In Colorado, protective orders are designed to protect individuals from harm or harassment by prohibiting the restrained person from contacting the protected person. However, there are situations where the protected person may consent to contact with the restrained person, leading to confusion and potential legal consequences for both parties. This blog post will explore the role of consent in Colorado violation of protective order cases and guide how to navigate these complex situations.
What is a Protective Order?
A protective order, also known as a restraining order, is a court-issued document that prohibits the restrained person from contacting, harassing, or coming within a certain distance of the protected person. Protective orders can be issued in various situations, including cases involving domestic violence, stalking, or sexual assault. In Colorado, violating a protective order can result in criminal charges, with penalties ranging from fines to jail time.
Can Consent to Override a Protective Order?
While it may seem logical that if the protected person consents to contact, the restrained person should not violate the protective order, this is not always the case. In Colorado, the law states that the consent of the protected person is not a defense to a charge of violating a protective order. This means that even if the protected person willingly engages in contact with the restrained person, the restrained person can still be charged with a violation.
Why is Consent Not a Defense?
The rationale behind this rule is that protective orders are issued by the court to protect the safety and well-being of the protected person. Allowing consent to override the order would undermine the court's authority and the purpose of the order. Additionally, in domestic violence cases, a power imbalance between the parties may make it difficult for the protected person to give free and voluntary consent honestly.
How to Handle Situations Involving Consent
If you are the restrained person in a protective order case and the protected person consents to contact, it is important to proceed cautiously. Here are some tips on how to handle these situations:
- Consult with an attorney: If you are unsure about the legality of contact with the protected person, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney who can guide your situation.
- Document the consent: If the protected person initiates or consents to contact, consider documenting the interaction through text messages, emails, or other written communication. While this may not provide a complete defense to a violation charge, it can help demonstrate your intent to comply with the order.
- Seek a modification of the protective order: If the circumstances have changed and both parties agree that contact should be allowed, consider petitioning the court to modify the protective order. This can be done through an attorney or by filing a motion with the court.
Contact Our Team Today to Learn More
Understanding the role of consent in Colorado violation of protective order cases can be confusing and complex. It is crucial to remember that the permission of the protected person does not automatically provide a defense to a violation charge. If you find yourself in a situation where consent is involved, it is essential to consult with an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as Barre M. Sakol, P.C., to ensure your rights are protected and to navigate the legal process effectively. With over 35 years of experience in Boulder, CO, Barre M. Sakol is well-equipped to handle your case and provide the guidance you need during this challenging time.
Contact Barre M. Sakol, P.C. today to schedule a consultation!