In Colorado, the law authorizes and in fact requires the issuance of protection orders in all domestic violence cases. Current law allows not only a no-contact order, but also restrictions as to the possession of firearms, possession of alcohol, and any other restrictions the court deems appropriate to protect the safety of the alleged victim.
However, the law does not currently authorize the issuance of protection orders in non-domestic violence scenarios. A change is currently being contemplated that would change that, instead allowing judges in all Victim Rights Act cases to impose protection orders. Some crimes covered by the Victim Rights Act are: murder, manslaughter, criminally negligent homicide, vehicular homicide, assault, vehicular assault, menacing, kidnapping, sexual assault, unlawful sexual contact, robbery, incest, child abuse, sexual exploitation of children, crimes against at-risk adults or at-risk juveniles, domestic violence cases, stalking, careless driving that results in the death of another person, failure to stop at the scene of an accident, where the accident results in the death of another person, retaliation against a witness or victim, indecent exposure, violation of a protection order.
The judge would be empowered to impose such a protection order on the district attorney’s motion, or the court’s own motion where the court deemed such action necessary to protect the victim.
This move has been and continues to be opposed by the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, and unsurprisingly, has received support from District Attorneys’ offices.