Millions of domestic violence incidents are reported every year in the United States. Judges, prosecutors, and the police in Colorado treat every incident seriously. If you are a domestic violence victim in the Leadville area, speak at once to a Leadville domestic violence attorney.
For at least several decades, domestic violence has been the number one cause of injuries to women from ages 15 through 44 in the United States. More women in this country are injured by domestic violence than by muggings, rapes, and car accidents combined.
Where Does Domestic Violence Happen? And To Whom?
No age group, ethnic group, religious group, race, educational level, or economic level is immune to domestic violence, and no group has a monopoly on it. Sadly, domestic violence happens in every community and at every level of society.
The cost of domestic violence in the United States exceeds $8 billion a year in mental health and medical services, but that figure doesn’t include the legal costs, nor does it include the long-term and tragic impact that domestic violence can have on children.
The law in Colorado offers substantial protection to victims and potential victims of domestic violence. Still, in 2018, at least forty people in Colorado were killed in domestic violence incidents. If you are a victim of domestic violence, you must act – now – to protect yourself.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence In Colorado?
As mentioned previously, most domestic violence victims in Colorado are women, but if you’re a man, the information provided here is also for you.
If you’re in a relationship that is starting to turn violent, get out and get legal help immediately. Go somewhere you are safe, and get a domestic violence attorney’s advice. If you’ll keep reading, you will learn about obtaining a domestic violence protection order in Colorado.
Under Colorado law, domestic violence includes spousal abuse, partner abuse, and child abuse, but it does not have to include physical violence. Intimidation, stalking, and even the mere threat of physical violence also constitute domestic violence.
How Does A Protection Order Work?
A protection order in Colorado – referred to in some states as a “restraining order” – is a court order that names a purported domestic violence perpetrator and orders that person to refrain from contact – and stay a specified distance away from – the person who sought the protection.
Protection orders are typically issued for protection from spouses and ex-spouses, but protection orders can also be issued to protect children and to provide protection from stalkers. You may seek a protection order even if the abuser is only an acquaintance or even a complete stranger.
Clearly, no protection order can absolutely and permanently guarantee a person’s safety, but a protection order offers effective legal recourse to the victim if the order is violated.
When Is A Protection Order Issued?
A protection order may be issued by a civil court at the behest of someone who is seeking protection, or it may be triggered by a criminal charge and issued by a criminal court. In either case, the violation of a protection order is considered a serious crime in this state.
A protection order may be sought from a civil court by anyone who has been harmed, threatened with harm, or victimized by violence. The first step is obtaining a temporary protection order from the court. Let a Leadville family law attorney walk you through this complicated process.
Along with the temporary protection order, a hearing date will be scheduled, usually within 14 days, when you and your attorney will go to court to seek a permanent protection order. The person being restrained by the protection order must also appear at the hearing.
Depending on the circumstances, domestic abuse victims may also seek a temporary child custody order or an emergency temporary protection order. Have a Leadville domestic violence attorney explain your options and help you determine what is best in your own circumstances.
Are Protection Orders Issued In Other States Enforceable In Colorado?
If you have a valid protection order or restraining order that was issued by a court in another state, Colorado courts and law enforcement agencies will enforce that order. Federal law requires every state to honor and enforce restraining and protection orders issued in every other state.
When a protection order is in effect, if the abuser tries to contact you, keep a written record of when, where, and what happened. Keep a copy of the protection order with you at all times, and call the police at once if the protection order is violated.
What Is The Penalty For Violating A Protection Order?
In Colorado, the violation of a civil protection order is a Class Two misdemeanor, with this exception. If the offender has one or more prior convictions for a protection order violation, the violation will be prosecuted as a Class One misdemeanor.
A Class One misdemeanor conviction in Colorado is punishable with up to 18 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $5,000. A Class Two misdemeanor conviction may be penalized with up to 12 months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Nothing is more important than your life and the lives of your children. Take whatever steps you need to take to keep you and your children safe and alive.
How Will A Domestic Violence Lawyer Help You?
Every domestic violence victim needs to be represented by a domestic violence lawyer who will stand by your side and advocate aggressively for your safety and your legal rights – an attorney who knows the tragic devastation that domestic violence can cause.
Every domestic violence situation is different. What you have read here is a general introduction to protection orders in Colorado, but if you are a domestic violence victim, you must have specific, personalized legal advice.
A Leadville family law attorney can help you obtain both temporary and permanent protection orders, answer your legal questions about domestic violence, or help you with any matter of family law, but it is up to you to make the call. The first move is yours alone.