What Happens If You’re Charged with Violating a Colorado Restraining Order

If you have been charged with violating a restraining order in Colorado, it’s important to know what happens next. In this post, we’re going to explain the restraining order laws in our state as well as the penalties for violating an order.

Understanding Protective Orders in Colorado

A protective order, otherwise known as a restraining order, prohibits you from contact with a person who believes that you intend to do them harm. The order is intended to prevent touching, tampering, retaliation, intimidation, molestation, or harassment of the alleged victim.

A protective order can be filed for two reasons. First, an alleged victim can file a civil protective order in a case of domestic violence. Second, an offender can automatically be placed under a criminal protective order when arrested for a crime not related to vehicles, and when law enforcement believes the offender has threatened to use or has used violence in an intimate partnership.

Even if the alleged victim made a false statement, wishes to revoke the statement, or refuses to press charges, your arrest is reason enough for a protective order to be in place.

A temporary protective order can last up to 14 days or until the case is heard in court. A permanent protective order – as the name implies – has no expiration date.

Protective orders can also be filed on behalf of children. These, however, are valid for only 120 days, as the courts expect parents to set up custody agreements after that time.

Requirements of a Protective Order

When you are under a protective order, you must follow strict guidelines.

  • You will not be allowed to contact the alleged victim, even if the individual requests contact.
  • You must stay away from the individual’s home or areas where the individual is known to be present.
  • You will be required to give up any weapons or firearms, even if you are a registered user.
  • Under court order, you will be prohibited from using controlled substances or alcohol, and the judge may enforce further conditions upon you.

If you do not contest the protective order by requesting a modification, you will be subject to the order until your case is decided in court.

Violations of a Protective Order

Colorado Restraining Order Attorney

A violation of a protective order will be charged as a class 2 misdemeanor. The penalties can involve up to 18 months in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. A second or subsequent violation is considered an extraordinary risk crime, categorized as a class 1 misdemeanor and subject to extended sentencing.

You can defend yourself against a protective order violation in several different ways. A qualified attorney can advise you on the best defenses to use, including the following:

  • The protective order was not violated.
  • The violation was accidental, such as dialing the alleged victim’s number by mistake.
  • The alleged victim made a false statement regarding the violation.
  • No evidence exists to prove you committed a violation.
  • Any drugs, alcohol, or firearms used as evidence did not belong to you.

Seek Legal Counsel

Being subject to a protective order is stressful, but being accused of a violation is even worse. Contact an experienced, compassionate Colorado criminal defense attorney for help in fighting your charges.

When you reach out to our office and set up a free, confidential case review, we will go over the facts of your case and talk about your options.


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.