Getting arrested for DUI does not mean you will be convicted. Police misconduct, defective breathalyzers and crime lab mistakes may be enough to get your charges lessened or dismissed. Visit our page on Colorado DUI Laws to learn more.
Is there a difference between a restraining order and a protective order in Colorado?
In Colorado, restraining orders refers to the civil orders of protection that victims ask the court for to protect themselves from their abuser. And protective orders usually refer to the mandatory order of protection that courts automatically impose against defendants in criminal cases, whether the victim wants it or not.
But in practice, judges and attorneys use the terms restraining order and protective order interchangeably. And restraining orders and protective orders serve the same purpose – to keep the person named in the order away from the alleged victim.
People fearful for their safety can go to their local county court and ask the clerk for instructions on how to file for a temporary restraining order (TRO). (Forms are available here.) TRO’s are available to prevent either:
The court should grant the TRO if it determines that the victim is facing imminent danger. Once the “restrained person” is served with the TRO, he/she is prohibited from going near the “protected person” for the duration of the order (up to 14 days).
The court will also schedule a hearing to determine whether to convert the TRO to a PRO (permanent restraining order). At this hearing, the “restrained person” will have the opportunity to argue for dissolving the restraining order.
If the court finds that it is more likely than not that the “restrained person” committed acts that justify continued protection, the court will make the restraining order permanent. After two years have passed, the “restrained person” can ask the court to modify or dismiss the PRO.1
When a defendant is arraigned on a criminal charge, the court will issue a mandatory protection order (MPO) against the defendant. The order forbids the defendant from interacting with the alleged victim (if any) and any witnesses pending the resolution of the criminal case.
If the charge involves domestic violence, the court will likely require the defendant to surrender any weapons as well as abstain from any alcohol or drug use.
Defendants may try filing a motion asking the court to modify the terms of the MPO. Otherwise, the order remains in effect until the case resolves.2
The Colorado penalties for violating an order of protection (CRS 18-6-803.5 ) depend on the defendant’s criminal history and whether the order is civil or criminal:
Colorado order of protection
Penalty for violating order
|Civil restraining order (TROs, PROs, or EPOs)||
Class 1 Misdemeanor (extraordinary risk):
|Criminal protection order (MPOs in criminal cases)||
Class 1 Misdemeanor:
Class 1 Misdemeanor (extraordinary risk)
Michael Becker has over a quarter-century's worth of experience as an attorney and more than 100 trials under his belt. He is a sought-after legal commentator and is licensed to practice law in Colorado, Nevada, California, and Florida.
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