Colorado Revised Statute § 18-1-1001 creates a mandatory protection order (MPO) against any person charged with any violation of a criminal offense in Title 18 of the Colorado Revised Statutes, and alleged offenders may be required to sign MPOs upon release from custody for crimes of domestic violence. An MPO is a court order that must be complied with, regardless of an alleged victim’s supposed intention to “drop” the criminal charges.
In most cases, MPOs can involve significant restrictions of the rights of alleged offenders. People must respect the requirements of an MPO, even when they are contacted by alleged victims they are prohibited from contacting.
A violation of an MPO results not only in criminal charges for violating the court order but also possible penalties for the original underlying crime. In most cases, an alleged offender faces even greater consequences if convicted.
If you have been accused of violating an MPO in Colorado, it is in your best interest to immediately retain legal counsel. Call today to have the Law Office of Kevin Pauly review your case and discuss all of your legal options during a free consultation.
Under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-1-1001(3), the court may enter any of the following orders against an alleged offender upon the motion of a district attorney or alleged victim in an MPO case involving domestic violence:
Vacate or stay away from the home or any other location where the alleged victim or witness is likely to be found
No contact or direct or indirect communication with the alleged victim or witness
Prohibited possession or control of firearms or other weapons
Prohibited possession or consumption of alcohol or controlled substances
Any other order the court deems appropriate to protect the safety of the alleged victim or witness.
Colorado Revised Statute § 18-1-1001(5) establishes that the terms of an MPO must be stated to an alleged offender on the record and the court must require the alleged offender to acknowledge the MPO in court and in writing as a condition of any bond for their release. The prosecuting attorney must also notify the alleged victim, the complainant, and the protected person of the order if they are not present when an MPO is issued.
Under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-1-1001(6), an alleged offender can request a hearing to modify the terms of an MPO. An MPO will remain in effect until the conclusion of a criminal case.
Under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-6-803.5, a person violates an MPO if they:
Contact a protected person in any way, come within a specified distance of a protected person or property, or violate any other provision of the MPO
Hire another person to locate a protected person
Possess or attempt to acquire a firearm or ammunition while an MPO in effect
Fail to file a receipt or written statement with the court as required
A violation of an MPO is typically a Class 2 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $1,000 and/or up to one year in jail. When an alleged offender has been previously convicted of violating an MPO, a subsequent conviction is a Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $5,000 and/or up to 18 months in jail.
An MPO violation also constitutes a violation of the alleged offender’s original bond and they can face the penalties relating to the underlying criminal charge. Depending on the severity of the original criminal offense, this may lead to several additional years of imprisonment and many thousands of dollars more in fines.
MPO violations are taken very seriously by most prosecutors and judges in Colorado. It is important for anybody accused of this crime to understand that the offense involved is a violation of a court order, and a person will typically be required to demonstrate some kind of notable justification or exception for their alleged behavior.
In many cases, MPO violations carry consequences that are ultimately more severe than convictions for the original crimes. Every case is unique, and the Law Office of Kevin Pauly can approach your case with an appreciation of the multitude of different factors that can be used to help achieve a desirable outcome.
Many cases involve alleged violations in which alleged offenders are attempting to return phone calls or electronic messages originally sent by alleged victims. Our firm can use clear instances devoid of criminal intent to help you avoid unnecessary jail time.
The Law Office of Kevin Pauly helps people all over Colorado navigate the complexities of no-contact agreements and respond to contempt citations. We can represent you at any court hearings and fight to help you avoid any possible penalties.
Have you been arrested for allegedly violating the terms of an MPO in Colorado? You will want to seek legal representation very quickly.
Domestic violence matters are enormously complicated and courts in Colorado usually take whatever measures they believe are necessary to protect victims in such cases. Even when a court did not issue an MPO, it can still punish a person accused of violating one.
The Law Office of Kevin Pauly is committed to helping protect the rights of people accused of domestic violence offenses. Our firm understands the many honest misunderstandings that can lead to unintentional and unknowing violations of no-contact agreements.
Do not think that you have to defend your alleged actions by yourself. You can have the Law Office of Kevin Pauly provide an evaluation of your case when you call us or contact us online to receive a free consultation.