In the state of Colorado, when a person is abused, threatened, stalked, harassed, or a victim of domestic violence, they may petition the court for a civil protection order. A protection order protects a petitioner from contact with the restrained person.
But what happens if the parties wish to reconcile?
What if the terms are too harsh? Can the order be modified or dismissed? In some cases, yes. Civil or Criminal? Whether or not a protective order can be dropped will depend on whether the order is civil or criminal. Civil protection orders are issued to prevent stalking, assaults, or domestic abuse. They can be issued without criminal charges ever being filed. Usually, these orders are sought during divorce proceedings or if someone feels threatened.
Conversely, criminal restraining orders, also called mandatory protection orders, are issued by the court as part of a criminal case. A judge will order a protection order in most criminal cases. Criminal protection orders last as long as their associated criminal case. A criminal protection order can be modified but not dismissed.
Motion to Modify
A motion to modify or dismiss a civil restraining order may be filed by the protected party at any time. The courts will not dismiss any protective order if it is deemed to still be necessary for the protected party’s safety. Additionally, the court will not dismiss if there has been any violation of the protection order.
Conditions which may be modified or removed include: Not being able to have personal, electronic, written, or telephone communication; No contact with the protected person through a third party other than an attorney; and Not being able to come within a certain distance of a protected person.
Two Year Wait
Restrained persons may petition to remove a restraining order once two years have passed since the order was issued. Modifications will only be considered if the restrained person has not violated the restring order. Likewise, restrained persons must complete a fingerprint-based background check within 90 days of filing a motion. The restrained party must convince the court that the order is no longer necessary.
Regardless of which side you are on, petitioning to remove a restraining order can be difficult. Dismissing a restraining order requires the assistance of a knowledgeable attorney in order to maximize your chances of success. If you are looking to modify or terminate a restraining order, get in touch with a Denver criminal defense lawyer from O’Malley and Sawyer, LLC. We can provide the support you need. Call 303-830-0880 today to schedule your free case review.