September 19, 2023
Being issued a protection order can be stressful. Violating a protection order is a criminal offense, and can land you in jail. Because of this, you might feel like you are constantly walking on eggshells, and may even fear leaving the house – or wherever you are staying – to avoid violating the order.
If you have been issued a protection order (or believe you may be issued one), it is important to take it very seriously. But you don’t have to stay in your home 24/7. Just follow the below tips and you should be just fine.
Review the Rules Regarding Protection Orders. There are several different kinds of protection orders, and each type may have different rules regarding the places you can go and the things that you can do. Moreover, protection orders are often tailored to your specific situation.
It is extremely important to read over and understand the grounds on which the protection order is issued so you do not accidentally do something or go to a location (for example, a favorite bar or grocery store of the person that issued the order) and end up in violation of the order.
To make matters worse, emergency, or ex parte, orders can be issued without immediately alerting the alleged abuser. In other words, you could potentially be under a protection order and not even know it. A knowledgeable domestic violence attorney is the best way to make sure you are kept in the loop and made aware of things like this as soon as possible. These types of orders are temporary, but they can last up to 14 days.
In contrast, if someone is filing a permanent protection order (PRO) against you, you will be served the order by either that person or a member of law enforcement. Most PROs have the same restrictions as TROs.
Block the Victim from Your Phone. This may be a painful process, but it is necessary to make sure you do not accidentally violate your protection order. If you “butt dial” or accidentally send an email to the victim, you could be charged with violating your protection order.
In fact, in some cases people have been charged with violating a protection order when the alleged victim reached out to them. Don’t take chances. Delete any relevant phone numbers and email addresses from your address book.
Get Rid of Your Guns. And anything the law considers a “dangerous weapon.” Under a protection order, it is illegal to purchase or be in possession of any firearm or dangerous weapon. Even if you purchased a gun years before you were issued a protection order, you must relinquish it when the order is issued.
Make a Copy of the Protection Order. If a police officer stops you and falsely believes that you are in violation of your protection order, it is important to have a copy of the order on hand. That way, you will have physical proof that you are not violating your terms and should be let go.
Begin to Collect Receipts and Other Relevant Evidence. You may be accused of violating your protection order when you have done absolutely nothing at all. Keep a log of what you did, where you went, and who you saw, beginning at the time you were issued your protection order. If you find yourself being accused of violating the order, you will have evidence and an alibi to help you fight back.
Stay Out of Trouble. Permanent protection orders can be dismissed or changed, but only if the individual under the order has not been convicted of a domestic violence misdemeanor or any kind of felony. Any crime committed while under a protection order will have additional and harsher penalties. This should go without saying, but if you have been issued a protection order recently, now is not the time to commit a crime.
A protection order can prevent you from seeing your children. It can make it difficult to live a peaceful life without the constant fear of being charged with a criminal offense. Fight for your rights by contacting an experienced Colorado domestic violence lawyer today.
About the Author:
Denver-based criminal defense and DUI attorney Jacob E. Martinez is a knowledgeable and experienced litigator with a record of success providing innovative solutions to clients facing criminal charges of any severity. Mr. Martinez has been designated a Top 100 Trial Lawyer by the National Trial Lawyers and has been awarded both the Avvo Client’s Choice Award and Avvo Top Attorney designation, evidencing his reputation for his exemplary criminal and DUI defense work and high moral standards.