Violation of a Protective Order and Act of Family Violence in Texas
Under Texas Penal Code Section 25.07, any person accused of violation of protective orders against domestic violence or bond conditions in a family violence case can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. Violation of a protective order can be charged as a felony if it is alleged that the person has previously been convicted of violation of a protective order or if the individual violated a bond condition in a domestic violence case by committing the offense of stalking or an assault.
In many cases, after the protective order is entered the parties attempt to reconcile. Any agreement between the defendant and the alleged victim to see each other or resume their relationship does not affect the validity of the order or the officer's duty to make an arrest. While the order is in place, the defendant can not violate the order by having direct or indirect contact or communications. Additionally, the defendant cannot go to the alleged victim's home or place of employment or other place provided in the order. If the alleged victim wishes to invalidate the protective order, then the parties must go back to court to request that the judge modifies or terminate the order.
If you have been accused of either a felony or misdemeanor offense for violation of a protective domestic violence order or violation of a bond condition, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston or the Woodlands for cases in Harris County, Texas. Matt Horak is experienced in defending individuals charged with serious domestic violence cases including the violation of a protective order.
Statutory Provisions for Family Violence under Texas Penal Code Section 25.07
A person against whom a protective order is in place commits the offense of violating a protective order if he knowingly or intentionally commits an act of family violence. Tex. Penal Code Section 25.07(a)(1).
“Family violence” has the meaning assigned by chapter 71 of the family code, which defines it as “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault ...” See section 25.07(b)(1) and 71.004(1).
Under the plain meaning of Texas Penal Code section 22.01(a)(3), assault includes intentionally or knowingly causing contact with another when the person knows or should reasonably believe that the other will regard the contact as offensive or provocative. Tex. Penal Code Ann. § 22.01(a)(3).
Texas Penal Code Section 25.07
The Texas statute defines the types of orders that are covered including:
- a bond condition set in a family violence case concerning the safety of the community or the victim;
- an order issued under Article 17.292, Code of Criminal Procedure,
- an order issued under Section 6.504, Family Code, Chapter 83, Family Code, or
- a temporary ex parte order if it has been properly served on the person,
- or an order issued by another State as provided by Chapter 88, Family Code, the person knowingly or intentionally.
The elements of the offense also require that the defendant does one of the following acts in violation of an order:
- commits family violence or an act in furtherance of an offense under Section 22.011, 22.021, or 42.072;
- possess a firearm;
- goes to a location specified in the order such as the victim's residence or place of employment or any school or child care facility of a person protected under the order;
- communicates in a harassing or threatening manner with a person protected by the order of a family or household member;
- makes a threat through another person; or
- makes any type of communication with the alleged victim except through an attorney in certain circumstances.
Horak Law - An Experienced Attorney for a Violation of a Protective Order Case
If you have been charged with any felony or misdemeanor offense of violation of a protective order, then contact an experienced criminal defense attorney in Houston or The Woodlands or anywhere in Harris County, Texas. Call Horak Law locally at (713) 225-8000 or toll-free at (800) 225-8009 for a free consultation to discuss the particular facts of your case.