Colorado Protective Order Attorneys
In Colorado, there are two types of protective orders issued by courts in domestic violence cases – civil protective orders and mandatory criminal protective orders. Violation of either type of order can have serious penalties and consequences. Our Grand Junction criminal defense attorneys are dedicated legal advocates for people under protective orders.
Also known as a restraining order, a civil protective order is intended to protect the person seeking the order from threats or abuse, including domestic violence. This type of order prohibits the alleged abuser from threatening, intimidating, harassing, stalking, or contacting the alleged victim. At the judge’s discretion, it may limit when the accused person can be in certain locations and prohibit contact with that person’s family members, and even pets. There are three types of civil protective orders issued by Colorado judges:
- Temporary: A person seeking a temporary restraining order (TRO) can obtain one without the accused being present. This can be accomplished by simply filling out a form to create a motion that the judge will review. Once issued, a TRO must be served on the accused.
- Permanent: When the court grants a TRO, it may set a date for a permanent restraining order (PRO) hearing. At this hearing, the accused has an opportunity to respond to the allegations on which the TRO was based. If he or she fails to appear for the hearing, a permanent protective order is generally granted, provided notice was properly served.
- Emergency: An alleged victim may need or want to obtain a protective order during the hours when the courts are closed. In such cases, an emergency procedure is initiated. Law enforcement can issue emergency protective orders when the courts are not open.
In Colorado, criminal protective orders are issued by the courts when a person has been accused of a crime. The order is issued during the first court appearance, which is usually the arraignment (the appearance in which the charges are read, a plea of guilty or not guilty is entered, and the judge sets the case for further proceedings). Criminal protective orders are designed to protect victims and witnesses to crimes. The law specifically forbids:
- Tampering with a witness
- Retaliating against a person with evidence of a crime
- Acts meant to intimidate
Criminal protective orders are mandatory (the court has no choice but to issue them) when:
- A person is arrested for a crime (excluding vehicle offenses); and
- The police or the judge suspects the accused person has used actual or threatened violence to punish, control, or coerce an intimate partner.
When a protective order is issued, the subject is entered into the state’s electronic protective order registry. If you are the subject of such an order, the police can arrest you if you violate the order. If convicted of violating the order, you are subject to penalties, even if you are found not guilty of the original charges. Knowingly violating a protective order is a misdemeanor in Colorado that carries penalties including:
- Up to 18 months jail time
- A fine of up to $5,000
If you were under a criminal protective order, the prosecution can also charge you with violating the terms of your bail. If the crime with which you were originally charged was a misdemeanor, violating the terms of your bail is a Class 3 misdemeanor that carries up to 6 months in jail and a fine of from $50 to $750 upon conviction. If the original crime was a felony, violating the terms of your bail is a Class 6 felony with serious penalties, including 12 to 18 months in jail and a fine of $1,000 to $100,000.
If you have been accused of domestic violence and made the subject of a protective order, Peters & Nolan, LLC can help. Our Grand Junction criminal defense lawyers have saved years of incarceration for our clients. We are tenacious trial lawyers who provide compassionate and aggressive representation. Call us today at (970) 243-4357.
Peters & Nolan, LLC is your ideal source for high quality legal representation throughout the state of Colorado. Known for being personable and responsive, attorneys Andrew J. Peters and Andrew Nolan are aggressive trial lawyers with an excellent record of trying and settling cases in criminal defense, DUI/DWAI and personal injury.