A court order is a binding order outlining the things a person can or cannot do. For instance, in a stalking order a person is prohibited from being in the same area as the individual they are accused of stalking. A person is guilty of violating a court order when they do something or fail to do something they are supposed to do that is outlined in the order. In Texas, there is a law against violating certain court orders or conditions in a sexual assault, family violence, sexual abuse, trafficking, or stalking case.

When Will a Person Be Charged with Violating a Court Order in These Kinds of Cases?

A person can be charged with violating a court order in the aforementioned types of cases in Texas when they intentionally or knowingly:

  • Commit family violence
  • Directly communicate with the victim or their family to threaten or harass
  • Go near the prohibited place described in the court order, such as the victim’s home, school, place of employment, or child care facility
  • Possess a firearm
  • Threaten, interfere, harm, or take custody of the victim’s companion animal, pet, or assistance animal
  • Attempt to or actually remove or tamper with a global positioning monitoring system

What Is the Punishment for a First Offense of Violating a Court Order?

A first offense for violating a court order under this law is a Class A misdemeanor. The punishment for a Class A misdemeanor is:

  • About a year in county jail
  • $4,000 fine
  • Time in county jail and a fine

Can Violating a Court Order Be a Felony in Texas?

Violating a court order under this law becomes a felony when the person has been convicted of two or more times or committed an assault or stalked the victim. The repeat violations increase the offense to a third degree felony punishable by:

  • Two to 10 years in state prison
  • $10,000 fine
  • Both a fine and state prison time

Should I Talk to a Lawyer?

Violating a court order is a serious offense, especially if it is violated more than once. Contact a Texas lawyer regarding your criminal charge to figure out how you can defend yourself against it.