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Can You Be Charged With a Crime for Violating a Domestic Violence Protective Order in Colorado?

Domestic violence allegations are taken seriously in Colorado. A victim of domestic violence—or actionable threats of domestic violence—has the right to seek a civil order of protection against the alleged offender. It is a criminal offense to violate a protective order once it is in place. In this article, our Greeley domestic violence defense attorney provides a more comprehensive overview of violating protective order charges in Colorado. 

What is a Domestic Violence Protective Order in Colorado?

There are two types of domestic violence protective orders in Colorado. The first is a criminal protective order. If someone is arrested on a domestic violence offense, a protective order will go into place to protect the health and safety of the alleged victim. A domestic violence arrest triggers an automatic, mandatory protective order in our state. The second is a civil protective order. A victim of domestic violence can file their own civil petition to seek a protective order. That order can be granted even if no criminal domestic violence charge was ever filed. 

Criminal Law in Colorado: Violation of a Protective Order 

A domestic violence protective order will generally require the alleged offender to stay away from the alleged victim. It may also require them to avoid any communication. The violation of a protective order is a criminal offense. Under Colorado law (CRS 18-6-803.5), a person can be arrested and charged with violation of a protective order if they know or should know that such an order is in place and they “contact, harass, injure, intimidate, molest, threaten, or touch the protected person or protected property.” Violation of a domestic violence protective order is charged as a Class 1 misdemeanor offense in Colorado. 

Penalties for Violating a Protective Order in Colorado 

Knowingly or recklessly violating a domestic violence protective order in Colorado can carry serious criminal penalties. While it is a misdemeanor offense and not a felony offense, it still needs to be taken seriously. The maximum penalty for violating a protective order in Colorado is: 

  • Up to 364 days in prison and a $1,000 fine. 

You may be able to raise legal defenses against allegations of a violation of a domestic violence protective order. An attorney will help you determine the best course of action. If you were arrested for a protective order violation, reach out to a Colorado domestic violence attorney for help. 

Get Help From Our Colorado Domestic Violence Defense Lawyer Today

At Bruno Lilly Legal, PLLC, our Colorado domestic violence defense attorney has the skills and legal experience you can rely on. If you or your loved one was charged with violation of a protective order, we can help. Call us at 720-340-1373 or contact us online to set up a confidential review of your case. With a law office in Greeley, we handle domestic violence charges throughout the region, including in Weld County, Larimer County, Adams County, and Boulder County.