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Colorado trial attorneys

Understanding mandatory protection orders in Colorado

On behalf of Dolan + Zimmerman LLP April 23, 2019

People need to be safe and feel safe. If there is a real threat of violence – or an act of violence has already occurred – it is important to make sure this does not happen again. To try to ensure this, Colorado has very strict laws regarding domestic violence and protection orders. This is a good thing when a real threat exists, but can create havoc in cases of false domestic violence accusations.

Here is one scenario we see play out in the Colorado when it comes to false allegations: The police come to your home for a domestic violence call. Since they are there and Colorado has mandatory arrest laws, they incorrectly believe they need to arrest someone. Suddenly, you are under arrest – even though you never placed a finger on anyone.

Needing to find somewhere else to live

In cases involving domestic violence charges, judges are required to issue a mandatory protection order. The mandatory protection order will most likely initially say that you can’t have any contact with the named victim in the case. If you live with the named victim, this will need that you are going to need to find somewhere else to live. If you co-parent, this obviously creates its own unique set of challenges.

Breaking an order equals new charges

This procedure can feel extremely unfair – especially because at this point you have not actually been found guilty of anything, but it feels as if you are being treated as if you have been. Even so, you cannot take matters into your own hands. A violation of a mandatory protection order comes with its own consequences and can lead to new charges and a revocation of your earlier bond. The prosecutor and the judge will not look favorably on your original domestic violence-related charge if there has also been a protection order violation added to the mix.

A modification may be possible

While there are situations where protection orders are necessary, there are plenty where they are not or the terms need modification. Judges do have the power to approve modifications to mandatory protection orders in order to allow contact between the defendant and the named victim, but requests for modification of mandatory protection order must be addressed appropriately in order to be successful.

The complexity and the high stakes presented by mandatory protection orders in domestic violence cases are an excellent reason to retain an attorney immediately if you are facing domestic violence charges.