Civil Restraining/Protection Orders in Criminal Cases, C.R.S. 13-14-102

Civil Restraining Orders in Criminal Cases, C.R.S. 13-14-102

Colorado has a tendency to issue restraining/protection orders too freely. In criminal cases, they come in two flavors: criminal protection/restraining orders, C.R.S. 18-1-1001; and civil protection/restraining orders, C.R.S. 13-14-102.

Civil Protection Orders Are More Deadly to Your Future

Protection/restraining orders issued under the provisions of C.R.S. 18-1-1001 are issued in every criminal case. Fortunately, they expire once the criminal case is over — after probation or a dismissal. Beyond these criminal orders, many alleged victims obtain civil protection orders under C.R.S. 13-14-102, at the direction of government victim advocates. Our problem with these orders is that they are permanent and don't expire when you are found not guilty at trial in your criminal case in Highlands Ranch, Castle Rock or Aurora. Yet, despite this permanent nature, many civil judges use the allegations in a criminal case to make it more likely they will grant the civil restraining order. Colorado judges have a tendency to grant civil restraining orders even if the statute's requirements are not fully met, out of fear that if they don't grant the order and something happens to the order applicant, the judge will be blamed.

Requirements for a Civil Restraining/Protection Order

Civil protection/restraining orders in Denver, Jefferson, Arapahoe, Adams and Douglas counties under C.R.S. 13-14-102 are supposed to require proof that "imminent danger exists to the person or persons seeking protection under the civil protection order." This "imminent danger" needs to be to the life or health of someone. Unfortunately, only the person seeking the order is present when it is first issued, as a "temporary order." There is no one present to tell the court that the allegations are untrue. At the hearing to make the order permanent, the judge or magistrate has already heard one time from the person wanting the order, which gives your accuser an advantage. At the permanent hearing, the judge or magistrate is only supposed to make the order permanent if he or she finds that the allegations from the earlier hearing were true and that, unless restrained, they will continue to occur. This hearing can be one-sided at times and your attorney will need to fight hard for you, reminding the court of the proof required under the rules.

Evidence at the Permanent Hearing

You will be allowed to bring in witnesses at the permanent hearing and need to be really prepared. The courts tend to grant the orders "just to be on the safe side," forgetting that these orders can prevent good people from going to work, having contact with their children or possessing firearms under the Second Amendment. Witness testimony and the admissibility of evidence are governed by strict rules of evidence. The court will apply standards that have been interpreted by appellate courts. You need experienced legal help at this hearing.

Our Experience Fighting Civil Restraining Orders in Criminal Cases

You must have an experienced attorney fighting for you at the hearing so you don't end up with one of these civil protection orders simply because the judge or magistrate wanted to err on the safe side. Our attorneys have been fighting against civil protection/restraining orders for many years. We know what it will take to cause a judge to apply the law and not be too concerned about protecting your accuser from "possible" harm. If you value your rights like we do, be smart when served a temporary protection/restraining order and call us immediately at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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