Everyone has the right to feel safe. Whether you are at home or out in public, you should feel confident in your security at all times. This is a fundamental human right.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case. If you feel threatened, intimidated, or otherwise unsafe because of the actions of another individual, it is essential to understand that you have rights. The law does not tolerate harmful behavior.
One of the first things you can do to regain your feeling of safety is getting an order of protection, also called a restraining order, against the person hurting you. These legal papers help document what you have already been through and prevent further abuse or mistreatment.
Here at Johnson Law Group, we help individuals seek orders of protection against those who wish them harm. We believe this is an essential legal service that all victims should have easy access to.
Our attorneys are well-known in the community for providing exemplary, individualized law advice. We are dedicated to helping the people of Colorado with any of their family law needs.
Our experience in family law is extremely valuable for obtaining protection orders. Unfortunately, many people seek a protective order because of domestic violence. Because we deal with all areas of family law, we can help you turn your protective order into a divorce, the right to child custody, permanent protection, and more.
Many people have heard of protective orders/restraining orders but don’t know what they entail. Orders of protection act as a first line of defense against an individual who has exhibited predatory behavior. This behavior can include:
In instances of domestic violence, physical and emotional violence are most common. These offenses can all significantly threaten an individual’s sense of peace and security.
A protective order keeps the abuser from coming within a certain proximity (generally 500 feet) of their victim. This limits the harm they can create and usually keeps the abuse from occurring.
Though protective orders are not foolproof, they can provide a significant amount of security. They require a statement from the victim, which creates a record of past wrongdoing that can be accessed if they decide to press charges or file for divorce. Furthermore, if the abuser violates the protective order, automatic legal action can be taken against them; they may be arrested or detained by police.
Initially, you do not need an attorney to file a restraining over. Law enforcement can file an emergency order for you. It gets approved by a judge and lasts a short time until more permanent protection can be established. If you are in a crisis, always call law enforcement first.
Though it is not required, having an attorney for protection orders is very helpful. This is especially the case if your abuser has an attorney to represent them. Your attorney can help you navigate the process and give you a single point of contact if something should go wrong or you want to check on your case. Navigating the system by yourself can lead you in many directions, which can be difficult.
It is also worth noting that many individuals who get restraining orders have been subjected to domestic abuse. This means that, after the protective order is in place, many individuals begin divorce proceedings. The transition to divorce and family law proceedings is much easier when you have an attorney on hand for your no-contact order. The attorney will already know your story and be able to fight your case with more specificity.
It is important to note that protective orders are serious, and the law limits the people you can get the restraining order against. These protections are specifically for domestic abuse situations. Knowing this, the individuals you can legally protect yourself from include:
As you can see, these specific protective orders do not cover individuals you may come into contact with outside the home, such as in a work setting. However, there are other legal actions to take if someone who is not on this list is harassing you.
Orders of protection are very serious, and violating them can occur in a few different ways. First, the offender will be notified of the details of their restraining order, so there is no excuse for violation.
Depending on the specific order, some potential violations may include:
As you can see, restraining orders have significant limitations to keep the victim safe and comfortable.
In the state of Colorado, there are severe punishments for violating protective orders. If an individual violates a protective order, it is considered a misdemeanor regardless of previous crimes or records. This means that the violator can receive a sentence of three months to two years in jail. They may also or alternatively receive a fine of $250 to $5,000.
Protective orders do go on criminal records in the state of Colorado. This occurs regardless of whether the victim presses further charges or takes the perpetrator to court. Individuals such as landlords, bosses, etc., will be able to see the order on the person’s background check, and it may hinder their ability to get a job or secure housing.
If you have been the victim of domestic abuse, the consequences of restraining order violations should not deter you from reporting. These consequences are commensurate with the severity of the actions. Your abuser brought the consequences on themselves by perpetuating violence and hurting you. What’s more, if they are not punished, they may go ahead and abuse someone else or continue to abuse you.
If there is a child or children in the home, reporting is critical. Even if the individual is not hurting the kids, seeing violence in the home is highly detrimental. Many grow up to be angry or begin to be violent themselves. Others will grow to believe that abuse is normal and tolerate more than they have to. For families with children, we strongly recommend seeking a protective order. There is nothing to be ashamed of when reporting, and your actions help make the world a safer place.
Domestic violence cases are naturally complex. It is easy to feel vulnerable and scared while protective orders are created, and claims are created. This is why it is essential to fully trust your attorney. You will need to speak openly with them about your abuse. Look for the following qualities in your protective order attorneys:
These qualities can help make you comfortable and improve your case in court.
Here at Johnson Law Group, we pride ourselves on clear communication and deep empathy for our clients. In addition, we are passionate about safety and security, and we work diligently to make sure that individuals who come to us with domestic violence cases find solace and safety.
For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact us online today.