Civil vs. mandatory protection orders

| Apr 22, 2021 | Domestic Violence |

When there is suspected domestic violence, a protection order often comes into play. Also known as a restraining order, this protects the victim from the accused perpetrator.

There are different types of protection orders, and two are civil and mandatory. The individual who receives one of these orders must follow its instructions or face certain consequences.

Civil protection orders

According to the American Civil Liberties Union, a civil protection order is one that the alleged victim can request. Most judges can hear testimony and make a decision on the same day, which is why it is sometimes known as an emergency protective order.

This order is only temporary and is typically valid for up to two weeks. In the meantime, the alleged victim can request a court date in which a judge will decide whether or not to make it a permanent order.

Mandatory protection orders

A mandatory protection order is one that the court orders. Unlike a civil order, which does not have a crime requirement, a mandatory order occurs after the commitment of an alleged crime. Both orders forbid the defendant from interacting with the alleged victim.

According to the Colorado Judicial Branch, some of the protections that both civil and mandatory protection orders potentially offer for the alleged victim include that the recipient:

  • Must not harass or retaliate against the victim or any witnesses
  • Must leave or stay away from the family home
  • Must not possess a weapon or ammunition
  • Must refrain from using alcohol or drugs
  • Must not communicate with the victim or witnesses

Consequences of violating the order

The only party that can cancel or modify a mandatory protection order is the court. If the defendant violates any of the order’s terms, the consequences may include arrest, possible jail time and fines.