All the Ways You Can Violate a CO Protective Order

When you’re the subject of a Colorado protective order, it can drastically impact your life in various ways. It can limit where you go, what you do, and who you talk to. With so many restrictions, it is no wonder that protection orders get violated frequently – and you may not even be aware you’re breaking them.

The terms of protection orders may seem harsh, but complying with them is essential. If you don’t comply, you may face additional criminal charges, something everyone should endeavor to avoid.

How can you avoid violating a protective order? The first step is to understand what types of actions often violate these types of orders in Colorado. Read on to learn what you need to know about these orders and some of the most common ways they get violated in the state.

Colorado Protective Orders: What Are They?

If you get served with a protective order in Colorado, the first thing you should do is, read it. It spells out the terms of the order and lets you know what types of things are allowed and which are strictly prohibited.

In general, a protective order in the state allows someone you have a specific relationship with who is afraid for their safety to petition the court to ask for protection. You may not talk to the person directly or be near them publicly.

Different types of protective orders can be issued. They are:


A temporary protective order is issued by a judge if there is cause to believe there is immediate danger to the person asking for it. These orders are also called ex parte protective orders and are meant to grant some protection until a full court hearing occurs.

Temporary protection orders can stay in place for up to one year.


Permanent protective orders can stay in place forever.  PPOs can be granted when a person with a temporary protection order requests that the court make it permanent.  This can be done in three ways.  The first way is that the restrained person does not object to a temporary protection order being made permanent.  The second is that it becomes permanent through default.  This occurs when someone adequately served with a temporary protection order fails to appear in court, and the judge enters the PPO through default.  Finally, the last way is through a contested hearing, where the judge determines that there is a need for the temporary protection order to become permanent.   While there are ways for permanent protection orders to be rescinded in the future, it is not an easy process, and there’s no guarantee a court will rescind the order.

Do not allow a temporary protection order to become permanent without speaking to an attorney first.  There are collateral consequences that could arise if you do.  If there are domestic violence allegations, you can be barred from ever possessing a firearm again.  PPOs can affect your employment and ability to access specific work locations, ex, military bases.

Common Violations of Protective Orders

Every order of protection is unique to address the circumstances of each case. However, there are some common ways that these orders are often violated, such as:

Getting Too Close

Many protective orders do not allow you to come within a certain distance of the victim. Coming too close is a violation.


In most cases, you are barred from contacting a victim in any way, including emailing, direct messaging them on social media, texting, calling, or even sending them a letter.

Not Moving

If shared with the victim, domestic violence protective orders require the accused person to move out of their home. Failure to do so is a violation and can lead to more legal problems.

Going to Work or School

You may also be barred from going to the workplace or school of the victim, which can be tricky if you work or go to school at the same place. Still, it won’t matter if it’s a shared space – you are not allowed to be there.

Child Visitation

If you share children with the victim, the order will spell out what contact you can have with your partner (communication about the children, contact at exchanges, etc.) You can lose custody temporarily through a protective order if the judge believes the child will be kept out of an unhealthy environment by taking these steps.

Paying Bills

You may be ordered to continue paying bills like rent, utilities, or insurance, even if you no longer share the home with the victim. Additionally, you may be required to pay for childcare, transportation, medical services, etc. Failing to do so is a violation of the court order.

Protective Order Attorney in Colorado Springs

What If You Violate?

If you violate the protective order, it’s considered a misdemeanor offense in Colorado. You can face up to 18 months behind bars and high fines.


About the Author:

Andrew Bryant is a well-respected Colorado Springs criminal attorney who has been practicing in the area for years. A Colorado native, he returned to the home he loves after graduating from the University of Kentucky College of Law. Now, he uses the knowledge he gained as an El Paso County District Attorney to fight tirelessly for his client’s rights. He is AV-Preeminent rated, has been recognized for his work by The National Trial Lawyers, and has been named to Best of the Springs lists by The Gazette for years.