Protective Order Hearing
If you have been accused of committing an act of domestic violence, there is a possibility that a protective order will be issued against you. A protective order has the potential to impact your life in a substantial way. It can affect where you are allowed to live, your custodial rights over your children, along with your rights to carry a firearm.
Fortunately, before a judge issues either a two-year protective order or a permanent protective order, you have the right to a hearing to determine whether or not the protective order should be issued. At this hearing, you are entitled to the representation of an experienced defense attorney.
Austin Protective Order Lawyer
You can fight a protective order if facing accusations of domestic violence. Austin protective order lawyer Kevin Bennett can represent you both against the protective order and on any underlying family violence or domestic violence charges you may face.
Kevin Bennett works to keep his client fully informed on the matters in front of them, which can be very important during such a stressful and confusing time. He handles every matter of your case personally. Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to set up a consultation.
Kevin Bennett represents anyone charged in Travis County, including those in Austin, Lakeway, Rollingwood, Sunset Valley and Lago Vista.
Information on Protective Orders in Travis County
- Emergency Protective Orders for Travis County Domestic Violence
- Permanent Protective Orders in Austin Family Violence Cases
- Hearings for a Permanent Order in Travis County Court
- Fighting Protective Orders in Travis County Courts
If you are accused of domestic assault, assault by strangulation, stalking, child abuse or any form of family violence or dating violence, the victim may seek an emergency protective order (EPO). The emergency order can prohibit you from going anywhere near the victim. A Judge may also issue a Magistrate’s Emergency Protective Order (MPEO) following an arrest while the accused is still in jail. This type of protective order may last up to 90 days.
An EPO is obtained without you having any opportunity to be represented, in an "ex parte" hearing; meaning only one party is present. It is often issued while you are still in jail. However, an emergency order can only last 20 days (thought, in some case, it can be extended an extra 20). Within 14 days, the court must schedule a hearing for a permanent order.
A protective order is often effective for up to two years. However, a permanent or lifetime protective order can be issued if a court finds it necessary to "sufficiently protect the applicant." Either a two-year protective order or a permanent protective order can have a devastating impact on the life of the person the order is against. A protective order can:
- Order you to stay away from the victim's home, school or work;
- Order you out of your own home;
- Order you to complete a batterers intervention program;
- Order you to not communicate, in any way, with the victim;
- Grant custody of your children to another person;
- Take away or severely limit your parental rights;
- Split your community property;
- Prohibit you from selling any property; and
- Prohibit you from possessing a firearm.
Protective orders are very serious. In addition to severely restricting your liberties, a violation can result in jail time of up to a year and a fine up to $4,000. For a third or subsequent conviction, it becomes a third-degree felony, punishable by two to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $10,000.
This is despite what your intentions may be. If you seek to reconcile with your loved one and show up at her or his home in Austin, you could be arrested and convicted of violating the order. This is true even if he or she invited you. If there are pending charges for the domestic violence incident, your bail may be revoked and you may be required to stay in jail until after the trial.
At the permanent order hearing, you will have the opportunity to be represented by an Austin domestic violence attorney. At the hearing, the victim has to prove to the satisfaction of the court that family violence has occurred and is likely to occur in the future. This is a lower standard that "beyond reasonable doubt," meaning it is possible for the judge to award the order based on evidence that would not sustain criminal charges.
However, your attorney does have the opportunity to question the evidence brought by the victim and bring evidence to show why a protective order is not called for.
Austin protective order lawyer Kevin Bennett can represent you, both against protective orders and any underlying criminal domestic violence charges you face. The Law Office of Kevin Bennett represents clients throughout the Austin area charged in Travis County courts. Call The Law Office of Kevin Bennett today at (512) 476-4626 to schedule a free consultation.