What is a violation of a protective order?

A violation of a protective order may be classified as either a Class A misdemeanor or—under certain circumstances—a third-degree felony. A protective order is an order issued by a judge commonly associated with family violence charges that restricts the person under the order from going to certain places or contacting certain people.

It is a common occurance for the individual who is subject to the protective order to reconcile with the person who the protective order seeks to protect to reconcile.

How long can a person go to jail for violation of a protective order?

Generally, a violation of a protective order is a Class A misdemeanor punishable by:

  • A fine of up to $4,000;
  • Confinement in jail for up to a year; or
  • Both of the above.

Tex. Pen. Code §§ 25.07 and 12.21.

How does a violation of a protective order become a felony in Texas?

A violation of a protective order becomes a third degree felony punishable by a prison sentence of anywhere between two and ten years and a fine of up to $10,000. Tex. Pen. Code §12.34. For the violation to be a felony, it must be shown on the trial of the offense that:

  • The defendant has had at least two prior convictions for violations or repeated violation of a protective order; or
  • The defendant has violated the order or a bond condition by committing an assault or the offense of stalking.
    Tex. Pen. Code §25.07(g).

Penal Code Section 25.071.


(a)  A person commits an offense if, in violation of an order issued under Article 6.08, Code of Criminal Procedure, the person knowingly or intentionally:

(1)  commits an offense under Title 5 or Section 28.02, 28.03, or 28.08 and commits the offense because of bias or prejudice as described by Article 42.014, Code of Criminal Procedure;

(2)  communicates:

(A)  directly with a protected individual in a threatening or harassing manner;

(B)  a threat through any person to a protected individual;  or

(C)  in any manner with the protected individual, if the order prohibits any communication with a protected individual;  or

(3)  goes to or near the residence or place of employment or business of a protected individual.

(b)  If conduct constituting an offense under this section also constitutes an offense under another section of this code, the actor may be prosecuted under either section or under both sections.

(c)  A peace officer investigating conduct that may constitute an offense under this section for a violation of an order may not arrest a person protected by that order for a violation of that order.

(d)  An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor unless it is shown on the trial of the offense that the defendant has previously been convicted under this section two or more times or has violated the protective order by committing an assault, in which event the offense is a third degree felony.