Were you arrested for allegedly violating a restraining order or protection order in Colorado? Regardless of whether your restraining order was a civil or criminal protection order, any violation is itself a new criminal offense.
State law regarding violations of protection orders is broadly written, such that many acts can constitute a restraining order violation. Some people may have been completely unaware of the existence of a protection order.
Regardless of the type of violation allegedly committed, it is in your best interest to quickly retain legal counsel. The Law Office of Kevin Pauly represents people accused of domestic violence offenses in communities throughout the Denver area.
Our criminal defense attorney can fight to possibly get your criminal charges reduced or dismissed. He can review your case and answer all of your legal questions when you call (720) 941-6816 or complete an online contact form to schedule a free consultation.
Colorado has two different types of protection orders. Colorado Revised Statute § 13-14-104.5 establishes that a municipal court or county court can issue a temporary or permanent civil protection order against an adult to prevent:
Emotional abuse of the elderly or an at-risk adult;
Under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-1-1001, a mandatory protection order (MPO) is issued against any person charged with a violation of any criminal offense under state law. An MPO is usually entered by a court when an alleged offender has been charged with a crime of domestic violence and remains in effect until the conclusion of the criminal case.
Both types of protection orders usually place a variety of restrictions on alleged offenders. In most cases, all contact with alleged victims is strictly prohibited, but this can also mean prohibitions on visiting places where the alleged victim is likely to be, as well as the possible loss of firearm rights. Some courts may require alleged offenders to not use alcohol or controlled substances.
Colorado Revised Statute § 18-6-803.5 states that a person commits the crime of violation of a protection order if, after being served with a protection order or otherwise learns of being identified as a restrained person, the individual is accused of any of the following:
Contacting, harassing, injuring, intimidating, molesting, threatening, or touching the alleged victim or protected property, or coming within a specified distance of the alleged victim or protected property, or engaging in any other conduct prohibited by the protection order;
Hiring, employing, or otherwise contracting with another person to locate the alleged victim (unless permitted pursuant under Colorado Revised Statute § 18-13-126(1)(b));
Possessing or attempting to possess a firearm or ammunition while the protection order is in effect; or
Failing to timely file a receipt or written statement with the court relating to firearms or ammunition surrender.
A violation of a protection order is typically a class 2 misdemeanor punishable by up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. If an alleged offender has been previously convicted of violating a protection order, any subsequent violation is a class 1 misdemeanor punishable by up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000.
Misdemeanor offenses involving an “extraordinary risk of harm” may result in jail sentences of as long as 24 months.
Most people who become aware of protection orders being sought against them can usually benefit the most by trying to fight to prevent the orders from being issued in the first place. You can also request a modification of a protection order after one has been issued.
When a protection order is issued, you are obligated to comply with its terms as it is a court order. The thorniest issue in many of these cases concerns contact with alleged victims.
The general prohibition on phone calls or other electronic messages to alleged victims is fairly well understood, but what happens when alleged offenders are contacted by alleged victims—such as cases possibly involving the health of shared children? In most cases, an alleged offender can prove compliance with a protection order so long as they did not return phone calls or immediately left any locations in which it was suddenly realized that the alleged victim was present.
In many cases, the Law Office of Kevin Pauly can challenge the evidence presented by prosecutors in these cases. Our firm can help present any alleged violations as being unknowing and work to help you achieve the most favorable outcome to your case that results in the fewest possible consequences.
If you were arrested for allegedly violating a protection order in Colorado, do not delay in seeking legal representation. No matter how confident you are in your innocence, you should exercise your right to remain silent until you are able to contact a criminal defense attorney.
Even when you think that you are simply describing the facts of your case as you see them, you may inadvertently admit to knowledge of some aspect of your case that ultimately makes it easier to convict you of violating your protection order.
The Law Office of Kevin Pauly aggressively defends clients accused of various domestic violence crimes, including restraining order violations. Our firm understands the many ways in which these types of criminal charges impact the entire lives of alleged offenders, and we work tirelessly to help people overcome these difficult situations.
The Law Office of Kevin Pauly helps people in Denver and many surrounding areas of Colorado. Call us or contact us online to have our lawyer provide a complete evaluation of your case during a free consultation.