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Legal Information: Texas

Restraining Orders

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November 5, 2020

What is a magistrate's order for emergency protection? How long does it last?

A magistrate’s order for emergency protection (what most people call an “emergency protective order”) is issued by the criminal court after the abuser is arrested for committing family violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, indecent assault, stalking, or trafficking.1

You do not need to be present in the courtroom for this type of order to be issued.2 The magistrate can decide to issue this order upon your request (if you are present in court), or upon the request of your guardian, a police officer, the state attorney/prosecutor, or based on the magistrate’s own decision. However, if the crime involved family violence that resulted in serious physical injury or if the abuser used (or displayed) a deadly weapon while committing a family violence assault, the magistrate must issue this order even if no one specifically requests it.3

A magistrate’s order for emergency protection is usually good for between 31-61 days. However, if the abuser was arrested for a crime that involves family violence where the abuser used (or displayed) a deadly weapon when committing the assault, the order would be good for between 61 - 91 days.4

Note: The rest of the information in this Family Violence Protective Orders section refers to temporary and permanent protective orders that are issued when a victim goes to civil court to request one - not this magistrate’s order.

1 Texas C.C.P Art. 17.292(a)
2 Texas C.C.P Art. 17.292(d)
3 Texas C.C.P Art. 17.292(a), (b)
4 Texas C.C.P Art. 17.292(j)