Houston Protective Order Attorney
A protective order is rendered by a court after finding that family violence has occurred. A protective order prohibits contact or communication with the victim or the victims’ family. When you suffer abuse or someone has accused you of domestic violence, it is important to consult with an experienced domestic violence and family lawyer who can protect your rights. At The Alsandor Law Firm in Houston, we represent victims of abuse seeking a protective order, as well as alleged abusers seeking to defend against domestic violence allegations.
Houston Protective Order Attorney
A domestic violence charge may result in a protective order that prevents the alleged abuser from contacting or communicating with the victim or their family. To protect your rights in a domestic abuse case or defend yourself against an allegation, contact The Alsandor Law Firm.
What Is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence as a pattern of abusive behavior within a relationship. One partner will often use this type of behavior to gain or keep control over his or her intimate partner. This definition includes the following forms of abuse:
Any kind of violent behavior inflicted by the abusive partner against the victim. The behavior can include biting, slapping, hitting, shoving, punching, battering, cutting, pinching, pulling hair, etc. Physical abuse can also include an abusive partner forcing alcohol or drug use on their partner or denying their partner medical treatment.
Occurs when the abusive partner attempts to or actually does make the victim financially dependent upon the abusive partner. Economic abusive partners usually strive to maintain complete control over all of the financial resources, prevent the victim’s access to those resources, or prevent the victim from going to work or from attending school.
Happens when the abusive partner deflates or invalidates the victim’s self-esteem and/or the victim’s sense of self-worth. This usually occurs through name-calling, meddling with the victim’s abilities, constant criticism of the victim, or damaging the victim’s relationship with his/her children.
Involves the abuser causing fear in the victim through the following:
- destruction of property,
- isolating the victim from his or her family members and friends,
- intimidation preventing the victim from attending school or from going to work,
- threatening to physically hurt himself/herself, the victim, children, the victim’s family or friends, or the pets; or
- injuring the pets.
Threats to injure, to hit, or to use a weapon against the victim or someone/something the victim cares for is a form of psychological abuse.
Happens when the abusive partner attempts to or does coerce the victim into sexual behavior or having sexual contact without the victim’s consent. This is typically shown through saying sexual jokes at the expense of the victim, sexually demeaning the victim, attacks of the victim’s sexual body parts, marital rape, or physical violence against the victim followed by forced sex with the victim.
This can include: sending gifts, spying on the victim, watching the victim, harassing the victim, gathering information about the victim, leaving written notes for the victim, and showing up/appearing at the victim’s job or home. While these acts by themselves are legal, if a person continuously performs these behaviors it could be a crime; and
Concerns repeated emails or online action against a victim that causes the victim substantial emotional distress.
Who Could Be Victims of Domestic Violence?
Anyone can be a victim of domestic violence. This is true regardless of gender, age, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, or education level. Law enforcement authorities now realize that domestic violence victims can be one of the following:
- Sexual/Dating/Intimate Partners; and
- Family members.
What Are the Civil Protection Options Available for Victims of Domestic Violence?
Many people believe that a domestic violence only means of protection from domestic violence is to get a protective order against his or her spouse. This is a myth. Many states allow victims with abusive cohabitants to get protective orders. These orders are also called emergency protective orders or temporary restraining orders. Also, some states allow victims of abusive non-cohabitating partners, roommates, or adult relatives to get protective orders. The laws concerning protective orders in domestic violence situations vary in each state. State legislatures and law enforcement recognize the increased need for protection against domestic violence. Consequently, the laws change to reflect these needs. Thus, it’s important to consult with a family law attorney to about the most updated protection order laws in your state.
Domestic violence victims have several available civil options to protect themselves and their families, such as an order of protection or a judicial ex parte order. The judicial ex parte order is also known as a restraining order.
Obtaining a Protective Order
Our family lawyer is experienced in helping the victims of abuse to both seek and obtain a protective order to ensure their own safety and the safety of their children. If you are a victim of abuse, you can take immediate action to protect your rights. Our Houston family law attorney will assist you in filing the necessary documentation and paperwork to quickly secure a protective order. We are experienced in temporary and permanent protective orders in both domestic violence and domestic abuse cases.
A protective order can do the following:
- Prevent the abusive partner from contacting, telephoning, striking, attacking, or disturbing the peace of the victim;
- Order the abusive partner to stay at least 100 yards away from the victim, the victim’s home, and the victim’s workplace;
- Force the abusive partner to move out of a residence he or she shares with the victim;
- Make the abusive partner attend counseling; and
- Forbid the abusive partner from purchasing a firearm.
Orders of protection can also have provisions to protect the safety of children and anyone else living in the victim’s home.
Judicial “ex parte” Orders or Restraining Orders
A judicial “ex parte” order commands the abusive partner to temporarily leave the premises that he or she shares with the victim. This order is sometimes called a temporary restraining order. A court will only issue this type of order after a battered spouse files a request for it.
A victim who has already been harmed or who faces imminent harm by the abusive partner and/or already has an order of protection against the abusive partner has no other remedy under the law than to file for a restraining order against that abusive partner. In most states, a victim will need the help of an attorney to obtain a restraining order.
What Happens If an Abusive Partner Violates an Order of Protection or a Judicial “ex parte” Order?
A violation of one of those orders is the same as a person demonstrating contempt of a court order. A violator of an order can face arrest, as well as fines, jail time, and misdemeanor or felony charges.
Defending an Allegation of Abuse
When there is a finding of family violence, the court will issue a protective order. The order prevents the alleged abuser from contacting or communicating the family. If you are facing either accusations of domestic violence or a protective order, it is important to consult with a family law attorney. We can help ensure that you protect your rights. We are also experienced in representing clients who are seeking the removal of a protective order. Contact us as soon as possible to learn more about your rights in a domestic abuse case.
Protective Orders in Divorce Cases
Sometimes, protective orders will arise in divorce cases. It is not uncommon for there to be allegations of abuse that will affect the custody rights as well as other rights of a divorcing parent. If you are facing accusations of abuse and you are in the middle of or considering a divorce, it is important to take legal action as soon as possible to protect your rights. You may risk losing your rights to custody or to your home. Contact us for more information.
Contact The Alsandor Law Firm for a consultation with Cheryl Alsandor, a family and protective order specialist who is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Specialization, or any family law associate at The Alsandor Law Firm serving clients throughout the Greater Houston, Texas area.