PROTECTIVE ORDERS (Family Code 71, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86 and 88)
These criminally enforceable Protective Orders are available through the District Attorney’s Office to people who have been the victim of physical violence or the threat of imminent danger (the threat-maker has to be physically present and able to go through with the threat). These Orders are for victims of Family Violence or, in some cases, victims of sexual assault. The abuse or threat has to have been within the past 90 days. This order can direct the abuser to not commit any further acts of violence, to not threaten or harass you, and can direct them to leave your household. While the police department can help you with an Emergency Protective Order, it is up to you to go to the District Attorney’s Office and seek the Two Year Order.
People who can apply for Two Year Protective Orders:
The steps to a Protective Order are:
IMPORTANT: If you currently have a divorce pending or are in a child custody case, your personal attorney must seek the Protective Order in the court where your divorce or custody case is filed. (Family Code 82.005)
Local District Attorney’s Offices:
The Dallas County District Attorney’s Office Frank Crowley Courthouse 133 North Industrial Boulevard Tenth Floor 214-653-3528
The Denton County District Attorney’s Office Denton County Courthouse 1450 E. McKinney Street Third Floor 940-349-2600
Click here for more information on Protective Orders.
Emergency Protective Orders (CCP 17.292)
Emergency Protective Orders are a shorter version of a two year Protective Order and are available to give victims of relationship violence the time to go to their District Attorney’s Office to ask for a two-year Protective Order. You do not have to wait for an arrest before asking the District Attorney to help you with a Two Year Order of Protection.
Before an Emergency Order of Protection can be issued, the offender must be under arrest.
These Emergency Protective Orders last from 31 to 91 days depending on the type of offense. They never last less than 31 days, but if a weapon was used in the offense, the Emergency Protective Order will usually last for 91 days.
Emergency Orders tell the offender:
If the offender breaks the Order, they can be charged with a separate offense called “Violation of a Protective Order” and they can face fines and imprisonment. Emergency Orders of Protection aren’t fool-proof. They tell the offender to stay away from your address at home and at work, but not your person. They aren’t a safety shield and victims must still be careful and plan how they will stay safe.
Victims of relationship violence need other services and help to stay safe from further victimization. Counseling, referrals for community assistance and even placements in shelter are options that victims may want to consider.
If you decide you no longer want the Emergency Protective Order, you cannot just decide to ignore it. Only the judge who issued it or a higher judge can dismiss the Order. The law says “No person, including a person who is protected by this order may give permission to anyone to ignore or violate any provision of this order during the time in which this order is valid.” (See Section 17.292 of the Texas Code of Criminal Procedure)
Harassment and Stalking (PC 33.07, PC42.07, 42.061, PC 42.072)
Many times, after a divorce or breakup, people report that they are being harassed or stalked by a former acquaintance. If it is on-line Harassment, for it to be a crime, it must fit the descriptions set forth in Penal Code 33.07. This includes someone creating a web page or posting one or more messages on a commercial social networking site without the victim’s permission and with intent to harm, defraud, intimate or threaten. This definition also includes sending electronic mail, instant message, text message, or other communication that references a name, domain address, phone number or other identifying information about the victim, again, without their permission and with intent to harm or defraud.
When harassment is by telephone or written means, there must be intent by the suspect to harass, annoy, alarm, abuse, torment or embarrass another by initiating communication by telephone, writing or electronic communication where they make a comment, request, suggestion or proposal that is obscene; or threatens the person in a way that is reasonably likely to alarm the person (or their family or household). This can include repetitive calling, hanging up, and repetitive calls to the phone or the pager of the complainant.
Many times persons who are reporting harassment lack sufficient information or evidence. Sometimes the acts of the suspect do not meet the criteria required to file a harassment case.
If it is Stalking, which includes following the person around, it may be possible to obtain a Protective Order through your District Attorney’s Office.
While it is frustrating, annoying and unfair to have to endure these types of communications, if you do not have a situation that meets the criteria of the offense of harassment, you may have to decide not to read that e-mail or answer that call. You should, of course, keep them in a format that will allow you to show them to the police as evidence when and if the actions of the suspect do meet the criteria of the offense.
Frequently Asked Questions AboutFamily Violence
Friends of the Family
800-572-4031 or 940-382-7273
City of Carrollton, 1945 E. Jackson Road, Carrollton, Texas 75006 | Tel: (972) 466-3000 | Site Map
The City of Carrollton, Texas is not responsible for the content of external sites.
Thank you for visiting the City of Carrollton, Texas website.