What You Need to Do if You are the Subject of a Protective Order

A protective order in Texas is a criminal matter.  It is not to be confused with a restraining order, which is a civil order.  Someone can get a protective order if another person has hurt them, threatened to hurt them, damaged their property, or threatened to damage their property.  It is designed to prevent injury and damage.

It is pretty hard in Texas to get a protective order.  If someone is successful in getting a protective order against you, you need to take it very seriously.  If you violate a protective order, you should expect to go to jail and you may be charged with a felony and face prison time.  If you are under a protective order, you can have NO CONTACT with the person who is being protected.  The protective order will tell you how many yards you must remain away from the person, their residence, their vehicle, and their place of business.  If you “accidently” find yourself to be in the same place as the protected person (e.g., at the mall, at a football game, etc.), you must immediately leave.

It is a violation of a protective order for you to have ANY contact with the person who is being protected.  That means that you cannot send them anything (letters, a card, flowers, etc.).  You may also not contact them either directly or indirectly.  For instance, it would be a violation of a protective order for you to have your brother call the protected person to tell them something on your behalf.

If you have children, you have a duty to inform the other parent of your children if you are the subject of a final protective order issued after the date of you got orders in place concerning your children.  Notice of this information must be provided to the other parent of the children as soon as practicable, but not later than the thirtieth (30th) day after the date the final protective order is issued.  WARNING:  A CONSERVATOR COMMITS AN OFFENSE PUNISHABLE AS A CLASS C MISDEMEANOR IF THE CONSERVATOR FAILS TO PROVIDE THIS NOTICE.  You should give this notice in writing, so that you can prove that you have given the notice.  (Written notice includes text messages and emails.)  If the other parent is the person who is protected by the protective order, you do not have to give this notice, since they know that you are under a protective order.