Colorado Restraining orders: the how, what and why

While we would hope for all relationships to be without physical harm, sometimes one person might be or threaten to be violent. Which is scary—and more frightening still if children are involved. If your domestic partner has threatened violence or has already acted on it, it’s important that you take the right steps to protect yourself and your loved ones.

On the other hand, there can be a variety of reasons you might be on the receiving end of a restraining order, and it’s important that you have an opportunity to learn about, understand and exercise your rights.

At Robinson & Henry, we take all of these situations very seriously, and we’ll do our best to take swift action to help ensure your protection, and to help you understand the law and your responsibilities going forward.

About the law

A restraining order is a temporary order a court will place on an individual to restrict him or her from being near the potential victim of violence. Depending on the situation, the order can remove an accused spouse from the home, give the accusing partner temporary custody of the pair’s children and ensure that the accused person can’t come near the accuser, whether that’s at the shared home, a workplace or the children’s school or daycare.

Colorado has two steps in the restraining-order process. The accuser must first file for a temporary restraining order, which usually lasts for about two weeks, after which both parties go to a permanent protection order hearing. At that hearing, the parties will present evidence—including individual accounts, any witness statements and photographic or medical evidence—for the judge to determine whether the accusation is credible and whether the accuser is in danger. If the judge feels that the accuser continues to need protection, the temporary order will be made permanent.

If a person violates any part of either the temporary or permanent order—for example, if he or she comes within a certain distance of the accuser or the shared home, or if he or she tries to see the children at school—that’s a crime in Colorado, and it could lead to arrest.

If you are wrongly accused

Unfortunately, some spouses use the law to “get at” their partners—they’ll falsely accuse a spouse of violence when none has occurred. If you’re the victim of a false accusation, we can help. If your spouse has already served you with a temporary restraining order, it’s important that you not violate the terms of that order and speak to your attorney as soon as possible. We’ll fight as hard as we can to have the order vacated so you can resume your life as normal.

Expert help is best

You can choose to get or fight a restraining order on your own. However, it’s always best to have a seasoned attorney at your side to help you navigate the process and ensure that you understand your rights under the law. Your attorney can also help you understand any repercussions that might occur—for example, after a domestic violence charge and resulting restraining order, you will not be allowed to own firearms.

Finally, a professional attorney knows the ins and outs of the courtroom; if you’re not familiar with the court system, its processes might be overwhelming and nerve-racking, and having a professional right beside you, supporting your case, can add comfort and reduce stress.

Robinson & Henry is on your side and prepared to fight for you all the way. Take it from one of our clients:

“It was so great to have Louisa help me file for a protection order. She was already at the courthouse when I arrived at our scheduled time, which was so comforting, considering I had never been there before and didn’t really know where to go or what I was doing. She was prepared and knowledgeable, down to the pen that I forgot to bring to fill out the necessary paperwork. Louisa’s expertise and confidence, along with her calm and collected demeanor were so helpful during the process, which helped ease my anxiety and stress after a traumatic event. We got the paperwork filled out in a timely manner, allowing us to be second on the docket, in what could have been an event that lasted a few hours that Monday morning. When we got into the courtroom and the judge called my name, she displayed a level of confidence as my advisor that I was unable to provide myself, which was great considering my inexperience and ignorance of the process. Acquiring a restraining order was something new for me and I can’t express how grateful I am to have had Ms. Schlieben there!”

If you feel that you need protection from your spouse – especially if you’ve already been the victim of abuse – or if you need help fighting a restraining order or domestic violence charge, take quick action. The attorneys at Robinson & Henry will have your best interests in mind and will ensure that your rights are protected. Please reach out to us at (303) 688-0944.