If there is a claim of domestic violence, regardless of whether or not a criminal case is filed against you, a protection order may follow. If a civil protection order is granted, it will restrict your liberty, including your right to carry a firearm, and can severely disrupt your life.
If you are charged with a criminal action involving domestic violence, a mandatory protection order is put in place from the time of your first court appearance until final disposition of the case. Violation of a protection order is a crime in itself.
Colorado Protection Order Information Center
Temporary Civil Protection Order
A temporary civil protection order may be issued by a court pursuant to C.R.S. §13-14-101, et seq., to prevent domestic abuse, including assaults, threatened bodily harm, mental and emotional abuse, or acts of financial control that are committed by any person against another where the parties either are or were involved in an intimate relationship. Domestic abuse may also include any acts, attempted acts or threats of violence against the minor children of the parties or an animal owned by a party or the minor children.
A temporary civil protection order is customarily issued on an “ex parte” basis meaning that the judge needs to only hear testimony from the alleged victim or “protected party.” Upon the issuance of a temporary civil protection order, the defendant may be:
- Ordered to immediately vacate his home;
- Ordered to stay away from any place the victim is likely to be, including her place of work or school;
- Prohibited from communicating directly or indirectly (through a third person) with the victim;
- Prohibited from possessing firearms, including hunting rifles, and any other type of weapon; and
- Prohibited from consuming or possessing alcohol.
A hearing to make a temporary protection order permanent must occur within 14 days from the date the civil protection order is entered.
Gender bias is alive and well in this area of the law. Courts will generally issue a temporary protection order if the woman appears credible. It is much harder for a man to obtain a protection order against a woman, and very few try to do so.
Dos and Don’ts
Unless the Protection Order issued by the court includes exceptions, Do NOT contact the protected party under any circumstances for any reason. If you contact her, it is a violation of the protection order which is a criminal offense. You can and will be arrested.
Some men think that it is OK to have contact with the protected party if she initiates the contact. That is NOT correct. The protection order is against you, not her. She is not prohibited from contacting you at any time for any reason. However, if you as much as text, email or leave her a voice message, you have violated the protection order.
You must abide by the terms of the protection order no matter how much inconvenience you suffer. Once served with a protection order, you will generally be given 15 minutes to pack your toothbrush and get out of the house. At a later time, you may be able to return to the residence with a civil assist to retrieve more of your belongings.
Permanent Civil Protection Orders
Protection Orders are legal minefields, which can have grave consequences. You are entitled to testify, present witnesses, introduce evidence and be represented by an attorney at a permanent protection order hearing.
In order to make a temporary protection order permanent, the protected party must prove that you committed the acts which gave rise to the protection order and that if not restrained you will continue to commit such acts.
If a protection order is made permanent, it is very difficult to get it modified or dismissed. You must wait a minimum of 2 years after the issuance of a permanent protection order to request a modification or dismissal. If after the issuance of a permanent protection order you are convicted of a misdemeanor or felony against the protected person, the protection order remains permanent and it cannot be modified or dismissed.
The issuance of a protection order can result in the loss of your job, preclude you from being hired, or cause you to lose a security clearance. A protection order can interfere with your ability to rent an apartment or work in a school or day care setting.
Violation of a Protection Order
Separate and apart from any domestic violence charges a person may be facing, pursuant to C.R.S. § 18-6-803.5, it is a criminal misdemeanor offense to violate a protection order.
Violation of a protection order can result in a sentence of up to 1 year in jail and a fine up to $1,000. Pursuant to C.R.S. § 18-1.3-501, a second or subsequent violation of a protection order is an “extraordinary risk crime” which can result in a jail sentence of up to 2 years and a $5,000 fine.
Representing Men in Protection Order Matters
The issuance of a civil protection order will have profound legal ramifications, and it is important for any man defending against a civil protection order to have the best legal representation possible. Sharon D. Liko, P.C., represents men in Colorado defending against protection orders, including Douglas County, Arapahoe County, Jefferson County and the communities of Littleton, Englewood, Centennial, Castle Rock, Cherry Hills, Cherry Hills Village, Greenwood Village, Lakewood, Golden, and Arvada. Call Sharon D. Liko, P.C., today at (303) 534-4888 to schedule a consultation.