Criminal Restraining Orders in Colorado

Criminal Restraining Orders Are Mandatory in Colorado

In Colorado, every criminal case implicates a mandatory restraining order/protection order (these are the same thing and are used interchangeably). C.R.S. 18-1-1001 restraining orders/protection orders are designed to enhance the protection of prospective victims and witnesses in a criminal case, and to promote a peaceful resolution of disputes.

Generally, in Arapahoe County and other Colorado counties, these orders provide that a defendant is restrained from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against or tampering with any witness to or victim of the acts charged. This order is supposed to be given at a defendant's first court appearance.

If the underlying case involves an allegation of domestic violence, the court is authorized to impose additional conditions in the order, such as:

  • For the defendant to stay away from the home of the alleged victim and any location that person is likely to be found
  • For the defendant to refrain from contact or direct or indirect communication with the victim
  • For the defendant to not possess firearms or any other weapon
  • For the defendant to not consume or possess alcohol or controlled substances

If a person is restrained in this manner, it is a separate crime for that person to violate any of the order provisions in Weld County, Elbert County, Gilpin County, Colorado, or any other Colorado counties. Violation of a restraining order is set forth in C.R.S. 18-6-803.5. It is even a crime for a person who is restrained to hire, employ or otherwise contract with another person to locate or assist in the location of the protected person. Violation of a restraining /protection order is a Class 2 misdemeanor. In the restraining order legislation, there are many provisions making it a requirement for Colorado police officers to make an arrest if they believe a restraining/protection order has been violated. After the arrest, the court will be inclined to set an increased bond in the underlying case or to simply refuse to release the restrained party.

A restrained person greatly empowers and gives complete control of his or her life to the protected party if he or she makes any type of contact. So, stay away and make no contact until you have been given permission by the court or under the advice of your Colorado lawyer. In most cases, we can arrange for a modification of the provisions of your restraining order/protection order so that you can have contact with protected persons. While this modification will be dependent on the severity of the underlying offense and the wishes of the protected party, some type of modification will limit the harm that occurs to you and your family in Colorado. It is important, for example, for a parent to continue to have contact with his or her children, even if the parent is not getting along with the spouse.

If restrained, refuse the temptation to make contact of any kind, even through third parties. Be smart, exercise your right to remain silent and contact us right away at 303-731-0719. Together, we can protect your future.

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