If someone has accused you of violence or making threats of violence, the courts may issue a protective order against you. This order does not mean you are guilty of a criminal offense, but it is crucial that you take the order and its restrictions seriously.

Should you violate the terms of a protective order, you could wind up facing additional criminal charges. Further, a violation could make you look bad in the eyes of the court. Therefore, knowing what you are supposed to do – or not do – will be crucial. Below are some of the more common terms with which people are expected to comply when a protective order is issued in Texas.

  • Staying away from someone: Oftentimes, protective orders require you to stay a certain number of feet or yards away from someone. This could include the person accusing you of violence as well as other parties, like your kids.
  • Avoiding contact of any kind with someone: Not only do you have to maintain physical distance, you may also have to refrain from calling, texting, messaging, emailing or otherwise contacting that person.
  • Staying away from certain places: An order can bar you from being near someone’s house, workplace, car, school or other private locations.
  • Seeking counseling: You may be required to attend counseling if there are concerns regarding mental wellness, anger management or substance abuse.
  • Surrendering any firearms: In the state of Texas, you can be required to surrender any firearms you own as well as your carry permit if accused of a crime.

Complying with these and any other provisions the court may put in place can be the difference between resolving a contentious situation peacefully and winding up in jail convicted of a violent crime.

If you have any questions or concerns about protective orders or the penalties of a violation, it can be crucial that you consult an attorney before making a serious mistake. With legal guidance and an understanding of your rights and obligations, you can avoid harsh penalties and defend yourself against any charges you may be facing.