If you are a victim of domestic violence in Colorado, there is hope. The court system in Colorado will issue a restraining order to a person who is afraid of being harmed, feels threatened, or is abused by a partner or spouse.
The main purpose of a restraining order is to cause the offending party to “cease and desist” all contact, thereby eradicating abusive or threatening situations. While nothing outside of incarceration will offer unlimited or total protection to a victim, a restraining or protective order is an important first step to ending the cycle of abuse and keeping the perpetrator accountable to the law for his actions.
Work with a reputable Colorado family attorney
A Colorado Springs family lawyer can help you determine which type of protective order best suits your situation, a criminal or civil order. In the case of divorced or separated couples, a civil restraining order is most common. It can also be suitable when the accused abuser has never been charged with a crime.
Gather any evidence
Filing a restraining order can be done in person at the county or district courthouse. These short-term orders can serve as a valuable protection to you and your family members, but you must explain the reasons you are seeking one, and cite specific examples of violence and/or abuse, as well as why you are in fear for your safety. If approved, the order will be formally served to the defendant, and a court date will be set within fourteen days.
The accused abuser must attend the court proceeding, where the judge will determining if the restraining order is valid, and whether it should become permanent. It is here where a Colorado Springs family lawyer can help you the most, because the court will hear evidence from both sides. However, should the restrained person fail to appear in court, it is possible he will be served with a permanent protective order.
Prepare to enforce it
Once you receive a restraining order, make several copies of it – one for your office, one for home, and keep a copy of it with you at all times. In the event that your partner or spouse violates the order and comes into contact with you in any way, contact the police immediately and let them know you have a protective order that has been violated. Only then can an officer place the restrained party under arrest.