In Colorado domestic violence cases, restraining orders can greatly impact the lives of both the victim and the person accused of perpetrating the crime in question.
Protective orders, which may also be called restraining orders, can force the accused to leave their home, have no contact with their children, and keep them from coming within a certain distance of the victim. This can complicate things on many levels, especially since no contact is permitted between the parties – or additional charges can be filed.
Many people wonder how easy it is to get a protective order against another person when it can greatly impact a person’s life. Here is what you need to know about protective orders in Colorado, including what they are and on what grounds one may be granted in domestic violence cases.
Domestic Violence in Colorado
Two very important things to understand about how Colorado treats domestic violence are. First, Colorado is a state where the police are required to make an arrest if they have probable cause that domestic violence is occurring. So, if police respond to a domestic violence call to your home or anywhere else, chances are high that someone will be arrested.
This is another reason why it’s vital to understand that the definition of domestic violence in this state is very broad. Acts of domestic violence are defined as a situation in which an actual act of violence takes place or is threatened. This can include crimes against people or property, including pets.
This brings up the second very important point about domestic violence in Colorado: No physical act must take place to be arrested for it. Calling repeatedly, texting, or even threatening someone can amount to enough to get you arrested and charged with a crime that has domestic violence as an enhancement. And once a person is arrested and charged, a protective order is entered against them.
What Evidence is Needed for a Temporary Protective Order?
In Colorado, the protective order filed against someone who has been arrested for crimes of domestic violence is a temporary one. This type of protective order does not require the person who is the accused abuser to be involved in the process.
All that has to happen to get a temporary protective order: a motion needs to be filed in court. The court will review the application, then issue the order if the motion is granted.
At this point, there is no need for the petitioner to show they have reported any domestic violence incidence to police, that any charges have been filed, or that a case is pending with the local district attorney. The facts are outlined in the complaint to help the judge understand the circumstances regarding the case. This type of protective order is good only for about 14 days, giving time for the victim to file for a permanent protective order.
What Evidence is Needed for a Permanent Protective Order?
A permanent protective order in Colorado is a much more arduous process. The court analyzes on two fronts to determine if it should be issued, one of which is evidence.
The things that must be proven in court to grant a protective order include police reports, eyewitness testimony, and any evidence of other types of abuse that may have taken place. The person filing for the protective order has the burden of proof in the case. An attorney representing the person named in the order can help to plead their case against it.
A judge will then examine the case and decide whether to extend the temporary protective order simply or to grant the permanent protective order. If a permanent protective order is granted, there is no expiration date.
What Does a Protective Order Mean?
If you are named in a protective order, it can impact your life in various ways. In Colorado, you must give up your firearms and ammunition to local law enforcement. You may also be required to move out of your home if you share it with the victim named in the order. And you may not be able to contact any children you have with that person, either.
If you violate the protective order, then that can result in additional charges against you for a protective order violation.
You don’t have to face a protective order alone. Make sure an experienced criminal attorney represents you to uphold your rights.
About the Author:
Kimberly Diego is a criminal defense attorney in Denver practicing at The Law Office of Kimberly Diego. She obtained her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her law degree at the University of Colorado. She was named one of Super Lawyers’ “Rising Stars of 2012 & 2019-2022” and a “Top 100 Trial Lawyers in Colorado” for 2012-2022 by The National Trial Lawyers. Both honors are limited to a small percentage of practicing attorneys in each state. Additionally, Expertise names her to its lists of the 25 Best Denver DUI Lawyers and 21 Best Denver Criminal Defense Lawyers, both in 2020-2022. Ms. Diego has also been recognized for her work in domestic violence cases.