Protection orders, also called restraining orders, can be issued in Colorado’s Front Range to protect a person from harassment, stalking, domestic abuse, or related offenses. Violating a protection order could result in criminal charges, civil contempt, jail, and a hefty fine.
If you have been served with a protection order that limits or prohibits contact with another individual, reach out to Justie and Jenn at Nicol Gersch Law. A skilled Colorado Front Range protection order lawyer could explain the provisions of your particular protection order, so you understand what is expected of you as well as help you avoid or defend against an allegation that you’ve violated the order. An experienced domestic violence attorney could also help you contest a protection order that was filed unjustly, such as in situations in which another individual made false claims against you or you were never served with a copy of the order until it was too late.
Three types of CIVIL protection orders that are issued in Colorado include temporary, permanent, and emergency protection orders. These restraining orders are separate and distinct from Mandatory Protection Orders (MPOs) that are issued in most criminal cases automatically. There are situations where both criminal and civil restraining orders exist, and they may have different terms and conditions or may be modified at different times. When in doubt, always plan on obeying the more restrictive terms and conditions, and keep a copy of the current protection orders on your person at all times.
Temporary protection orders (TROs) are valid for up to 14 days at a time and can be issued by the court to prevent offenses such as domestic abuse, physical or sexual assault, or stalking. A person who feels at risk of being victimized by any of these offenses can file for a temporary protection order even if a police report has not been filed and without any notice to the other side. They then have 2 weeks in which to serve a copy of the TRO on the responding party. You cannot be arrested for violating an order, unless there is proof of service. Additionally, even if a criminal case is dismissed for the same alleged conduct, a civil restraining order could still be granted separately.
Permanent protection orders are only given to the requesting party (called the Petitioner in civil court) after service of process on the restrained party and an opportunity for that restrained party to fight it at a hearing. Permanent protection orders (PPOs) do not expire and are issued when protection is needed indefinitely. Permanent protection orders are only issued after a hearing in which the Petitioner must prove the allegations by a preponderance of the evidence. In addition, the Petitioner must prove a likelihood of the bad behavior continuing before a PPO can be issued. Usually, some form of future threat is required to be proved. If you are seeking or hoping to fight such a PPO, the advice of a seasoned Colorado Front Range protection order attorney would be extremely helpful.
Emergency protection orders can be issued by law enforcement officials during hours the courts are closed. For example, an individual in need of a restraining order at night or on the weekend due to being stalked could obtain an emergency protection order by visiting the local police department. A diligent Colorado Front Range attorney could explain the differences between the three types of protection orders in greater detail and advise you on the best course of action for your particular circumstances.
Section 13-14-105 of the Colorado Revised Statutes Annotated outlines the general provisions of protection orders. Examples of general provisions that can be included on a temporary, permanent, or emergency protection order include:
The exact provisions on a specific protection order might differ between temporary vs. permanent orders as the provisions are based on the circumstances of each case, and the situation can change over time. An experienced protection orders lawyer in Colorado Front Range could answer questions about the provisions on a particular protection order.
Violating the provisions of a civil protection order is an M2. The penalties include a fine between $250 and $1,000, a jail term of three to 12 months, or both jail time and the fine. In addition, the court that issued the civil restraining order can find the violation to be civil contempt and can throw someone in jail without a hearing for violating court orders.
Violating the provisions of a criminal mandatory protection order is an M1 in Colorado. The penalties for violating a criminal mandatory protection order include a prison term of six to 18 months, a fine between $500 to $5,000, or both imprisonment and a fine. Violating a civil protection order when there are prior convictions for violating such orders is also an M1 and carries the same penalties as for violating a criminal mandatory protection order.
A protection orders attorney in Colorado Front Range could answer questions regarding the penalties for violations.
If there is a protection order against you, a Colorado Front Range protection orders lawyer could assist you. A lawyer could protect your rights and help you contest an unjust protection order.
Justie and Jenn could also prepare a defense to charges of violating a protection order. We are ready and willing to help you fight your case. Call today to schedule a consultation.