How To Lift A Colorado Criminal Domestic Violence No Contact Order by Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer – H. Michael Steinberg
A Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer Discusses Lifting the Domestic Violence No Contact Order
Some Questions and Answers About DV No Contact Restraining Orders
Why Do I Have a Domestic Violence No Contact Order?
In most Colorado criminal domestic violence cases – (there are few exceptions -Denver Municipal Court for example) the judge the judge will place a Domestic Violence No Contact Order in place in connection with a defendant’s release from jail – usually as a condition of bond – even a personal (PR) recognizance bond.
This order is punishable by BOTH contempt of court proceedings and an additional charge – separately brought in a new case – known to defense lawyers as a “VOR” – Violation of Restraining Order.
The Order prohibits any contact with the alleged victim by any means, either direct or indirect (such as through a third party). This is the automatic imposition of a no-contact order in criminal and juvenile cases. No contact orders are imposed at the first advisement (also called erroneously an arraignment) or first court appearance and remain in effect until final case disposition. The order restrains the accused “from harassing, molesting, intimidating, retaliating against or tampering with any witness to or victim of the acts.”
Sometimes, the Court places the “No Contact” order between the parties because the victim states that he or she is still in fear of the accused. Sometimes the Court places the order of “No Contact” based on the facts and circumstances surrounding the crimes charged….In every case the” DV tag” – that is the naming of the victim as someone with whom the accused has had an intimate relationship – is the basis for the no contact order under Colorado law.
These orders are often placed even when there has been no direct feedback or specific request from the alleged victim in the case.
What are the Colorado Penalties for Violating the No Contact Order?
As alluded to above – Colorado Judges take a domestic violence No Contact order very seriously. Violating a court order is seen as contempt of court – an affront to the dignity of the court and the Judge’s authority and to the authority of the criminal justice system. If a judge or a DA learn that a “No Contact” order has been violated, it may cause the accused to lose their freedom – their right to be on bond, called a revocation of bail.
A warrant is then issued for their arrest – sometimes accompanied with what is known as a “No Bond Hold.” This bond status indicates that release from the jail on a bond is impossible. Protective order violations also provide the basis for several other related penalties, such as bail forfeiture; bail, pretrial release, or probation revocation; imposition of supervision; and incarceration.
The Colorado crime of Violation of a Restraining Order reads as follows:
C.R.S. 18-6-803.5 Crime of Violation of a Protection Order – Penalty – Peace Officers’ Duties
(2) (a) Violation of a protection order is a class 2 misdemeanor; except that, if the restrained person has previously been convicted of violating this section or a former version of this section or an analogous municipal ordinance, or if the protection order is issued pursuant to section 18-1-1001, the violation is a class 1 misdemeanor.
(a.5) A second or subsequent violation of a protection order is an extraordinary risk crime that is subject to the modified sentencing range specified in section 18-1.3-501 (3).
18-6-803.5. Crime of Violation of a Protection Order – Penalty – Peace Officers’ Duties
(3) (a) Whenever a protection order is issued, the protected person shall be provided with a copy of such order. A peace officer shall use every reasonable means to enforce a protection order. (b) A peace officer shall arrest, or, if an arrest would be impractical under the circumstances, seek a warrant for the arrest of a restrained person when the peace officer has information amounting to probable cause that:
(I) The restrained person has violated or attempted to violate any provision of a protection order;
(II) The restrained person has been properly served with a copy of the protection order or the restrained person has received actual notice of the existence and substance of such order. (c) In making the probable cause determination described in paragraph (b) of this subsection (3), a peace officer shall assume that the information received from the registry is accurate. A peace officer shall enforce a valid protection order whether or not there is a record of the protection order in the registry.
(d) The arrest and detention of a restrained person is governed by applicable constitutional and applicable state rules of criminal procedure. The arrested person shall be removed from the scene of the arrest and shall be taken to the peace officer’s station for booking,
A violation of the “No Contact” order therefore constitutes a new and separate criminal charge of “Violation of a Protection Order.” As a result, the prosecutor can add an additional criminal count to the already pending domestic violence case or more likely – charge the accused in an entirely new case.
How Will They Even Know If I Violate the Colorado Domestic Violence No Contact Order?
The violation of a Colorado No Contact order can come to the judge’s attention in multiple and varied ways. The most common way is when an alleged victim makes a complaint directly to the victim’s advocate, the police, the judge, or the DA’s Office – alleging that they were contacted by a defendant who has a “No Contact” order in place as part of a condition of their bond release.
Evidence may consist of text messages, emails, or voice mails from the defendant. Sometimes – unbelievably – alleged victim voluntarily initiates contact with the accused and arranges to meet them. The police are then called!
