Temple Protective Order Violation Attorney
Judges frequently issue protective orders after receiving accusations of domestic violence or abuse. Some orders are issued on an emergency basis without any hearing, and sometimes those restrained by the order might be unaware of them. A protective order usually contains a list of things the defendant cannot do, such as contact the alleged victim or come within a certain distance. Many defendants also must turn over their firearms.
Any violation of a protective order can lead to police picking you up and putting you in jail. If you need legal assistance, contact a Temple criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. It is very easy for things to spiral out of control, and a seasoned attorney can help protect your rights and fight for your liberty.
Probable Cause of a Violation
Generally, police officers need an arrest warrant to make an arrest. However, if an officer has probable cause to believe you violated your protective order, then you can be arrested on the spot. Often, police will simply arrest first and question later—a disastrous policy which sends many people to jail.
Violations of protective orders are criminal offenses, and you should request a lawyer when in police custody. Never answer any police questions, because the odds are high you will only dig a deeper hole for yourself.
Punishment for Violating a Protective Order
Under Texas Penal Code § 25.071, violations are typically classified as Class A misdemeanors which can result in a maximum $4,000 fine and year in jail if convicted.
Even worse, someone with two or more prior convictions for violating a protective order will face felony charges and much stiffer penalties—between two and 10 years in prison and a larger fine. Although a first-time offense will probably result in probation, someone with even one prior arrest will likely spend some time behind bars.
Why You Need an Attorney to Fight These Cases
These cases often hinge on intent. Specifically, you can only be convicted for violating a protective order if you did so intentionally. It isn’t enough that you accidentally or carelessly violated the order.
For example, you might have run into your spouse who was leaving work or church when your protective order said to remain 200 feet away. However, you might have simply forgotten that your spouse would be there at that time of the week, or you could have not been paying attention to where you were going. In this example, you didn’t intentionally try to run into her, so you shouldn’t be punished.
Many protective orders are given for frivolous reasons as part of a divorce or child custody dispute where one spouse is looking for an edge. Still, you can’t ignore the order, though an attorney can try to narrow it or terminate it early.
Our Temple Criminal Defense Attorney is Standing By
Domestic violence has become politicized in recent years, with prosecutors hoping to look “tough” on abusers. These cases often have weak evidence, and sometimes a victim is not even willing to testify in court.
We can fight back against these charges, but you need to reach out as soon as possible. Call The Law Office of Katie L. Gomez, PLLC today.