Has someone taken out a restraining order against you in the Greater Denver Area for domestic violence? If so, it’s important that you know that the restraining order is not only enforceable statewide, but nationwide. Obtaining a restraining order in Colorado is a two-step process: 1) the alleged victim must obtain a temporary restraining order (TRO), which lasts 14 days, and 2) the victim must go back to court to get a permanent restraining order (PRO).
If the alleged victim does not show up in court at the day and time indicated on the TRO, the TRO will expire and it will no longer be legally enforceable. If the petitioner (alleged victim) is successful in obtaining a PRO, it will last as long as the judge says it does, with the exception of the part that addresses children (this cannot last more than 120 days).
What Can a Restraining Order Do?
A restraining order can do a lot more than order you to stay away from the petitioner and not contact him or her. A restraining order can also:
- Order you to move out of the family residence
- Order you to stay away from public places the petitioner frequents
- Give your spouse or partner “temporary control” of your children
- Order you to not contact the individuals protected in the order
- Order you to stay away from the protected person’s home, school, and work
- Order you to stay away from your children and their school or daycare
Restraining orders are relatively easy to obtain and they don’t require that the alleged victim secure an attorney. The petitioner is not required to call the police or file criminal charges against you to obtain one. While you don’t “go to jail” because of a restraining order, violating one is a criminal offense.
If a TRO has been taken out against you and you do not show up for the hearing, the judge will likely grant a PRO – so your presence at this hearing is critical. Because domestic violence is a crime, you should contact me to defend you at the hearing. Even if you are entirely innocent of the accusations, you don’t want to represent yourself, especially if the TRO directly affects your parental rights.