An accusation of domestic violence may end up hitting you like a ton of bricks. What can be even more disheartening is learning of such a charge by being served with a protective order. Like many people in Lakewood, you may hear the term “protection order” and immediately equate it with a restraining order. While that correlation may be true to a certain extent, there are actually several different types of protection orders, each with their own subtle differences. 

According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, all orders mandating no contact between you and the person who sought the order (referred to in legal terms as the “protected person”) are civil restraining orders. Do no misconstrue the use of the word “civil” in this context into believing that no criminal penalties will accompany you violating it; on the contrary, even if only probable cause exists to suggest that you violated a protection order, you can be arrested. 

Upon filing for a protection order, the protected person goes before the court to present their case (typically without you present). The court will usually issue a temporary protection order, which is given a definite expiration date. The hearing to determine whether to extend (or cancel) the order will be held before that expiration date. This is where you will be given the opportunity to defend yourself from the protected person’s accusations. 

Your first impulse upon being served with a protection order may be to contact the protect person to try and clear up what you may perceive to be misunderstandings between two. Avoid this temptation; as was mentioned earlier, doing so will likely result in your arrest. You should instead wait for your hearing, where your communications with the protected person can be observed by others (leaving no room for varying interpretations).