Learn what Colorado restraining orders are, how they limit your freedoms, and why you need a seasoned criminal defense attorney on your side.
A Restraining Order Has An Immediate and Wide-Ranging Impact On Your Life
Colorado restraining orders limit what a person can do, where they can go, and who they can interact with, and restricts many other aspects of life that we take for granted. A Colorado Springs judge will put these restrictions in place if they conclude that the individual has acted in a way that puts someone else in fear for their safety or otherwise represents an imminent threat to that person’s safety.
For these reasons, El Paso County prosecutors and judges treat the issuance and enforcement of restraining orders with the utmost seriousness. If you are on the receiving end of a restraining order request, you face the full weight of a criminal justice system focused on protecting another person’s well-being. Even if the allegations that led to the order are false and you have done nothing wrong.
Given the immediate and wide-ranging impact of Colorado restraining orders and the significant penalties for violating their terms, it is crucial to understand what these orders are, why a judge would issue one, and what happens if you fail to abide by the restrictions they contain.
Also called civil protection orders, Colorado restraining orders can dramatically limit a person’s rights and everyday life. A protection order can keep a husband from contacting his wife (and vice versa), keep a parent away from their children and kick someone out of their own home, among other restraints and conditions. And if you violate any restraining order against you, even in the slightest and even unintentionally, you could face prosecution and jail time.
Why Do Judges Enter Colorado Restraining Orders?
Colorado Springs judges typically enter protection orders when someone the accused knows petitions the court for the order based on allegations involving:
- Domestic violence
- Spousal abuse
- Child abuse
- Endangering the welfare of a child
- Sexual abuse
The goal of a Colorado restraining order is to restore the accuser’s peace of mind and assure their physical safety.
Types of Colorado Restraining Orders
Colorado law allows for two types of restraining orders: temporary and permanent.
Suppose Colorado Springs police arrest you for domestic assault. In that case, you will automatically receive a restraining order of no less than 72 hours, during which time you may not come within a certain distance of your spouse or children.
However, your spouse or significant other can seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) against you without an arrest and without notice. If a judge finds grounds to grant the request, they may enter the order without giving you any opportunity to fight the allegations – at least for the moment.
Before the TRO expires, the duration of which is usually within 14 days, you will have a chance to challenge the order.
If the protected person feels you are a long-term threat to their safety, they can file a motion with El Paso County courts to convert the temporary order into a permanent order. If this happens, you and your criminal defense attorney will appear at a hearing in El Paso County courts to present arguments and evidence that a permanent restraining order is unwarranted and why the court should reject the request.
Whether the Colorado restraining order against you is temporary or permanent, the one thing both have in common is the harsh consequences that follow violating such an order. Don’t make the mistake of downplaying the seriousness of a civil protection order. And if you do, immediately contact a local Colorado Springs restraining order violation defense attorney.
Defending Against the Entry of a Restraining Order
Unfortunately, false accusations, particularly those involving domestic violence or child abuse, often form the basis for issuing a civil protective order.
In many domestic violence incidents resulting in restraining order, the alleged victim is actually the attacker or instigator. If that was your situation, you might have sustained “defensive injuries” during the incident, such as scratch marks, bite marks, cuts, bruises, and other injuries. You should document and take pictures of your injuries and seek medical attention as soon as possible. These photos and records can be critical evidence in your defense against the entry of a restraining order.
More Information: How To Defend Yourself Against A Restraining Order in Colorado Springs
Understandably, all parties involved in efforts to obtain or challenge a restraining order have strong feelings about the matter – fear, anger, shock, and dismay. At your hearing, you must keep your emotions in check, regardless of how strongly you feel about the claims against you. The judge will pay close attention to your demeanor, so don’t do anything that would make them think you are prone to anger or emotional outbursts.
Protect Yourself From the Serious Consequences of Colorado Restraining Orders
If you have a Colorado restraining order against you, you must take the charges as seriously as Colorado Springs prosecutors and judges. This means immediately taking steps to defend yourself. The most imperative of these steps is to contact a Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney with the experience and tenacity to challenge the charges against you.