100 East Cano St.

Edinburg, TX 78539


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Hidalgo County District Attorney

Domestic Violence Unit

The primary responsibility fo the Domestic Violence Unit staff is to review Misdemeanor and Felony domestic violence cases submitted for prosecution and make recommendations to prosecutors on enhancements, bond conditions, and assist victims in obtaining protective orders.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic Violence can be defined as a pattern of behavior in any relationship that is:

  • used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner or family member.
  • Abuse includes physical, sexual, emotional, economic or psychological actions or threats. This includes any behaviors that frighten, intimidate, terrorize, manipulate, hurt, humiliate, blame, injure or wound someone.

Domestic Violence can happen to anyone regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender.

In a legal context, Texas defines “Family Violence,” as “an act by a member of a family or household against another member of the family or household that is intended to result in physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault or that is a threat that reasonably places the member in fear of imminent physical harm, bodily injury, assault, or sexual assault, but does not include defensive measures to protect oneself.”

About the Domestic Violence Unit

The Domestic Violence Unit (DVU) is a professional team working together to end the cycle of domestic violence.  The DVU includes prosecutors, administrative staff, victim advocates and investigators.  The DVU prosecutors handle protective order cases and prosecute domestic violence criminal cases.  The DVU aims to:

  • Effectively prosecute domestic violence cases;
  • Provide emergency legal advocacy;
  • Provide expedient processing of Protective Order applications;
  • Provide safety planning for victims;
  • Provide referrals to outside legal services;
  • Have continuous contact with the victim;
  • Proactively monitor criminal case;
  • Monitor defendants for compliance with court ordered conditions of probation;
  • Advise victims of their role in the criminal justice system;
  • Empower and educate victims of domestic violence;
  • Promote safety for families;
  • Bring justice to abusers.

Our Purpose

The Domestic Violence Unit staff reviews Misdemeanor and Felony domestic violence cases that are submitted for prosecution and make recommendations to prosecutors on enhancements, bond conditions, and assist victims in obtaining protective orders.

The Domestic Violence Unit is staffed by six (6) Domestic Violence Prosecutors, three (3) Victim Advocates, six (6) Legal Assistants, one (1) Victim Coordinator and one (1) Investigator. The staff reviews the jail log everyday to call victims of domestic violence within 48 hours of assault.

The Victim Advocate provides a safety plan for victims, explains their victim’s rights, assesses the safety of the victim and provides them with the local domestic violence shelter and hotline numbers provides victims with information of the defendant’s bond and offers victims to come and apply for a protective order. Safety of the victim is the priority for the Domestic Violence Unit and ensuring that perpetrators of domestic violence are held accountable.

The Domestic Violence unit was created by Ricardo Rodriguez Jr., Hidalgo County Criminal District Attorney in an effort to curtail the critical on-going problem in Hidalgo County of Domestic Violence.

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Please note: Previous employees, no longer in our department, may be shown on videos throughout our website. 

Combating myths about protective orders

Myth #1

A protective order is just a piece of paper.
No, it is not just a piece of paper. It is a court order with criminal consequences. A person can be arrested for violating the order. It’s an effective tool to de-escalate violent situations and give the victim a chance to safely leave the situation.

Myth #2

Restraining orders and protective order are the same
No, a Restraining Order is filed with a divorce or custody case. A person cannot be arrested for violating a Restraining Order. A Protective Order on the other hand has a more immediate remedy. A person can be arrested for a Violation of a Protective Order.

Myth #3

Undocumented people cannot request a Protective Order.
That is false, any person can file a Protective Order regardless of their immigration status.

Myth #4

Victims who have never reported to the police, cannot file.
That is incorrect. Many victims have hidden their abuse. There is no requirement that charges be filed. The victim’s affidavit and testimony is enough.

Application Process

How to Apply:

You can apply for a Protective Order at the Domestic Violence Unit located at the Hidalgo County District Attorney’s office, 100 E. Cano, 3rd Floor, Edinburg, Texas 78539.  

You (the applicant) will be required to fill out an application form giving us information on yourself and the person you are applying against (the respondent).  

An Advocate (interviewer) will meet with you and gather all the facts and information regarding your case. They will assist you with any questions you may have about the criminal justice system and the protective order process.

You will also be referred to various agencies for appropriate services.

Your application will be reviewed by an attorney as quickly as possible.  The attorney will contact you to discuss your application.

If we are unable to accept your application and file on your behalf, we will do our best to provide you resources to assist you.

You must be able to provide an address where the Respondent can be served.  If your application is accepted, the respondent must be served with the paperwork.  If the respondent cannot be personally served, the Protective Order will not be granted.  

You will need to bring your driver’s license or photo ID.  

Please provide our office with any police reports, case numbers or any prior court orders you may have.

Where to Apply:

What to Bring:

Have Questions? Please contact Us.

If you have any questions regarding the Protective Order application process, please contact our office at (956)292-7613.

If you have an emergency, please call 911 immediately.