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Restraining orders—which are also referred to as protection orders and no-contact orders—prohibit contact between individuals when one person is believed to be at risk for harm from another.

illustration of Restraining Orders title on the ground in a police arena
A restraining order, also known as a protection order, prohibits contact between individuals when one person is believed to be at risk for harm from another.

Restraining orders can be sought by someone who feels that he or she needs protection, but they can also be contested if a person believes a protection order has been filed unjustly. If you’re seeking a restraining order, desire to fight a protection order filed by another, or are accused of violating a restraining order, the Denver lawyers at Wolf Law are here to help.

Call our experienced Colorado criminal law attorneys today at 720-479-8574 or contact us online to arrange your free consultation.

Do I Need a Lawyer to File a Restraining Order?

The short answer is no; anyone can file for a protection order. However, it can be advantageous to work with a lawyer who has specific experience with restraining orders.

A knowledgeable attorney understands the details necessary to obtain a protection order. Legal representation for gaining a protection order may be especially beneficial if children are involved, or if the other party has already hired an attorney to secure or fight a restraining order.

Protection orders may be temporary or permanent. Victims of abuse, assault or domestic violence are granted immediate protection; the terms and duration of no-contact orders in those situations is determined by a judge based on the circumstances of the crime and the criminal background of the accused.

Obtaining a Restraining Order

A crime does not have to be committed in order for a restraining order to be issued. If you feel threatened, or if you believe harm is likely to occur, filing for a temporary restraining order (TRO) is a good first step.

A crime does not have to be committed for a restraining order to be issued.

The person filing a restraining order is called the petitioner; the person being prohibited from contact is referred to as the respondent or defendant. Petitioners can obtain a TRO during regular business hours at the county court by filing a complaint and related documents. Often a judge will hear the complaint and issue the TRO on the same day. If court is not in session, local law enforcement agencies have procedures a petitioner can use to obtain an emergency protection order.

A temporary restraining order stipulates a specific distance the defendant must maintain from the petitioner’s home, work, child’s daycare, school, etc. To activate a TRO, the defendant must be served with Proof of Service documentation.

Temporary restraining orders last up to 14 days and will effectively restrict contact between the petitioner and the defendant. However, this order is not permanent—a permanent hearing will determine if the order should extend in perpetuity.

The permanent hearing is critical if the petitioner wants to make the order endure. At the permanent hearing, additional evidence may be submitted, testimony from both the petitioner and the defendant may be heard, and child safety will be considered as applicable. For example, if the petitioner has children with the defendant, the hearing could establish rules for contact with the children.

To obtain a permanent restraining order, the petitioner must testify that the defendant hurt or threatened to hurt the petitioner, and that the petitioner is in imminent danger of further harm if the order is not issued. The defendant’s presence is requested at the permanent hearing; if he or she doesn’t show, the judge will likely allow the protection order to become permanent.

Contesting a Restraining Order

Once a temporary restraining order is obtained by the petitioner and served to the defendant, the defendant has little recourse until the permanent hearing. If a defendant doesn’t agree with all or parts of a temporary restraining order, it is in their best interest to appear in court and argue their case.

A permanent protection order can have long-term consequences if the defendant chooses to ignore the hearing or does not present a sound case to the judge. Child visitation may be restricted and Second Amendment limitations may be enforced, and a defendant could even be prohibited from continuing to live in the family home. Permanent protection orders will also show up in background checks and may adversely affect a defendant’s ability to find employment or housing.

Again, a defendant is not obligated to attend a permanent hearing. But judges often approve permanent protection orders when defendants don’t show up.

Restraining Order Violations in Colorado

man arrested in handcuffs
A person who violates a restraining order may face fines, jail time or both.

Violating a restraining order is a crime in Colorado. Police must have “probable cause” to believe the defendant violated the order before they can make an arrest. The criminal process begins after the arrest.

A person faced with a restraining order violation may be subject to fines, jail time, or both. A protection order violation may be charged as a misdemeanor or a felony, depending on the circumstances. Charges may be compounded if another crime occurs in conjunction with the restraining order violation.

