A restraining order in Colorado is a court-issued demand that orders an abuser or an individual harassing the victim to stay away from them. The purpose of the restraining order is to protect individuals from a myriad of threads such as domestic violence and assault. In some instances following a criminal case or a domestic violence-related arrest, a protective order is automatically issued. In Colorado for violating a protection order an individual can be charged with a misdemeanor and penalties will be enforced. If you have questions about how you can get a protection order it is imperative that you get in touch with a Colorado Springs restraining order lawyer.
At our Colorado Springs family law firm, our attorneys take our client's safety seriously and can help ensure you are protected if going through a particularly contentious divorce. We are fast when it comes to collecting evidence that is necessary for you to obtain a restraining order. Our experienced attorneys have the knowledge of how they can advocate aggressively on your behalf during the trial so we can present an effective argument on your behalf.
What Types of Protection Orders are Available and How Long Are They Enforced?
A restraining order limits an individual’s contact with you and your family and violating the protection order can result in the individual getting arrested and doing jail time. There are different types of protection orders that can be enforced in Colorado and it is important to have knowledge about the different protection order options available.
Permanent Protection Order
A PRO or permanent restraining order is meant to protect individuals from harassment, threats, or contact from another person. Unlike a temporary restraining order, a permanent restraining order will require the restrained party to respond to the motion filed against them.
This means that when the motion is filed the restrained party needs to be properly served with a notice of hearing so they can appear in court. Even as this is the case if the accused fails to appear at the permanent restraining order hearing the judge will award the victim or the person filing the motion the permanent order.
Most of the time before a permanent protective order is granted an individual will first be granted a temporary restraining order and then a hearing for the permanent restraining order is scheduled later on. For the court to decide if the order should be granted they will need to review the records and the evidence presented during the proceedings. It is possible for a judge to order that the hearing be delayed for a period of one year and in the meantime have the temporary protection order in place until then.
During the hearing, the respondent will have the opportunity to respond to the claims made against them in the claim. If the court finds out that the respondent was properly served but still fail to appear for the hearing the permanent restraining order will be granted. Also, it is possible for a bench warrant for the arrest of the respondent to be issued. It is important for you to have an attorney there to represent you.
When a permanent modification order has been granted it will remain in effect until it is modified or dismissed.
Temporary Restraining Order
A temporary restraining order is a civil protection order that generally lasts up to 14 days. The temporary order is usually the first step toward getting a permanent restraining order. The order lasts until a hearing is held to grant the permanent restraining order. However, if a judge finds a good cause to do it they can extend a temporary restraining order for a period of one year.
In order for the victim to apply for the temporary restraining order, they will need to go to court and file a JDF 402 form. A hearing for the TRO is usually held on the same day. As a victim, you can choose to have an attorney with you during the process which would be reasonable if they are to walk you through the process of getting a PRO. This type of hearing is referred to as an Ex parte hearing and the party being restrained does not need to be present.
The victim has the task of proving to the judge that they are really in danger. If they are able to do this the judge will then grant the temporary order and may then proceed to set a date where they will decide if a permanent restraining order is necessary.
Emergency Protection Orders
An Emergency protection order can be requested by the police if there is imminent danger. The present danger can be a domestic abuse situation, stalking, sexual assault, or it could be that a minor child is facing immediate danger. It could be domestic violence or abuse or sexual offense.
If a minor child is involved a legal protection order can as well be requested by the county department for social services or another responsible party in this case.
An emergency restraining order only lasts for a few days. The order is issued when the courts are closed or in case an individual files a temporary ex parte protection order but the judge is unable to hold a hearing on the same day that order has been filed.
How Do I File a Protection Order?
There are two steps that you need to follow in order to get a restraining order in Colorado. Also, it is important to note that the court needs to be open for the process to go through successfully. In case you visit the court outside normal court hours, on weekends, or during holidays the process will go a little differently.
For a start, you need to file the JDF 401 form. The is form is the main form when filing for a protection order even though there may as well be other necessary supplemental forms. Afterward, the hearing for a TPO is held on the same day. Parties if they choose may be represented by a criminal defense lawyer during the hearing. A date for the permanent hearing will be given after the TPO is issued.
Secondly, you need to go back to court on the date that has been indicated in the permanent hearing. If it’s warranted the county court will issues a permanent protection order and the judge at their discretion will decide the duration in which eth protection order will last. Failing to appear for this critical court hearing will result in the automatic expiration of your TPO.
Get in touch with a family law attorney who will offer advice in person and is familiar with the court systems in Colorado. You can trust us to help you in filing for TROs and remind you of important court dates.
What Can a Restraining Order Prevent?
Even though every criminal protection order is unique a restraining order prevents the restrained individual from coming in any form of physical or sexual contact with the victim. This means that the restrained person cannot communicate with the other party via phone, text, email, or social media regardless of whether the conversation is harassing or not.
Also, it may mean that the individual may need to avoid certain places. That is the other party’s workplace, home, school, or any other place.
They may need to surrender custody of their children or pets or any other family member temporarily. If the protected person feels that even after the protection order is issued they need more security they can request security from the police officer.
If you are going through a divorce and your spouse is making you feel unsafe our attorneys would like to help you ensure that your legal rights and security are preserved. Get in touch with a Colorado Springs family attorney from The Law Office of Jeanne M. Wilson & Associates who can help you ensure that your rights and security are upheld and that you have peace of mind. Our experienced lawyer is ready to help you with your civil protection orders when you get in touch.