The Meaning Behind Your Restraining Order
Restraining orders are issued by courts to protect a victim from suffering further abuse and harassment.
During a restraining order hearing, you are entitled to certain rights. One of these rights is the ability to cross-examine evidence and witnesses, as well as to present your own evidence and witnesses to support your defense. While you have the option to be represented by an attorney at the hearing, you are not guaranteed a free attorney.
Domestic violence cases are common situations in which the alleged victim files a restraining order, also called an order of protection, against their abuser.
As a result, the alleged abuser must take the restraining order seriously or else they may suffer further legal trouble.
A restraining order may be filed to prevent situations such as:
- Domestic abuse
- Assaults and threats of bodily harm
- Emotional abuse of a vulnerable victim
- Sexual assault or abuse
If you got notified of an order of protection against you, it’s imperative that you comply with the terms of the order and make this matter a priority.
Even if you think your partner is making false domestic violence accusations against you and doesn’t need a restraining order, the judge won’t care. If you violate the terms of your restraining order, you can face harsh legal penalties.
There are three common types of restraining orders in Colorado, and it’s important to understand what each one entails.
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Temporary Restraining Orders
Temporary restraining orders are, as stated, temporary and last 14 days.
Under § 13-14-104.5, a temporary civil protection order may be issued if the judge or magistrate finds that an imminent danger exists to the person seeking protection.
In determining whether an imminent danger exists to the life or health of one or more persons, the court shall consider all relevant evidence concerning the safety and protection of the person seeking the protection order.
The court shall not deny a petitioner relief because of the length of time between an act of abuse or threat of harm and the filing of the petition for a protection order.
This means that if someone thinks they’re in immediate danger, even if the alleged abuse occurred years ago, they may file a temporary protection order against you.
Permanent Restraining Orders
Permanent restraining orders can last forever but be modified by a judge over time.
After the 14-day period required by the temporary restraining order has ended, a judge will determine whether a permanent restraining order is necessary to protect the victim. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence to attempt to prove that you are not a threat to the alleged victim.
According to 14-13-106(1)(a), if a judge or magistrate finds by a preponderance of evidence that you committed acts constituting grounds for issuance of a civil protection order and that unless you’re restrained, you will continue to commit intimidating or retaliatory attacks against the protected person, the judge or magistrate shall order the temporary civil protection order to be made permanent.
Emergency Restraining Orders
A victim may file an emergency restraining order against you if they feel like they need immediate protection from harm or danger. This is usually filed before a temporary restraining order is granted, and typically lasts for three days.
Emergency restraining orders are issued by the police, rather than the courts if they believe the victim requires immediate legal protection.
Facing a Restraining Order? Know Your Rights.
Restraining orders can prohibit you from contacting your family, seeing your children and living in your own home, which is why it’s essential to understand your rights and legal options when an order of protection is filed against you.
Our Denver criminal defense lawyers have extensive experience in handling restraining orders and will dedicate our attention and resources to helping you navigate your unsettling experience as smoothly as possible.
Please don’t wait to contact us online or call us immediately after learning about an order of protection against you.