Having a protection order (also commonly referred to as a restraining order) issued against you can be a frustrating and perhaps even infuriating experience. You may believe that any allegations of harassment or any kind of domestic violence are completely unfounded or blown out of proportion.
However, it’s crucial to understand and abide by the terms of the order. Violating a protection order is itself a crime.
What does Colorado law say?
Under Colorado law, a protection order typically prohibits a person from “contacting, harassing, injuring, intimidating, molesting, threatening, or touching any protected person or protected animal, or from entering or remaining on-premises, or from coming within a specified distance of a protected person or protected animal or premises….”
Protection orders typically state the minimum distance a person must maintain from the protected person, their property, their workplace and possibly other locations. There also may be prohibitions on being in possession of firearms or ammunition.
If you’re charged with violating a protection order issued in Colorado, you could face at least a class 2 misdemeanor. Subsequent violations can be charged as a class 1 misdemeanor.
Temporary vs. permanent orders
Typically, the first protection order issued after an incident of alleged domestic violence or harassment is temporary. These generally last for no more than two weeks or until a court date is scheduled for a judge to consider the matter and both sides can present their case. A court may then decide to make the order “permanent.”
If you’ve been served with a protection order, it’s crucial to seek legal guidance so that you can be prepared to present your side of the matter. Having legal assistance can also help you with any questions you may have about the order. As noted at the outset, while the order may have a significant and unwanted effect on your life, it’s crucial not to make your legal situation any worse by violating it.