December 1, 2022
Protection orders are issued by courts in Colorado to protect one person from another. It keeps the person named in the order from contacting the other in any way. You may hear these types of orders referred to as restraining orders, no-contact orders, or injunctions, but they all effectively serve the same purpose.
In most cases, victims of domestic violence seek protective orders against their abusers, but there isn’t simply one kind of protective order. In fact, the state of Colorado has several.
If you’re the subject of an order of protection, it’s a good idea to understand what type of order has been filed against you and what violating it can mean for your future.
The Types of Protection Orders in Colorado
For domestic violence protection, there are three types of protective orders that can be issued in Colorado. They are:
These are protective orders issued by a judge if they believe a person to be in immediate danger. Also called “ex parte” orders, the person named as the abuser in the order does not have to be notified before it’s issued or even present in the courtroom.
These orders are meant as a gap measure to protect people at risk from domestic violence, such as stalking or harassment. They occur before the at-risk person can have a full court hearing for a permanent protective order.
Note that it’s not an enforceable order until the named abuser is served.
Permanent Protective Orders
The second type of protective order in Colorado is the permanent protective order, which does exactly what it sounds like: continues the order of protection from ex parte to one year maximum. For it to be issued for a period of one year, both parties must be at the court hearing and agree.
However, if the judge in the case feels the victim is at risk for domestic violence and, without the order, they will be at risk for retaliation, it can be granted even if you do not agree to it.
Permanent protective orders that impact child custody cannot last more than one year. After that, a long-term custody order must be issued.
Emergency Protective Orders
These are protective orders that local law enforcement can request if they believe an adult or minor is in danger of domestic violence. If the case involves a minor, it can also be petitioned for by social services.
This type of order lasts only a few days and is often requested for the same reason as an ex parte order, as a stop-gap until a hearing can take place before a judge.
What Happens If a Protective Order is Violated?
If a protective order is violated, your history of violations will be taken into account.
For first offenses, it’s a Class 2 misdemeanor, the result of which can be up to 12 months in jail and fines of as much as $1,000. However, any subsequent offenses can land you in jail for as many as two years and also require you to pay fines up to $5,000.
If you are the subject of a protective order, it’s important you understand what it means and how you might violate it. Don’t forget, you have rights in this situation, but you are still bound by protective orders issued by the courts. You can face consequences if you don’t respect the boundaries of the order.
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 recognized by countless legal organizations for his exemplary defense work, including Avvo, Best DWI Attorneys, Expertise, Lawyers of Distinction, The National Trial Lawyers, and others. He was also named one of the 10 Best in Client Satisfaction in Colorado by the American Institute of Criminal Law Attorneys for 2020, and is Lead Counsel rated.