August 24, 2019

Colorado Court of Appeals: Special Conditions in Mandatory Protection Order Upheld

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Yoder on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

Charles Yoder was charged with several offenses in Mesa County in three cases, including possession of methamphetamine and driving after revocation prohibited. In each of the three cases, the district court issued a mandatory protection order (MPO) containing conditions against harassing witnesses, possession or consumption of controlled substances, and driving without a valid driver’s license. Two of the MPOs also prohibited possession and consumption of marijuana absent a doctor’s prescription. Defendant pleaded guilty to some of the charges and was sentenced. The district court also clarified that the conditions of the MPOs would remain in effect until defendant completed his sentences. Defendant objected to the conditions restricting marijuana use and driving without a license.

On appeal, the Colorado Court of Appeals deemed defendant’s argument that MPOs are invalid generally waived because it was not properly preserved. As to his challenge to the marijuana and driving restrictions, the court interpreted the relevant statutes and determined that although the statutes specifically reference domestic violence offenses and certain Victims’ Rights Act cases, the special conditions in MPOs are not limited to domestic violence or Victims’ Rights Act offenders. 

The court of appeals affirmed the district court.

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