Criminal protection orders are issued automatically in criminal cases pursuant to C.R.S. § 18-1-1001. This protection order prevents a criminal defendant from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against, or tampering with any witness to or victim of the acts charged. A violation of this protection order is a new class 1 misdemeanor. District attorney’s offices charge this quite often as it is oftentimes an easier charge to prove than the offense with which a criminal defendant was originally charged. In domestic violence cases, it is also standard practice to put a strict no contact order in place with the victim, whether that is a girlfriend, boyfriend, husband or wife. If a defendant’s children were present for any of the alleged acts, quite often the protection order will prevent contact with the defendant’s children as well. This protection order prevents contact from a criminal defendant even from the jail. If you call the victim from the jail, this is a new misdemeanor charge that can be filed against you. Until the Court allows a modification of this condition of bond, there must be NO CONTACT whatsoever-by phone, in person, by mail, by email, by text, or through third parties.
Civil protection orders are relatively easy for victims to obtain as well. Temporary protection orders are granted as a matter of course to any person who alleges any level of fear regarding the restrained party. Once the temporary protection order is issued, a permanent hearing on the protection order is set. Until that hearing takes place, the temporary protection order remains in place and will often also include any children between the parties. Violation of a civil protection order is a class 2 misdemeanor for a first offense and a class 1 misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. As unfair as it may seem, a protection order only goes one way. The person who is protected by the order can contact the restrained party, but the restrained party can’t contact the protected party. This means that is a protection order is in place against you, picking up the phone when the protected party calls you and having a conversation with him or her even if he or she called YOU, is a violation of that protection order. When you are a restrained party, you have to keep from making any contact with the protected party even if he or she initiates it. The only way to keep from getting into trouble is to get a Court order modifying that protection order. As frustrating as it is being barred from contact with your family even to deal with bills, joint finances, child custody or visitation, and the thousand and one issues that need to be dealt with, it’s the responsibility of the restrained party to resist that temptation to make contact at the peril of criminal charges.
While we hope you benefit from the information we posted above, it is important to note that we always suggest you contact an attorney to advise you and walk you through the legal process so that you can achieve the best possible result.