There are two main types of protection orders in the Centennial State. One is a civil order, commonly known as a restraining order. Courts issue this type of protection order to shield one person from another. The other type is a criminal mandatory protection order.
In Colorado, courts initiate a protection order that limits the behavior of a criminal defendant. In many cases, the order is a mandatory condition of bail. Defendants need a thorough understanding of their orders so they will not unwittingly fail to follow the rules.
The provisions of a protection order depend on the circumstances. In cases of domestic violence, the protective order will likely prohibit contact with the alleged victim. Contact may include visits to the alleged victim’s home or work, electronic communication and phone calls. The order may require the surrender of firearms.
Criminal mandatory protection orders have conditions related to the offense. For example, a DUI can result in an order that prohibits drinking alcohol.
Some violations are obvious, but others may seem more confusing. If the order forbids contact, it does not matter who initiates contact. In a domestic violence case, an alleged victim may send a text message to the defendant. Yet if the defendant responds to the text, the courts may deem the defendant in violation of the order.
Criminal protection orders expire upon resolution of the case or upon the end of the sentence. Violating a protection order is a misdemeanor. Conviction can add up to $5,000 in fines and up to 18 months’ imprisonment. However, a conviction can only stand if the state served the order correctly.
A defendant can petition the court to change the conditions of a protection order. Defendants served with protection orders do have options.