Legal Help with Restraining Orders and Protection Order Violations

The Denver criminal law attorneys at Wolf Law have extensive experience helping clients successfully file restraining orders, dispute unjust protection orders, and defend against protection order violations.

Our lawyers recognize the serious and potentially life-changing impacts of protection orders. If you’re considering obtaining or fighting a protection order, or if you’ve been charged with violating a protection order, it’s a good idea to consult with an attorney who can help you understand the gravity of the situation as well as your legal options.

Please call Wolf Law today at 720-479-8574 or contact us online for your free consultation. We welcome clients from the greater Denver area and throughout Colorado.

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I contacted Jeff Wolf after I had some family issues that also carried potential criminal charges. I spoke with him as soon as i realized how severe the situation could be and he offered great legal advice that lead to me bringing him on as my personal attorney. The charges against me were dropped and I never had to go to trial but throughput the entire process Jeff was in touch and taking care of everything I needed. I am very happy with his services and would certainly work with him again if I was in the situation.

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I got my first DUI in April when I fell asleep in my car because I couldn’t get inside my house. I knew I needed a lawyer to help me fight the case but I was really hesitant on who I wanted to hire. I came across Jeffrey Wolf and I couldn’t be any happier that I chose him to represent me. Jeffrey is not only very professional but he can also relate to you on a personal level. Since it was my first offense I had no idea what to expect or what I was doing. He guided me through the whole process and I was very pleased with the results. He was able to convince the Judge to let me off with 6 months of unsupervised probation and level 1 education classes. Jeffrey is very loyal and a wonderful lawyer, definitely hiring him again if need be.

— Anonymous

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I would like to place on record the immense appreciation for Ms Colleen Kelly, Partner at Wolf Law LCC. I had an opportunity as a Solicitor to interact with her on behalf of one of my clients in a DV Matter. Her professionalism and knowledge of law is absolutely outstanding. She is extremely honest and straightforward in her legal advice. She always keeps the interest of the client a priority and safe guards the interest of the client at all times. She is an asset to the legal team and adds value with her expertise and knowledge.

— Nirvikar Singh, Advocate Supreme Court of India

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Thanks to the hard work of my attorney, Cassandra Monahan, as well as the other attorneys and legal staff that I had the pleasure of interacting with, I can finally bring a very painful chapter of my life to a close. There is much to be said about an attorney that performs as though they have a vested interest in your case as opposed to one that just wants your money. I highly recommend Wolf Law!

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I recently had the pleasure of becoming Colleen Kelley’s client. Even despite the terrible circumstances of fighting wrongful criminal charges, Colleen provided a supportive and pleasant experience during this process. Thankfully, I was introduced to Colleen through another attorney. She took my case on short notice and started working on my behalf in less than 24 hours by showing up to court the day after I secured her services.

She was diligent in her research, communication, and pursuit of justice. In just three short months, my case was dismissed. During this three-month nightmare, Colleen provided clarity and assurance along the way. While Colleen was very thorough in regards to every possible outcome I might experience, her professionalism and devotion to this case made it clear that the outcomes would be outstanding from day one. I’m so thankful that I found Colleen to represent me. I would highly recommend her services.

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— Anonymous

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When I was arrested for DUI/careless driving, I was overcome with a profound sense of hopelessness – I couldn’t eat, I couldn’t sleep, and I thought my life (including my career) was ruined. Making the decision to call Mr. Wolf for a consultation was the best decision I could have made. His immediate response set my mind at ease and gave me a the peace of mind that I so desperately needed.

Upon meeting him in person, I was thoroughly impressed by his experience and expertise, but what really struck me was his personable demeanor and genuine interest in helping me. He was very patient in explaining the legal process and made sure I was well prepared for every step of the way.

There is no doubt that his representation and advocacy, as well as the advice he had given me in order to prepare for court, resulted in an outcome that was more positive than I had dared hoped for (a DWAI with license intact and a reduced probation sentence), allowing me to move forward with my life. Mr. Wolf far exceeded my expectations, and I would absolutely recommend him to anyone seeking legal counsel.

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