What does a mandatory protection order mean?

You got into a fight with your significant other and things heated up rather rapidly. The next thing you know, you were charged with domestic violence and slapped with a mandatory protection order.

What does this mean? How could this eventually affect your case? Here’s what you need to know:

Mandatory protection orders are automatic in cases like these

CRS 18-1-1001 requires the court to issue a mandatory protection order against a criminal defendant in cases like yours. This order basically forbids you from harassing, bothering or otherwise intimidating your alleged victim. It also forbids you from retaliating against either the alleged victim or any witnesses in your case, and from somehow influencing (“tampering”) with the potential testimony of a witness.

The mandatory protection order does not mean that your case is lost and you’re bound for conviction. The law simply errs heavily on the side of caution if there’s any indication that one person might be dangerous to another.

A mandatory protection order does need to be followed to the letter

No matter what your situation, you don’t want to violate the restrictions placed on you by the mandatory protection order – because that will lead to new charges, and those charges may ultimately stick even if your domestic violence case is dismissed.

Among other things, that means:

  • Don’t call your partner from jail or try to reach them once you’re released to apologize, talk about the situation or even arrange to pick up your clothes from your home.
  • Don’t go to your partner’s place of work, school or known hang-outs, even if you have business there.
  • Do not ask a friend or relative to talk to your partner on your behalf, because the law views that the same way it would if you did that yourself.
  • Do not contact your alleged victim or their relatives by electronic means, as well, whether that means a “like” on a Facebook post, a text or a message through Messenger or WhatsApp. If you don’t trust yourself, get off social media entirely.

If you’ve been charged with domestic violence, don’t try to handle the situation on your own. Your entire future rests on a robust defense.

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