Colorado Domestic Violence Definition

When most people think about domestic violence, the first image that comes to mind is of a husband or boyfriend harming his wife or girlfriend. While this is one kind of domestic violence, it does not begin to cover how the term is defined in Colorado. In Colorado, domestic violence is such a serious issue that, once the police are called in, they have to make an arrest if they have probable cause to believe that an offense has occurred (CRS 18-6-803.6). Even if the alleged victim says nothing happened or that they were just mad when they made the report, Denver prosecutors can still bring charges against you.

Below are a couple of things to know about domestic violence:

  • It is not just about married couples: Domestic violence encompasses violent acts against someone you have (or have had) an intimate relationship with. CRS 18-6-800.3 defines intimate relationships as those involving spouses, former spouses, past or present dating partners, or parents who have a child together (regardless of marital status).
  • No physical violence is necessary: This is the part of the law that usually shocks people the most. It is obvious that kicking, slapping, or hitting someone you have an intimate relationship with may be considered domestic violence. But under Colorado law, even the threat of a violent act is enough to trigger charges. For example, if you and your spouse are screaming at each other and you say something like “Do that again, and I’m going to kill you!”, that counts as an act of domestic violence. Even using another person’s property to punish, control, coerce, intimidate, or get revenge against them may be construed as domestic violence if you have a close relationship with that person.

Furthermore, due to Colorado’s broad definition of domestic violence domestic violence can come with an additional criminal charge such as:

Before you can start fighting back against your charge, you must first understand why you were charged. Domestic violence lawyer, Kevin Cahill, knows this and how frightening and confusing this time can be. He sits down with every client as soon as possible to go over the details and potential outcomes. This approach helps put clients at ease by providing them with a clearer picture of their situation. It also allows him to build an aggressive defense.

Accusations are damaging on their own. Schedule a consultation with a Denver domestic violence defense lawyer to discuss your options. Call (720) 548-2990 today.

Penalties for Domestic Violence in Colorado

Domestic violence is not a separate offense from other crimes enumerated in the Colorado Revised Statutes. Rather, it is charged when a person violates a criminal law and the violation is committed against someone with whom they have an intimate relationship. Thus, a person charged with domestic violence faces the penalties imposed for the underlying crime.

However, because the act involved people with an intimate relationship, the following sentence enhancements may apply:

  • Treatment evaluation
  • Treatment program
  • Prohibition from possessing or purchasing firearms or ammunition
  • Class 5 felony charge for a third or subsequent misdemeanor domestic violence offense

What to Do After Being Charged with Domestic Violence

Anyone accused of domestic violence needs to know certain things to prevent them from hurting their case:

  • Do not talk to the victim. Many people accused of domestic violence in Denver think that they just have to work it out with the victim and everything will be okay. But there are two things you must realize:
    • The victim cannot stop the criminal process. This has already been mentioned, but it bears repeating. Even if you patch things up with the victim and they say nothing happened, your charges will not go away.
    • Making contact with the alleged victim is illegal once a mandatory protection order is entered. That’s right, you’re committing a crime just by talking to them. No matter how much you may want to make things right, stay away.
  • Do not carry a firearm. Colorado law states that it is illegal for you to possess a weapon if you have been charged with domestic violence. It does not matter if it is a firearm that was legally purchased and registered. Once the charge has been filed against you, the weapon has to go or you can get in even more serious trouble.
  • Let your attorney do their job. It can be frustrating to feel like you cannot do anything about your charges, but once you are arrested, the most effective way to help yourself is to get a Denver domestic violence attorney and let them do the job you hired them for. One way to seek to have your charges reduced or dismissed is to allow your attorney to present facts to the court that will display your good character and speak to your innocence.

Taking Accusations of Violence Seriously in Colorado

People can be charged with domestic violence in Denver for many reasons. For instance, you and your spouse may get into a heated argument, and one of you phones the police. Or, you’re involved in a custody dispute with your ex and they claim abuse to get the upper hand. You might believe that your domestic violence charge will go away because you know it is completely bogus, but it is a mistake to assume that you will receive a favorable outcome without a fight.

After the police get involved in a domestic violence matter, even the alleged victim’s apology or confession of false accusations can do little to stop the prosecutor from pursuing a case against you. This is done to protect victims who may be too afraid to stand up against their abuser. It also provides law enforcement officials with the time they need to fully investigate the claim. Unfortunately, it can also cause completely innocent people to be railroaded into making life-changing decisions and admitting guilt just to get back to their normal lives.

Just as we need to work to support victims and eliminate true instances of abuse, it is also important that we keep the system honest by protecting the rights of those wrongfully accused or who have made a one-time error they deeply regret. That is why you need an experienced Denver domestic violence lawyer like Kevin Cahill by your side. His track record of success in defending the accused speaks to his understanding of local statutes and law enforcement tactics and ensuring that his clients’ rights are protected. At the Law Office of Kevin Cahill, Attorney Kevin Cahill will learn about your needs and protect your best interests throughout the entire judicial process.

Don’t hesitate. Start defending your rights by calling the Law Office of Kevin Cahill at (720) 548-2990 or submitting an online contact form. Your initial consultation is free.