Restraining Order Lawyer

Attorney for Violation of Restraining Order: Domestic Violence & VRO Crimes

A violation of a restraining order in a domestic violence case is is a class 1 misdemeanor (most serious). It can even become a felony in some cases.

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A restraining order can be issued in a civil or criminal court. Both are court orders that command an individual to stay away from another individual for various reasons. By statute, restraining orders are put in place in ever domestic violence case automatically.

A VRO or violating a protection order charge alleges that a person knowingly made affirmative efforts to come into direct or indirect contact with a protected person. Texting, calling, being too close (radius), sending letters, emails, having a friend or relative act for you - these are all examples of violating a restraining order.

Restraining orders are a 'one way street'. This means that even if the protected party wants to have contact with you and is calling or texting you, etc - you still cannot have contact with them and must use best efforts to avoid them. The parties are not free to 'make up' or 'work things out' while this court order is in place. Only the court can modify or change the order. Failure to ask the court to do this first before contact results in a VRO charge no matter what sympathetic circumstances exist.

The 'DV' or domestic violence tag is a sentencing enhancer or aggravator which is explained here. For an VRO' charge, the DV tag increases the maximum possibly penalty in jail from 18 months to 2 years (6 month difference). Note that just about any criminal charge can be tagged as 'DV', including other more serious forms of assault. A domestic violence conviction will cause that person to permanently lose their right to own, use, or possess a firearm.

A person commits the crime of violation of a protection order if, after the person has been personally served with a protection order that identifies the person as a restrained person or otherwise has acquired from the court or law enforcement personnel actual knowledge of the contents of a protection order that identifies the person as a restrained person, the person: Contacts, harasses, injures, intimidates, molests, threatens, or touches the protected person or protected property, including an animal, identified in the protection order or enters or remains on premises or comes within a specified distance of the protected person, protected property, including an animal, or premises or violates any other provision of the protection order to protect the protected person from imminent danger to life or health, and such conduct is prohibited by the protection order; Except as permitted pursuant to section 18-13-126 (1) (b), hires, employs, or otherwise contracts with another person to locate or assist in the location of the protected person; or Violates a civil protection order issued pursuant to section 13-14-105.5, C.R.S., or pursuant to section 18-1-1001 (9) by: Possessing or attempting to purchase or receive a firearm or ammunition while the protection order is in effect; or Failing to timely file a receipt or written statement with the court as described in section 13-14-105.5 (9), C.R.S., or in section 18-1-1001 (9) (i) or 18-6-801 (8) (i).

Violation of a protection order is a class 2 misdemeanor; except that, if the restrained person has previously been convicted of violating this section or a former version of this section or an analogous municipal ordinance, or if the protection order is issued pursuant to section 18-1-1001, the violation is a class 1 misdemeanor. A second or subsequent violation of a protection order is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-501.

A peace officer shall arrest, or, if an arrest would be impractical under the circumstances, seek a warrant for the arrest of a restrained person when the peace officer has information amounting to probable cause that: The restrained person has violated or attempted to violate any provision of a protection order; and The restrained person has been properly served with a copy of the protection order or the restrained person has received actual notice of the existence and substance of such order.

In making the probable cause determination described in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), a peace officer shall assume that the information received from the registry is accurate. A peace officer shall enforce a valid protection order whether or not there is a record of the protection order in the registry.

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