Another method to trap the accused happens when a family member or friend who disapproves of the relationship can “rat out the couple,” … Thus – even though the defendant and the alleged victim want contact and are communicating amicably with each other by agreement, the defendant – not the alleged victim – is in violation of the Court order and are therefore subject to arrest.
There are obviously a number of ways to find yourself in violation of the Colorado Domestic Violence “No Contact” order which may end in very serious consequences. So how do you get the “No Contact” order lifted … so the couple can communicate and start torepair their relationship.
Lifting a Domestic Violence No Contact Order In Colorado – Under Colorado Law – “Coming Home”
Going Back To Court
Various cities and counties in Colorado have different methods of lifting the no contact order and the reader is directed to contact the DA or prosecutor’s office or the Court itself to learn which procedure applies to your case. However, if you have retained a Colorado criminal defense lawyer – that lawyer can file a motion on behalf of either the defendant or the victim or both – to have the no contact order rescinded … that is .. removed or lifted!
If you have a no contact order in place in your Colorado domestic violence case, H. Michel Steinberg can go to court on your behalf and request to have the order modified. If the “motion to modify conditions of release” is granted, you will be allowed to once again have lawful contact with the alleged victim.
Getting the order modified is essential in avoiding a subsequent arrest for violating the “no contact” provision. It may also be viewed as a first step toward reconciliation between the parties.
An Experienced Colorado Criminal Defense Lawyer Knows How To Take The Proper Steps to Remove the “No Contact” Order
Our law firm will:
(1) Draft and then file in court a motion to modify the conditions of bond and to modify the restraining order.
(2) Schedule a “forthwith” or immediate hearing before the Colorado Court Judge responsible for the case.
The hearing takes place in the county courtroom assigned to the case.
…. a Notice of the hearing must be sent to the alleged victim in your case. We will attend the hearing with you and request that the Judge modify your original conditions of release to delete the “No Contact” provision.
The Issues For the Hearing To Lift the No Contact Order
Factors that will be taken into consideration during the hearing for granting or denying the motion may include but are not limited to the following:
Has the no-contact order has been violated?
Have there been new law violations?
Has the defendant started Domestic Violence or other Anger Management related therapy?
If the motion comes AFTER sentencing – what was the Defendant’s compliance with sentencing conditions?
What are the status and nature of the criminal charges that are pending?
Does the protected person have a safety plan in place?
Will The Defendant Be Allowed To Move Back Home? – Interim Measures
Sometimes the Judge will take “interim measures” something less than fully lifting the no contact order. In these cases the Judge will consider options that allow contact under limited conditions in cases where domestic violence “risk factors” suggest minimal risk, where the alleged victim has requested contact and where there has been no evidence of coercion or intimidation
Here a Judge may:
• Limit the type of contact e.g. communication could be limited to email, letters or phone calls (subject to recording if possible) or to public places.
• Limit the topics of communication, e.g., discussions about children.
• Prohibit firearms possession.
• Request random drug testing when abuse is indicated.
• Request compliance with drug treatment and/or alcohol treatment programs.
• Or allow contact but exclude defendant from victim’s residence
If the Judge grants the defense lawyer’s motion “in toto” – the order will most likely permit full and unrestricted “lawful” contact. This means that the defendant would be allowed to move back in the residence you previously shared with the other party. It will still require no violation of the so called “standard” restraining order entered in all Colorado criminal cases.
Having My Lawyer Quickly Schedule a “Forthwith” Court Hearing
Our firm contacts the Judge assigned to the domestic violence division and request an expedited hearing be set immediately on the motion for contact. At the motion to lift the no contact order, we will provide the judge with information that supports the motion – such as testimony fromt he alleged victim that addresses the Judge’s concerns for his or her safety and the clear and unavoidable weaknesses in the DA’s case…. if that becomes appropriate.
Is the victim voluntarily appearing in court or are they being pressured by someone to support the motion to modify?
Please call our law firm if you have questions about ..
How To Lift A Colorado Domestic Violence No Contact Order
H. Michael Steinberg has been a Colorado criminal law specialist attorney for 30 years (as of 2012). For the First 13 years of his career, he was an Arapahoe – Douglas County District Attorney Senior prosecutor. In 1999 he formed his own law firm for the defense of Colorado criminal cases.
In addition to handling tens of thousands of cases in the trial courts of Colorado, he has written hundreds of articles regarding the practice of Colorado criminal law and frequently provides legal analysis on radio and television, appearing on the Fox News Channel, CNN and Various National and Local Newspapers and Radio Stations. Please call him at your convenience at 720-220-2222.
If you have questions about How To Lift A Colorado Domestic Violence No Contact Order in the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg will be pleased to answer those questions and to provides quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters.
In the Denver metropolitan area and throughout Colorado, attorney H. Michael Steinberg provides quality legal representation to those charged in Colorado adult and juvenile criminal matters.