What Does a Restraining Order Do?
Posted By: Jacob Martinez
A restraining order – also called a protective order – is an order issued by a judge that tells one person to stay away from and not to communicate with, threaten, or hurt another person. Protective orders are usually used in domestic violence cases to protect victims and family members.
Whether you’re an individual seeking a protective order against someone else or another person is seeking a protective order against you, it’s important to understand the conditions of a protective order so you’ll know what to expect.
Who Can Get a Protective Order?
A protective order can be used to send a strong message to an abuser that the abuse must stop. In the event that the abuse continues, there will be consequences to face. It also informs law enforcement that a victim is serious about stopping all abuse and keeping the offender away.
There are 3 types of protective orders:
- Mandatory protective order: issued by a court in a criminal proceeding
- Civil protective order: issued by a court after a victim petitions to have someone stay away from them. A victim will have to go to court at least twice to get a civil protective order
- Temporary injunction: automatic order that takes effect when a couple files for divorce
Not everyone can run out and get a protective order. A person has to have some kind of relationship with their alleged buser in order to get a protective order against them. If a person wants to take out a protective order they have to be:
- An adult who is related to the perpetrator by blood or marriage. This could be a spouse, parent, sibling, parent-in-law, or child over 18 years.
- An ex-spouse
- A person living with their abusive partner or who has lived together in the past
- A person who has a child with their abuser
- Persons who are currently or have been previously involved in an “intimate relationship”
What Can a Protective Order Do?
Besides simply keeping the alleged abuser away from the victim, a protective order can also include a number of other conditions, such as:
- Not committing any further acts of domestic violence
- No direct communication – in person, phone, text, email – with the victim
- They have to remain a safe, specific distance from the victim’s house or place of employment
- They have to remain a safe, specific distance from the house, school, or child care facility of a child protected under the order
- They temporarily lose all decision-making responsibilities for any children the couple has
- Child or spousal support must be paid during the time frame of the protective order
- The requirement to attend counseling or an intervention program
- Temporarily lose possession of jointly-owned property like a car or house
If a Colorado court issues a mandatory protection order in a domestic violence case, the alleged abuser will not be able to possess a firearm or other weapon and they may not be allowed to use alcohol or other drugs. These type of protection orders last until the defendant is acquitted of all charges or until they are convicted or completes their sentence.
If you are involved in a protection order case – whether you want a restraining order against someone else or someone else wants a restraining order against you – contact a respected Denver criminal defense attorney who has experience with protective orders to make sure your rights are protected.
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.