As a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs, we often get calls from local residents with questions about how to defend yourself against a restraining order in Colorado.
If you need to defend yourself against a restraining order in Colorado Springs, you need to understand that the local prosecutors and judges take these matters with the utmost seriousness. You also need an experienced restraining order defense attorney. Because when someone seeks such an order against you, or if you face allegations that you’ve violated the terms of an existing restraining order, your freedom and your relationships with your loved ones - including your children - hang in the balance.
What Are Colorado Restraining Orders?
Also called a civil protection order, a restraining order and the request to issue one against you means that someone considers you an imminent threat to their safety. In turn, this means that you face the full weight of the Colorado Springs criminal justice system focused on ensuring that person’s well-being – even if you’ve done nothing wrong, even if the person’s allegations are false.
A restraining order can dramatically limit a person’s rights and their day-to-day life. A protection order can prohibit a husband from contacting his wife (and vice versa). It can keep a parent away from their children, and it can kick someone out of their own home, among other restraints and conditions. And if you violate any order entered against you, even in the slightest and even unintentionally, you could face prosecution and jail time.
Why Do Judges Enter Restraining Orders?
Colorado Springs area 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
Types of Colorado Restraining Orders
There are two types of restraining orders in Colorado: temporary and permanent.
If the police arrest you for domestic assault, the Colorado Springs courts will automatically issue a 72-hour restraining order against you that prevents you from coming within a certain distance of your spouse or children.
Even without an arrest, your spouse or significant other can seek a temporary restraining order (TRO) against you. They can do so without any notice to you, and if a judge finds enough justification to grant the request, he or she may enter the protection order without giving you any chance to fight the allegations – at that time.
But before the expiration of the TRO, usually within 14 days, you will have an opportunity to challenge the protection order. If the protected person feels that you are a long-term threat to their safety, they can submit a motion to the court to make the temporary order permanent. At this point, you and your criminal defense lawyer will appear at a hearing to present evidence and arguments as to why a protective order is unwarranted and why the court should reject the request.
This is the critical juncture; the time where an experienced, aggressive, and committed criminal defense attorney will defend against a restraining order and ensure that you keep all of your rights in the face of those determined to take them away from you.
Defending Against a Restraining Order
The purpose of restraining orders is to protect individuals from legitimate threats and to keep domestic or other disputes from escalating into further or more serious acts of violence, as they often do.
Restraining orders are an important and necessary tool that can and does save lives. Unfortunately, while the Colorado law designed these orders to act as shields, some people wrongfully use them as weapons against a spouse or significant other.
False allegations, particularly those involving domestic violence or child abuse, often form the basis for the entry of a protective order. The motivation can be anger and a desire to hurt the other person, or it can be a tactic to get an advantage in a divorce or child custody proceeding.
Regardless, defending yourself against false allegations at your protective order hearing requires more than just your word. You need as much evidence as possible so that your defense attorney can effectively counter the claims against you and demonstrate that they are not true and do not support the entry of a restraining order.
Your criminal defense attorney will want everything you can gather – voicemails, text messages, emails, social media posts, photos – that relate to the allegations or that could cast doubt on them.
If others saw any alleged incident, your defense lawyer will want to speak to them or have them testify to support your version of events. Other witnesses may be able to testify as to your character or that of the accuser, showing how implausible the allegations are.
In many domestic violence incidents that lead to restraining orders, the alleged victim is actually the instigator or attacker. If that describes your situation, you may have suffered “defensive injuries” such as scratch marks, bite marks, bruises, cuts, and other injuries. Document and take pictures of your injuries and seek medical attention as soon as possible. These photos and medical records can be key pieces of evidence in your defense against the entry of a permanent protection order.
Efforts to obtain or fight against a restraining order involve intense emotions. When you appear at your hearing, it is vital that you keep any such emotions in check, no matter how upset you may be or how strongly you feel about the allegations made against you. The Colorado Springs judge assigned to your case will be paying close attention to your demeanor, so don’t do anything that would make him or her think that you are prone to anger or emotional outbursts.
Need to Defend Against a Restraining Order?
These are just a few ways to defend against a restraining order. An experienced and skilled criminal defense lawyer will know how to tailor your criminal defense strategy to the specific circumstances of your case. Working closely with your lawyer, you can defeat a request for a protection order and preserve your rights and relationships.
Family Law & Criminal Defense Attorney Bryson Perkins Is Ready to Help You
Bryson Perkins specializes in both criminal defense and family law. He will bring his extensive experience, smart and strategic advocacy, and fierce determination to men and women dealing with the stress of figuring out how to defend you against a restraining order Colorado. Call his office to arrange for your free initial consultation is the first step in putting this ordeal behind you.
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