H. Michael Steinberg has over 32 years experience practicing Colorado criminal law. Mr. Steinberg strives to stay current with the ever changing aspects of criminal law issues and updates resulting in his extensive knowledge of successful criminal defense as well as appellate work. He is also an active member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar Association, the Colorado Trial Lawyer's Association, and the Colorado and Arapahoe Bar Associations.
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The Domestic Violence Protection Order: New Heights of Absurdity

SALT LAKE CITY, July 21 (UPI) — A Salt Lake City man jailed for domestic violence, is accused of violating a protective order by sending letters to his estranged wife’s cat, officials say.

The 32-year-old man, convicted in two domestic violence cases, sent the letters in May from jail to the cat, Molly, and to his wife’s neighbor, addressing his wife in the second person, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.

In the letters the man, whose name was not reported, asks his estranged wife, via cat and neighbor, not to testify against him in the upcoming domestic violence case which resulted in the protective order, the newspaper reported Tuesday.

The man faces 11 counts of violation of a protective order and two counts of tampering with a witness, all third-degree felonies
H. Michael;s Take:

Clearly criminal and civil protective orders have a role to play:

They can:

What a protective order can do:

· Prohibit further acts of domestic violence.

· Prohibit the abuser from directly communicating with the victim (via phone, fax, email, or in person).

· Prohibit the abuser from going within a specific distance of the victim’s home or place of employment.

· Prohibit the abuser from going near the home, child care facility, or school of a child protected under the order.

· Provide for the victim parent to have temporary decision-making responsibility for children.

· Set child support or spousal support.

· Order the abuser to attend counseling or an intervention program.

· Provide for the possession of mutually-owned property, such as a home or car.

· Help the victim establish the conditions when she/he should seek assistance from law enforcement
But the abuses of the protective order in the context of so called domestic violence cases is made clear by this short news story.