If you or someone you know is feeling threatened or in danger, getting a restraining order may be the right solution to ensure safety and protection. In San Antonio, Texas, a restraining order is a legal document issued by the court that prohibits a person from having any form of contact with the person who filed for the restraining order. For the purposes of this article the term restraining order will be referencing a protective order in Texas as opposed to a civil injunction. There is a clear distinction in that violation of a protective order will result in an arrest and criminal offense.
Here’s a comprehensive guide on the process of obtaining a restraining order in San Antonio.
Step 1: Understanding the Different Types of Restraining Orders
Before proceeding with the process, it is essential to understand the different types of restraining orders available. In San Antonio, there are three main types of restraining orders:
- Domestic Violence Restraining Orders (DVRO): This type of restraining order is for individuals who are or have been in a relationship (spouses, partners, family members, etc.).
- Sexual Assault Restraining Orders (SARO): This type of restraining order is for individuals who have been sexually assaulted.
- Stalking Restraining Orders (STRO): This type of restraining order is for individuals who have been stalked or are in fear of being stalked.
Step 2: Determine Eligibility
To be eligible for a restraining order in San Antonio, you must meet certain criteria. In general, you must be a resident of Texas or have been a victim of abuse or stalking in Texas. You must also have a valid reason for seeking a restraining order, such as being in fear of physical harm or sexual assault.
Step 3: Gather Evidence
It is crucial to have evidence to support your case when seeking a restraining order. Examples of evidence include police reports, medical records, witness statements, and photographs. This evidence will help support your claim and increase the likelihood of the restraining order being granted.
Step 4: File the Petition
The next step is to file a petition with the appropriate court. In San Antonio, you can file the petition with the District Court located at the Bexar County Courthouse. You will need to fill out the necessary forms, pay a filing fee, and provide any supporting evidence.
Step 5: Attend a Hearing
Once you have filed the petition, a hearing date will be set. On the day of the hearing, you will need to appear in court and present your case. You will have the opportunity to make a statement, present evidence, and call witnesses. The person you are seeking the restraining order against will also have the opportunity to make a statement and present evidence.
Step 6: Wait for a Decision
After the hearing, the judge will make a decision on whether to grant or deny the restraining order. If granted, the restraining order will become a court order and will be enforced by law enforcement. The person who violates the restraining order can be arrested and face criminal charges.
Step 7: Enforce the Restraining Order
It is essential to take the restraining order seriously and enforce it. You should keep a copy of the restraining order with you at all times and inform family, friends, and your workplace about the order. If the person who you have the restraining order against violates it, you should immediately contact the police.
In conclusion, getting a restraining order in San Antonio can be a complicated process, but with the right information and support, it can be done. If you are feeling threatened or in danger, don’t hesitate to seek help. Contact a local domestic violence or abuse organization, or speak with a qualified attorney for assistance in obtaining a restraining order.