As a restraining order lawyer in Colorado Springs, I know that having a judge issue a civil protection order (the official name for a restraining order in Colorado) against you can be both alarming and confusing. In this article, I put on my criminal defense attorney hat and answer the most frequently asked questions (FAQ) we hear related to Colorado restraining orders.
What is a Restraining Order in Colorado?
If someone in Colorado feels threatened by you, they can get legal protection in the form of a civil protection order, commonly called a restraining order.
A restraining order is a court order a judge signs that prohibits you from contacting the individual named on the order.
The restraining order prohibits you from getting near, talking to, calling, texting, and even mailing the individual being protected.
Judges can also use a restraining order to protect a business, company, establishment, entity, or the public.
Restraining Orders Can Prevent More than Just Contact
The most common purpose of a restraining order is to prevent contact with someone (e.g. the named victim, children, witnesses, etc.).
But, the restraining order can go beyond just contact. The restraining order can force you to: not go to a specific location; and not drink alcohol or do drugs without a doctor's prescription. A restraining order can prevent you from driving or possessing a gun or other dangerous weapon.
Protection Orders and Domestic Violence or Assault
Courts often issue protection orders in situations involving alleged domestic violence, harassment, assault, stalking, or sexual assault.
As you may know from experience, domestic violence and assault situations are complicated and emotional. If a spouse or significant other feels threatened by you, they can get a restraining order against you.
In a tense domestic situation, a restraining order can have a major impact on your life. The restraining order can prevent you from going home and stop you from having contact with your spouse and children.
You may find yourself looking for a place to sleep, borrowing cars and paying to eat every meal in a restaurant.
What Happens If I Violate a Restraining Order?
If you violate the restraining order, the protected person can ask the judge find you in contempt of court. This means you didn't obey the judge's order.
It is a misdemeanor for the first time you knowingly violate a restraining order in Colorado. A misdemeanor in Colorado can result in a fine of up to $5,000 and up to 18 months in jail.
Learn more about misdemeanors in Colorado (new window).
Even an accidental or innocent first violation of a restraining order can cause jail time. A simple call or a visit to the protected person may result is you spending a couple days at the jail on Tejon St.
Subsequent restraining order violations carry escalating charges and penalties.
If the Colorado Springs police have charged you with violating a protection order then you should speak with a Colorado Springs restraining order lawyer immediately. A Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney will help you with your restraining order violation defense.
What's the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Restraining Orders?
There are two types of restraining orders: temporary and permanent.
If you are arrested for domestic assault, the police and courts will automatically issue a 72-hour restraining order that prevents you from coming within a certain distance of your spouse or children. In other words, you'll be forced to stay away from your house and family for three days.
Even if you were not arrested, your spouse or significant other can seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) against you. A TRO can last up to 14 days. The TRO will state the date and time you must return to make the restraining order permanent (the permanent hearing).
If the protected person feels you are a long-term threat to their safety, they can submit a motion to the court to get a permanent protective order, also known as a permanent restraining order (PRO), against you. You will have the opportunity to fight this motion.
What Are the Potential Consequences of a Restraining Order?
The first and most devastating consequence of a restraining order is that you won’t be able to go home, won’t be able to eat or sleep in your home, and won’t be able to spend time with your children.
You will need to continue paying bills, such as a mortgage or rent, even if the Colorado Springs courts have ordered you to stay away from your home.
How to Dispute a Restraining Order?
With the issuing of a temporary restraining order, the judge requires both you and your spouse or significant to appear in court to present your arguments.
Before the court hearing, I strongly recommend you obtain the services of a criminal lawyer in Colorado Springs experienced with defending against restraining orders.
Your defense for a restraining order must be intelligent and aggressive. You will need a restraining order lawyer to interpret and explain your charges. You will need the help of an expert with experience in the local courts to know how to go forward.
Get a Free Consultation with a Colorado Springs Restraining Order Lawyer
As a Colorado Springs restraining order lawyer, Perkins Law can help protect you against false allegations and help prevent a temporary restraining order from becoming permanent. Through our rigorous approach to a restraining order defense, we can gather evidence to support you and protect your rights to access your home and children.
Perkins Law offers a free consultation to anyone penalized with a restraining order in the Pikes Peak region. Attorney Bryson Perkins can help you understand what to expect in our local courts based on Colorado laws and the assigned Colorado Springs judge and prosecutor.
Call (719) 644-7059