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What Is a Colorado 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.






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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.


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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.

Colorado criminal procedure

  • Arrest or

    Arrest or

    The process begins with either an arrest or a summons. The accused is either arrested or served with paperwork summoning them to appear in court. During an arrest, Miranda rights may or may not be read to you. Officers are only required to recite your rights if they intend to question you about potentially incriminating things.

  • Bond Hearing

    Bond Hearing

    In most cases, you're entitled to have a reasonable bond set after you've been arrested. In situations involving domestic violence, the police will request input from the victim before setting a bond. Bonds are set to ensure that a person appears in court at their court dates. If they don’t show up, they forfeit the money that was paid for the bond.

  • Advisement of

    Advisement of

    Whether you are arrested or given a summons to appear, the court must make sure you understand what crimes you are being accused of committing. This is called advisement of charges. The District Attorney will detail the specific charges against you, and the Judge has to make sure you understand what possible penalties are associated with that charge in the state.

  • Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony

    Preliminary Hearing
    (for Higher Felony

    A preliminary hearing is a way for your defense attorney to challenge the District Attorney’s right to bring charges against you by making them prove that there is reason to believe you committed a crime. The Judge is not deciding your guilt or innocence, but rather whether or not there is probable cause to charge you with the crime in question.

  • Pretrial Conference /

    Pretrial Conference /

    This court date comes after your attorney has reviewed all of the reports and evidence in your case. Here’s where your attorney will engage in plea negotiations with the DA. If they can reach an agreement on the case, you may be able to take a plea bargain. If they cannot reach a resolution, your case will be set for an arraignment or trial date.

  • Arraignment


    An arraignment is the final date for you to decide how you choose to plea. Guilty or not guilty. If you plead guilty, then the case is set for a sentencing date. If you plead not guilty, you and your attorney will then set the case for trial.

  • Motions Hearing

    Motions Hearing

    A motion hearing is when an attorney makes a request that requires a decision from the judge. For example, motions to suppress evidence or statements. These motions can limit the information that goes before a jury if it benefits your case, and there are legal grounds for doing so.

  • Pretrial Readiness

    Pretrial Readiness

    A pretrial readiness conference is held at some point before trial. It usually is held about a week to a month before the date trial is set to begin. This court date ensures everyone is ready to go to trial on the set date. It is also a time for lawyers to bring up any issues they may have to be addressed before the day of trial.

  • Jury Trial

    Jury Trial

    After a jury is selected for trial, the District Attorney’s responsibility is to present the case to the jury. The DA must prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you are guilty of the crime. Otherwise, the jury must find you innocent. Your attorney will be able to cross-examine all of the witnesses, present evidence, and ultimately help you navigate this process.

  • Sentencing


    At sentencing, the Judge must decide the appropriate legal penalty for the crime you plead guilty. The Judge’s decision is based on the listed penalties for the specific charge, recommendations from the presentence investigation, your criminal history, as well as statements made at the sentencing by the District Attorney, your attorney, you, and any named victims of the crime.

What is the sentence for misdemeanors in Colorado?

  • Class 1

  • 6 to 18 months in county jail, and/or
  • $500 to $5,000 in fines
  • For extraordinary risk class 1 misdemeanors, the maximum jail sentence is 24 months.
  • For 3rd-degree assault (CRS 18-3-204), the maximum sentence can be 48 months if the victim was on duty as a:
    • Peace officer,
    • Emergency medical provider,
    • Firefighter, or
    • Mental health professional at the Department of Human Services.
  • Class 2

  • 3 to 12 months in county jail, and/or
  • $250 to $1,000 in fines

What are Colorado felony penalties?

  • Class 1

  • Life imprisonment
  • No Colorado crime carries the death penalty.
  • Class 2

  • 8 – 24 years in Colorado State Prison, and/or
  • $5,000 – $1,000,000
  • 5 years of mandatory parole if the offense is a crime of violence. Otherwise, 3 years of mandatory parole.
  • Class 3

  • 4-12 years in prison
  • Fines of up to $750,000 but not less than $3,000
  • 3 years of parole
  • Class 4

  • 2 – 6 years in prison, and/or
  • $2,000 – $500,000
  • 3 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 4 felonies, the maximum sentence is 8 years in prison.
  • Class 5

  • 1 – 3 years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 2 years of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 5 felonies, the maximum sentence is 4 years in prison.
  • Class 6

  • 1 – 18 months years in prison, and/or
  • $1,000 – $100,000
  • 1 year of mandatory parole
  • For extraordinary risk class 6 felonies, the maximum sentence is 2 years in prison.



Colorado Springs Criminal Defense Attorney


At Right Law Group, we understand the stress you are under. Our Criminal Defense Law Firm is here to guide you down the right path to your legal challenge. Whether you are facing your first DUI, a drug charge, need a restraining order, or are facing another type of criminal charge, our firm is committed to your well-being and protecting your rights the right way.

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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Having a restraining order filed against you can have a negative impact on your future, you need a lawyer who is familiar with the laws and knows how the court system works. Criminal defense attorneys work with you to help you establish a strong defense. Even if you believe that a conviction is inevitable, an attorney can help you fight for a lesser charge, a reduced sentence, or another more favorable outcome. Contact us right away for a free case consultation.

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