In Colorado, a court can issue a protection order, typically referred to as a restraining order, for the purpose of protecting a person from a potentially dangerous individual. Such orders typically forbid a restrained individual from contacting a protected person in any way. Below is an overview of the different types of protection orders available in Colorado.
Types of Orders
There are 3 kinds of protection orders available in Colorado:
- Mandatory Protection Order – A court handling a criminal matter charged under Colorado’s Title 18 will always issue a mandatory protection order against a defendant. This type of order usually prohibits the defendant in a criminal case from contacting the alleged victim or any witnesses until the case is resolved. Mandatory protection orders also sometimes bar a defendant from possessing firearms or using alcohol and controlled substances.
- Temporary Civil Protection Order – A temporary restraining order is issued based on an accuser’s testimony before a judge. While no evidence other than an accuser’s testimony is required for issuance, this type of order may be terminated if the court later determines the allegations to be untrue.
- Permanent Civil Protection Order – A permanent civil protection order may be issued if a court finds that a person is actually endangered by the subject of a previously filed temporary civil protection order. As the name implies, permanent civil protection orders remain in effect indefinitely unless the court later cancels the order.
The Civil Protection Order Process
Following the filing of an order request, an alleged victim attends a hearing in which he or she provides information to the court detailing the danger posed by the subject of the order. As stated above, no evidence other than the testimony of the alleged victim is required for the issuance of a temporary protection order. After this initial proceeding, a second hearing is held in which the restrained individual has an opportunity to present evidence. The court then weighs the testimony of the parties and decides whether to issue a permanent civil protection order or to terminate the original temporary order.
Possible Consequences of a Permanent Restraining Order
Being served with a restraining order can have serious consequences. To begin with, following the issuance of a protection order, a restrained individual is entered into Colorado’s electronic protective order registry. This alerts law enforcement of the existence of the order, and it puts them on notice that they have the authority to take legal action following a violation of the same. In Colorado, the knowing violation of a protection order is a misdemeanor, and potential penalties include a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 18 months in jail.
If you’ve been served with a restraining order, it’s imperative that you engage the services of an experienced criminal law attorney in order to achieve the best possible outcome in your situation. Please contact us for a free consultation at (720) 897-1550 or (888) 694-2093 (toll-free).
Posted in: Domestic Violence