Restraining orders are typically issued in cases involving domestic violence disputes and cases in which the judge feels that it is necessary to protect someone from another. These court orders are designed to prevent someone from making contact with a specified person and must remain a certain number of feet from the individual at all times, as well as prohibit any type of contact.
Unfortunately, there are many situations where an innocent person receives a restraining order. Some orders are taken out in order to manipulate a specific situation, typically involving a romantic partner wanting to end a relationship or gain custody of children.
Penalties for Violating a Restraining Order
If a person is subject to a restraining order and violates it, he/she can face severe penalties. In Texas, a conviction of violating a protective order is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum county jail sentence of one year and a fine of up to $4,000.
However, if a person has two or more previous conviction becomes a third-degree felony, punishable by a prison sentence between two and ten years.
Lifting the Restraining Order
In most cases, either the victim or the defendant can ask the court to lift the restraining order. This is often completed by filing a motion with the court, such as Motion to Life Restraining Order or Motion to Modify Conditions of Pretrial Release.
If the victim agrees with the lifting, the motion would also state the following:
- The fact that the victim wishes to lift the motion
- The victim and defendant wish to communicate with one another
- The victim voluntarily makes the request
- The victim is not afraid of the defendant and does not anticipate violence
There will be a hearing after the motion is filed and a judge will determine whether or not to lift or change the order.