Domestic violence, otherwise known as "family violence" poses a serious threat to American society. It affects people from all races, religions, and socioeconomic classes and it is often passed down from generation to generation, or it's a byproduct of alcohol or drug abuse.
Victims of domestic and family violence are entitled to protection from the law. One of the main ways that a victim seeks help is through a protective order, which is also referred to as a "restraining order" in some parts. Courts issue protective orders to prevent abusers from committing further acts of stalking, sexual or physical abuse.
What constitutes domestic violence? Generally, it means that one family or household member threatens to cause physical harm to another family our household member, or it is an intentional act of violence against another member of the family or household. It also means spousal or child abuse.
Family or household members, include:
- Parents and children
- Foster parents and foster children
- Stepparents and stepchildren
- Any member of the same household
- Parents of the same child, even if they aren't married
- Any other blood relatives
What can a restraining order do?
Protective/restraining orders prohibit abusers from continuing the abuse, but they can do much more. A restraining order can order the abuser to give up their firearms, it can order them to move out of the family home, it can tell them to stay away from victim and any children protected in the order, it can order them to pay spousal and child support, and it can order them to attend mandatory counseling.
If a person violates a protective order, one of two things can happen: 1) they can be found in contempt, fined and put in jail, or 2) or local law enforcement will be notified and they will look for the offender and try to arrest him or her and have formal charges filed.
In Texas for example, if an offender violates an ex parte order, they can be found in contempt of court, which is punishable by up to a $500 fine, or up to six months in jail, or both. Other cases of violations aside from ex part orders are punishable by a $4,000 fine, or up to 12 months in jail, or both.
Did someone get a restraining order against you? If so, contact a criminal defense lawyer in our directory for the aggressive defense you need!