FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT PROTECTIVE ORDERS
What is a Protective Order?
A Protective Order is a court order that protects you from a person in your family or household who has been violent toward you or threatened to commit violence toward you.
How can a Protective Order help me?
A Protective Order can order the other person to:
- Not hurt you or threaten to hurt you
- Not contact you or go near you, your children, other family members, your home, your place of employment, or your children’s school or daycare
- Not possess a gun or a license to carry a gun
What happens if the other person violates a Protective Order?
A Protective Order is criminally enforceable, so the police are able to arrest the other person for violating the order.
Can I get a Protective Order?
You may be eligible to get a Protective Order if all three of the following conditions are met:
- Someone has physically hurt you or threatened to hurt you; and
- You have a close relationship with that person (e.g. you were married, dating, living together, have a child together, or are related by blood or marriage); and
- You believe violence is likely to occur again in the near future
Can I get protection right away?
The Judge may give you a temporary order that protects you until a formal court hearing is conducted. This order is called a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order. In some cases, the Judge may order the other person to leave the home right away. If you want this to happen, you must make a specific request that you want the other person to be excluded from your home, and you must be ready to testify at a hearing when you file your application.
Do I have to go to Court?
Yes; even if you get a Temporary Ex Parte Protective Order, you must attend the next court hearing. This hearing usually takes place about two weeks after the temporary order is signed. At this hearing, the Judge will decide whether to grant you a Final Protective Order and decide how long it will be effective. If you do not attend this hearing, the temporary order will expire.
How much does it cost to get a Protective Order?
The Williamson County Attorney’s Office will provide you with the necessary legal services free of charge to you.
How do I ask the Court for a Protective Order?
First, contact the Williamson County Attorney’s Office. You will then meet with an Assistant County Attorney and a Victim Advocate in person. These people will help you fill out the required paperwork and present your case to the Judge.
How do I apply for a Protective Order with the Williamson County Attorney’s Office?
Please visit the County Attorney’s Office in person during normal business hours (8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.). The intake process can take up to 3 hours. Walk-ins are always welcome. You may also contact us via phone or e-mail. Here is our contact information:
Williamson County Attorney’s Office
Victim Services Division
405 M.L.K. Street (2nd Floor, Courthouse Annex Building)
Georgetown, Texas 78626 Phone: (512) 943-1918
E-mail: [email protected]