Navigating the complexities of legal protections for those in the military concerning their interactions with civilians can be a challenge. The military protective order process in Colorado was designed as a legal foundation to help guide attorneys and clients through these tense disputes.
Unfortunately, a service member is sometimes accused of engaging in abuse, but they believe it to be an unfair allegation. By better understanding the nature of these protective measures and working with a military defense attorney, service members can feel more empowered to defend their innocence.
An MPO is a legal tool designed to help service members and their families have legal protections that enable them to stay away from an alleged abuser. This abuser could be a service member or someone who has allegedly committed a crime against a service member.
The criteria aren’t very strict to request an MPO. Anyone has the grounds to file an MPO against an active-duty military member if they are related to you, such as a spouse, ex-spouse, or someone who you share a child with. These orders are more than just a restraining order. They can enforce several different “no-contact” rules, such as:
It’s important to recognize that just because someone has issued a request for an MPO, it doesn’t mean that you are automatically guilty of what they claim to be true. Everyone has the right of presumed innocence until proven otherwise in a court of law. This law extends to those in the military who have been accused of abuse.
There are several steps to successfully file for an MPO, including:
When someone begins the process of filing an MPO against you, they will be required to fill out a number of required forms. These forms will detail:
Before the court decides if the MPO request is a valid accusation, they will have a preliminary hearing to determine if temporary protections are needed. They will ask the accuser to make their case and then answer any outstanding questions they have before granting temporary protection.
It’s important to note that just because temporary protections are granted, it does not mean that permanent ones are guaranteed to follow afterward. The courts take all accusations seriously, and they will likely grant temporary restrictions as a precaution rather than to send a signal that they think you are guilty.
Once a temporary order is in place, it will be served to you. This is just to ensure that you are aware of its existence and know what terms to abide by.
When it’s time to return to court, another hearing will determine if a permanent MPO is necessary. You and your defense attorney can make the case that the allegations are false by providing your own set of evidence. If the prosecution fails, the request for an MPO will be denied.
If it is granted, you will have to follow the terms of the order. You and your defense attorney can then assess whether to advance with an appeal of the original decision.
Each of these steps may appear straightforward, but they can get complicated quickly and require extreme attention to detail. Having a military and national security defense attorney to guide and supervise each step is highly recommended to avoid any unnecessary problems.
A: While all allegations will be taken seriously, a final verdict cannot be issued unless valid evidence is presented that connects the alleged abuser to the actions that they are being accused of. This would include specific dates, locations, and descriptions of what exactly happened and when. Forms of evidence that can be used to make a case include:
A strong defense attorney can identify any holes that may exist in the prosecution’s case to raise doubts about the accusation. They could also prove how some forms of evidence were illegally collected and are, therefore, inadmissible in court.
A: An MPO in Colorado can either be short- or long-term, depending on the nature of whatever is found to be true and what type of protection is needed. The duration of these orders can also be extended at the request of the accuser based on certain circumstances, such as new evidence to suggest that there are ongoing threats or risks to their own personal safety.
You will want to consult with a defense attorney before and after an MPO may be issued to ensure that you are in compliance with any direct court orders and are not at risk of jeopardizing your case.
A: As long as they are aligned with federal law and a military installation’s regulations, civilian protective orders are fully enforceable. It’s very common for military authorities to cooperate with civilian law enforcement to help uphold these orders.
However, complexities can arise if there are competing laws between different jurisdictions. In these cases, it’s extremely important to have a military attorney on your side to navigate these challenges with the other attorneys and personnel involved. That way, no one’s rights are inadvertently violated when trying to reach a resolution.
A: Violating an MPO is an extremely serious offense that will be met with disciplinary action under the Uniform Code of Military Justice. There are a variety of different punishments to be issued, depending on the severity of the violation, such as:
There could also be new charges faced if the violation was accompanied by a new criminal act that needs to be investigated. Connect with a defense attorney immediately if you are being accused of violating an issued MPO.
If someone is trying to impose an MPO against you, connect with our military defense attorneys today. We are well-versed in military law and work to protect your rights.