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What Is a Colorado Restraining Order?

What to expect after Restraining Order?
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A restraining order, which is also commonly known as a protective order, is a legal order issued by a judge. This order is obtained by victims of domestic violence or other types of violence, or those that fear potential physical harm, in order to prevent their abuser from having contact with them. Continue reading for more information about restraining orders in Colorado. If you have had a restraining order filed against you, reach out to an experienced domestic violence or criminal defense attorney.

Here's What You Need to Know About Restraining Orders in Colorado

In Colorado, there are different types of protective orders, including:

Temporary restraining order (TRO): With this type of restraining order, domestic violence does not need to be proven. An individual simply fills out a complaint that is reviewed by a judge, who then talks to the individual seeking the order — Based on that testimony, the judge will decide whether to issue the TRO. This decision is generally made on the same day as you request the TRO. A TRO only lasts up to 14 days.

Permanent restraining order (PRO): When a judge issues a TRO, a hearing is scheduled, at which time the defendant, or respondent as they are called in this civil court, can argue against the need for a restraining order. If the judge finds that the same concerns exist as did when the TRO was issued — A PRO, also called a PPO (permanent protection order), can be instated, which can negatively impact the defendant’s life.

Emergency protective order (EPO): This type of restraining order is issued at the request of a police officer who has reason to believe that an individual is in imminent danger of domestic abuse — As the name indicates, this order is only used in emergencies when there is no time to fill out a complaint or to schedule a hearing. As such, an EPO only lasts up to three days.

Some of the provisions commonly included in a Colorado restraining order include ordering the respondent to stay a specific distance from:

  • Your home.
  • Your job.
  • Your child’s daycare or school.
  • The homes of friends and family members.
  • Public places where you frequently go.

Additionally, the respondent can be prohibited from any other type of communication with the victim, including through texts, emails, or phone calls.

How Do I Get a Restraining Order in Colorado?

In order to obtain a restraining order in Colorado, you need to obtain a TRO by going to a courthouse and filling out a complaint. A complaint must describe the act that caused you to be afraid of the other person as well as information as to why you believe a restraining order will protect you in the future. After you have obtained your TRO, you must return to court for the hearing where the judge will determine whether to issue a PRO. Filing for the order is free in Colorado, as long as you are either a victim of domestic abuse, stalking, rape, or unlawful sexual contact; or you are unable to afford the $85 filing fee.

Once you have obtained a restraining order, you should leave a copy of the order in each of the places where the defendant has been instructed not to go. You should also deliver a copy to your local police or sheriff’s department, and keep a second copy with you until after the defendant has been served.

Bear in mind that you cannot personally serve the TRO to the defendant. That service must be performed by the sheriff’s department or someone over the age of 18 years old. The order cannot be mailed or given to someone else to be handed to the defendant. It must be delivered specifically to the defendant, and there must be legal proof of service in order for the TRO to be in effect.


What Do I Do If I Have Had a Restraining Order Filed Against Me?

If you have had a restraining order filed against you, it is important that you do a number of things, including:

  • Speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You will be expected to appear at the PRO hearing, and it is crucial that you are prepared for it. It is easier to prevent an existing TRO from becoming a PRO than it is to cancel a restraining order once it becomes permanent. If you do not show up at the PPO hearing, the order will automatically be made permanent against you.
  • Follow the order. Avoid contact with the subject of the order and adhere to any of the other conditions listed. In Colorado, violating a protection order carries a jail term of up to one year and up to $1,000 in fines for the first offense, with harsher penalties for subsequent offenses.
  • After two years, you can ask the court to modify or cancel a PRO. This is more likely to happen if you have not violated the order, you have committed no further crimes, and the victim no longer feels that the order is necessary for his or her protection.

Restraining orders carry serious consequences and can even appear on background checks, impacting your employment, housing, or ability to attend college. If you have had a restraining order filed against you, let our experienced criminal defense attorneys help you understand the legal process and what your next steps should be.

Still have questions? Contact our office.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a restraining order last in Colorado?

Once a judge has granted the permanent restraining order (PRO), it does not expire. The accused may seek to have the order amended or revoked in the future.

Does Colorado have “no-contact” orders?

A “no-contact” order is a type of restraining order that specifically bans any future contact from the accused. Forbidding ANY sort of contact including in-person, phone, email, or text as well as third-party contact. If the rules of the order are broken, the accused could face criminal charges.

What does a restraining order cost in Colorado?

In a typical situation, the court would request an $85 filing fee. In the case of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or any other threats the fee is not required.

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