What Protections Does a Protection Order Provide?

May 16, 2024

Understanding Protection Orders in Colorado Restraining/protection order paper and pen on desk.

A protection order issued by a Colorado court restricts a respondent's behavior towards a petitioner (you). At Johnson Law Group, we understand the emotional distress such situations can cause. Our experienced family law attorneys can help you through the protection order process and ensure your safety is the number one priority.

Key Protections Offered by a Protection Order

Limited Contact

The respondent is prohibited from contacting you directly or indirectly. Some examples include phone calls, texts, emails, social media messages, or even communication through a third party.

Stay-Away Orders

The court can establish a distance the respondent must maintain from you, your residence, workplace, or even your children's school. It can also include places you visit frequently, such as a gym or church, creating a physical barrier and discouraging unwanted contact.

  • Reduced Risk of Encounter: By mandating a specific distance the respondent must maintain, you create a buffer zone that minimizes the chance of unexpected encounters. This buffer zone reduces the anxiety of constantly being on guard and allows you to go about your daily routine with a greater sense of ease.
  • Empowerment and Control: Knowing a physical boundary exists can be incredibly empowering. It reinforces the court's recognition of your right to safety and gives you control over your surroundings. This can be particularly important for victims of stalking or harassment, who often feel a loss of control over their safety.

Firearm Removal 

The judge may require the respondent to surrender any firearms they own, reducing the potential for violence and enhancing a sense of security for the victim.

  • Reduced Risk of Violence: Firearms are statistically linked to a higher risk of lethality in domestic violence situations. Removing these weapons from the equation significantly reduces the potential for a violent escalation.
  • Enhanced Sense of Security: Knowing there are no firearms readily accessible to the respondent can provide immense peace of mind for the petitioner. This allows them to feel safer in their own home and during daily routines.
  • Improved Enforcement: A protection order with firearm removal carries greater weight with law enforcement. If the respondent violates the order by possessing a firearm, it constitutes a clear-cut criminal offense, prompting immediate intervention by authorities.

Temporary Housing 

In some domestic violence situations, you share a residence with the respondent. In this case, the court can order them to leave the premises. This provides immediate safety and allows you time to make further living arrangements.

Involvement of Children

While protection orders primarily focus on safeguarding you from the respondent's actions, they can also indirectly impact child custody and visitation arrangements in Colorado. Here's how:

  • Safety First: The court prioritizes your child's safety above all else. If a protection order is granted due to threats or violence directed towards you, the judge may re-evaluate existing custody or visitation plans. This ensures your child's placement is not in a potentially dangerous situation.
  • Limited Visitation: The protection order's "no contact" provisions may extend to supervised or restricted visitation with the respondent, depending on the severity of the situation. This ensures any contact is carefully monitored for your child's safety.
  • Documentation of Abuse: A protection order documenting a pattern of abuse can be crucial evidence in future custody hearings. It demonstrates a potential risk factor and strengthens your case for sole custody or stricter visitation limitations.

Duration and Renewal

Protection orders in Colorado have specified durations, typically ranging from several months to several years, depending on the circumstances. Additionally, victims can request extensions or renewals of the order if they continue to face threats or harassment after the initial period expires.

  • Significance of Duration: The length of a protection order can provide victims with a sense of stability and assurance over an extended period. Victims can plan for their safety and make informed decisions about their future by specifying a timeframe for the order.
  • Renewal Options: Circumstances can change, and perpetrators may continue to pose a risk even after the expiration of the original order. Renewal provisions allow victims to extend the protection order as needed, providing continued legal safeguards and peace of mind.

It is recommended to renew a protection order in Colorado when the victim continues to experience harassment, abuse, or threats from the perpetrator. This could include instances where the perpetrator's behavior has not changed, new threats have emerged, or where the victim fears for their safety upon the expiration of the original order. Renewing the protection order ensures that the legal protections remain in place and that the victim's safety remains a priority.

Types of Protection Orders and Legal Guidance

Different types of protection orders are available in Colorado, each with varying durations and specific provisions. An experienced attorney Johnson Law Group can evaluate your situation and recommend the most appropriate protection order to address your needs. We can also assist you in navigating the court process and advocate for your needs.

Important Considerations

While a protection order is a valuable tool, it's essential to understand its limitations. It doesn't guarantee complete safety, but it serves as a legal deterrent and empowers law enforcement to intervene if the respondent violates the order.

Johnson Law Group: Your Trusted Colorado Family Law Attorneys

Johnson Law Group is here for you if you're feeling unsafe and considering a protection order. We are committed to providing compassionate and effective legal representation throughout the entire process. With our guidance, you can move forward with greater security and peace of mind. Don't wait to prioritize your safety. Contact Johnson Law Group today at 720-445-4444 or schedule a free consultation online.

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