An unsubstantiated claim by someone else is all it takes to have a protection order (commonly referred to as a “Restraining Order”) issued against you in Colorado – without notice. Getting a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) against someone is easy.
There is no burden of proof to be met by the accuser whatsoever. All that needs to be done is to fill out a form stating that you have been abusive towards them, that’s it. A hearing date will be on the protection order, and only on that date will you be allowed to defend yourself against the accusations.
If you receive one, read it carefully and consult with a defense attorney immediately concerning your options and rights. Most reputable domestic violence attorneys offer a free initial consultation, we suggest you take advantage and consult with a legal expert. A protection order is a very serious matter with compounding criminal implications should you violate any of the conditions set forth in the protection order. If you violate any of the conditions in the slightest manner, you can and will be charged with a criminal offense, fines, and possible jail time.
A significant part of our law practice deals with assisting clients who have received a protection order against them. Some of the more commonly asked questions include:
Can I just contact the accuser to clear things up?
No, absolutely not! The whole purpose of a protection order is to eliminate contact between parties until such time as the matter can be adjudicated. You must NOT contact your accuser in ANY way. No visits, texting, phone calls, emails, Facebook chat – nothing.
Can I just relay messages to the accuser though a third party?
Most often, the answer is again no. Most restraining orders in Colorado will specify that you cannot use a third party (Co-workers, mutual friends, family members, children – even if they contact you first) to relay messages either.
Is the minimum distance to be kept from the accuser specified in a protection order ever enforced?
Yes. Even a chance meeting could be construed as a violation of the restraining order.
Must I surrender all of my firearms?
Yes. You may have a friend, family member, law enforcement, or firearms dealer store them for you. Just be aware that from the moment a protective order is served, you cannot purchase, posses, or obtain a firearm until the matter is resolved and the protection order is dismissed.
What about my belongings at our residence?
If you have been served with a restraining order and live with the accuser, almost certainly you will be escorted by law enforcement from the premises with the time necessary to gather your belongings. You may gather any items not in dispute from the residence under escort at a time determined by the court.
Can I fight a protection order myself?
You can, but chances are your result will not meet your expectations. Protective order issued in Colorado can be quite complex. We strongly advise that you seek an experienced protection order attorney without delay to ensure that your rights are fully protected & prevent a TRO from becoming a permanent restraining order.
DOES A RESTRAINING ORDER GO BOTH WAYS?
Yes, a protective order works both ways. The accuser is forbidden by the order from contacting you as well. If any attempt is made by the accuser to contact you, carefully document these attempts with your attorney.