There are safeguards in place to protect victims of domestic violence against their abusers. However, if you are facing accusations of abuse but have done nothing wrong, these same precautions may cause you a great deal of grief and inconvenience. You may have been served with a protection order, which is a court order that Colorado residents can seek to protect themselves from someone they accuse of harming or threatening to harm them.
Understandably, you may feel upset after finding out your significant other has obtained a protection order against you. This can keep you from going home or seeing your children. It may help to know how to defend yourself and possibly have the order lifted.
How a protection order works
First, you need to understand the basic elements of a protection order. Courts grant a civil protection order on a temporary basis. This legal document restricts any contact with the person accusing you of domestic violence or making threats. It can also involve no contact with your children. While the order is in effect, you cannot contact them via phone, text, email or social media. You also cannot approach them at their home, school, work or in public.
What you need to do now
It is important to understand that if you do not want the police to arrest you, you should not violate the terms of a protection order. You will have the chance to tell your side of the story to the court during a hearing, which is usually within two to three weeks of when the court served the order. The judge may choose to dismiss the order or make it permanent.
At this hearing, it's essential to have a defense lawyer representing you.
Lifting a protection order
If you have a permanent order of protection against you, you might wish to have the courts dismiss it or modify it later on, whether to resume a relationship with your children or to have the peace of mind knowing there is a resolution to the situation. If so, you might file for a motion to modify or dismiss the order four years after the issuance of the permanent order as long as you do not have a conviction of a domestic violence misdemeanor or any felonies and you can provide reasonable proof that you pose no harm.
If a protection order has been served against you, get help from an experienced criminal defense lawyer as soon as possible.