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What Is a Texas Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection?

 Posted on March 10, 2021 in Family Violence

Collin County criminal defense attorney order of protection

Any relationship is bound to have some degree of conflict. However, when a conflict between romantic partners, roommates, or relatives escalates, an individual may be accused of “family violence.” The state of Texas takes allegations of family violence and child abuse very seriously. Consequently, an individual accused of family violence or domestic violence can face harsh criminal consequences. If you have been accused of harming a family member or household member, you may be subject to a Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection (MOEP). If someone has filed an MOEP against you, understanding your rights and obligations is essential. 

Texas Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection

A Magistrate’s Order of Emergency Protection is a court order that is used to protect an alleged victim of domestic violence or stalking from further harassment or abuse. These orders are often referred to as restraining orders or protection orders. In Texas, a judge or “magistrate” is required to issue a MOEP if someone is arrested for family violence involving a deadly weapon or resulting in serious bodily harm. A judge may also issue an MOEP if the order is requested by a law enforcement officer, prosecutor, alleged victim, or the guardian of an alleged victim.

It Is Important to Obey the MOEP Provisions

An MOEP can be customized to fit the situation. Most MOEPs place several different restrictions on the defendant. If an MOEP was issued against you, you may be prohibited from coming within a certain distance of the alleged victim and/or the victim’s children. You may also be prohibited from going to the victim’s home or work or the children’s school or daycare. Calling, texting, or otherwise communicating with the victim may also be prohibited. The MOEP may also forbid you from possessing a firearm.

Being the subject of an MOEP can seem like a huge infringement on your rights – especially if the order is based on false information. Nevertheless, it is important to follow the conditions established by the MOEP. If you violate the terms of the MOEP in Texas, you could be charged with a Class A misdemeanor. The charge is elevated to a third-degree felony if:

  • You have been convicted of violating a protective order two or more times in the past.

  • You are charged with assault.

  • You are charged with stalking the alleged victim.

Contact a Collin County Criminal Defense Attorney

If someone has accused you of family violence or you are the subject of an MOEP, speak with a knowledgeable Frisco criminal defense lawyer from the Law Offices of Biederman & Burleson P.L.L.C. We can help you build a strong defense against the accusations and protect your rights. Call us today at 469-333-3333 to schedule a free, confidential consultation.




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