We hope all relationships will be happy and healthy without abuse, but sometimes a partner may be or threaten to be violent. If children are in the situation, the matter becomes even more serious. Restraining orders were created for circumstances such as these.
If your spouse or significant other has threatened violence or acted on it, you should take action to protect yourself and your loved ones.
On the other hand, if you’re on the receiving end of a restraining order, it’s important to understand and exercise your rights.
Help with Restraining Orders
At Robinson & Henry, we will take swift action to ensure your protection, as well as help you understand the law and your responsibilities going forward. Call 303-688-0944 24-hours a day to schedule a free case assessment.
Restraining Orders & The Law
Restraining orders are temporary court orders placed on individuals to restrict them from being near a 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 the accused person cannot come near the accuser.
That means the accused partner is not supposed to go near the shared home, the children’s school, or the accusing spouse’s workplace.
Restraining Orders: A Two-Step Process
For restraining orders in Colorado, there is a two-step process to follow.
First, the accuser must file for a temporary restraining order. Temporary restraining orders usually last about two weeks.
Second, both parties must attend a permanent protection order hearing.
What Happens at the Hearing
At the permanent protection order hearing, each party presents evidence. The evidence may include personal testimony, witness statements, and photographic or medical evidence.
The judge then evaluates the evidence to determine if the accusation is credible and whether the accuser is in danger.
If the judge feels that the accuser needs continued protection, the temporary order will be made permanent.
Violated Restraining Orders
It is a crime in Colorado to violate any part of temporary or permanent restraining orders.
Here’s what the law says:
(1) A person commits the crime of violation of a protection order if, after the person has been personally served with a protection order that identifies the person as a restrained person or otherwise has acquired from the court or law enforcement personnel actual knowledge of the contents of a protection order that identifies the person as a restrained person, the person:
(a) Contacts, harasses, injures, intimidates, molests, threatens, or touches the protected person or protected property, including an animal, identified in the protection order or enters or remains on premises or comes within a specified distance of the protected person, protected property, including an animal, or premises or violates any other provision of the protection order to protect the protected person from imminent danger to life or health, and such conduct is prohibited by the protection order;
(I) Possessing or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition while the protection order is in effect;
C.R.S.A. § 18-6-803.5
In other words, if there is a protection order placed against you, you cannot have any contact with the person who sought the order. If children are involved, trying to connect with them would also be breaking the restraining order. You also cannot possess or attempt to get a gun.
Violating a restraining order could lead to arrest and jail time.
Consequences of Violating a Restraining Order
Violating a restraining order is a class 2 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of a protection order is a class 1 misdemeanor.
Class 2 misdemeanors carry between a three-month and one-year imprisonment sentence, or between a $250 and $1,000 fine, or both.
Two or More Violations
Class 1 misdemeanors usually carry a maximum imprisonment sentence of 18 months. BUT, in the case of repeated protection order violations, Colorado adds six months to the maximum imprisonment sentence.
That means subsequent violations could lead to as much as a two-year imprisonment, up to a $5,000 fine, or both.
(3)(a) The general assembly hereby finds that certain misdemeanors which are listed in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3) present an extraordinary risk of harm to society and therefore, in the interest of public safety, the maximum sentence for such misdemeanors shall be increased by six months. C.R.S.A. § 18-1.3-501(3)(a)
If You Are Wrongly Accused
Unfortunately, some spouses use the law to retaliate against their partners. It is not unheard of for people to be falsely accused of violence against a romantic partner when none has occurred.
If you’re the victim of a false accusation, we can help.
If You’ve Already Been Served with a Restraining Order
If your spouse or partner has already served you with a temporary restraining order, it’s important that you do not violate the terms of that order. As we noted above, breaking a restraining order can result in arrest, stiff fines, and jail time.
Next, you will want to speak with an attorney as soon as possible. Our criminal defense attorneys will work to have the order vacated so you can resume your life as quickly as possible.
Get Expert Help on Restraining Orders
You can choose to get or fight a restraining order on your own. However, having a seasoned attorney at your side to help you navigate the process and ensure you understand your rights can dramatically improve your chances for a better outcome – whichever side of the restraining order you’re on.
An attorney will explain the repercussions that could 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 can be overwhelming. Having the support of a legal professional will reduce your stress and, again, increase your chances of a better result.
Robinson & Henry is on your side and prepared to fight for you all the way.
Testimony from a Robinson & Henry client:
“It was so great to have [an attorney] 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. [Her] 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 [my attorney] there!”
Past results afford no guarantee of future results; each matter is different and must be judged on its own merits.
Schedule a Free Case Assessment
Contact our attorneys if you need protection from an intimate partner or if you need help to fight a restraining order or domestic violence charge.
Robinson & Henry attorneys have your best interests in mind and will ensure your rights are protected. Call 303-688-0944 to set up a free case assessment, or click here to schedule the meeting online.