protective order. This empowers victims to seek protection even if they fear future harm might not be readily demonstrable.

The new law also offers these benefits:

  • Reduced Emotional Burden: The pressure to predict and prove future violence is lifted, allowing you to focus on healing and safety.
  • Increased Accessibility: The process becomes less complex, potentially leading to a quicker issuance of the protective order.
  • Stronger Legal Standing: Having a protective order in place can be important evidence in future legal proceedings, such as custody disputes.

For Those Subject to a Protective Order

If you’ve been served with a protective order, it’s vital to understand your obligations and potential consequences of violating it. The order will outline specific restrictions, which may include:

  • No contact with the petitioner (the person who filed for the order)
  • Staying away from the petitioner’s residence, workplace, or child’s school
  • Refraining from threats, harassment, or violence

Violating a protective order is a criminal offense, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time. If you believe the order was issued unfairly, it’s essential to consult with a family law attorney immediately. There may be grounds to contest the order in court.

What You Should Do

If you are experiencing family violence, seeking a protective order can be a crucial step towards safety and peace of mind. The new law makes this process more accessible. Here’s how Lundberg Law can help:

  1. Understanding Your Rights: We can explain the legal grounds for obtaining a protective order and guide you through the application process.
  2. Gathering Evidence: We can assist you in collecting evidence of abuse, such as police reports, medical records, or witness testimonies.
  3. Court Representation: We provide experienced legal representation in court to ensure your voice is heard and your safety is prioritized.

For those served with a protective order, understanding your rights and potential defenses is important. We can:

  1. Review the Order: We will analyze the order and advise you on your obligations and any potential violations.
  2. Explore Options: If you believe the order is unfair, we can explore legal options for contesting it in court.
  3. Negotiation and Representation: We can represent you in court negotiations or hearings regarding the protective order.

Moving Forward

The new protective order law in Texas is a positive step towards protecting victims of domestic violence. If you’re unsure about your rights or need legal guidance regarding a protective order, contact our experienced family law attorney Gregg Lundberg today. We understand the complexities of domestic violence cases and are dedicated to helping you navigate the legal system with compassion and strength.

Schedule a consultation online now or call 972-775-3500 to discuss your specific situation and explore your options.

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