Domestic violence is a big issue that many couples face, and the legal ramifications for getting a domestic violence conviction can have a lasting impact on your future. Have you been charged with domestic violence? Liberty Law Center has three things you should know about your conviction on our blog today…
1. The meaning of domestic violence isn’t just about physical violence or threats toward your significant other.
What does domestic violence actually mean? It’s important to understand that domestic violence doesn’t just mean physical violence or threats towards your significant other or ex. There are a variety of acts that constitute as domestic violence that can land you in jail and worse. Below is the legal definition under Colorado law:
Domestic Violence: “An act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. ‘Domestic violence’ also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.”
In other words, any act could be manipulated or positioned by your significant other or ex to make it seem like domestic violence if they are smart. You need to make sure that you can defend yourself against attacks from all sides—not just the stereotypical physical acts or threats.
2. Domestic violence comes with other charges.
Domestic violence is not something that is considered a crime in and of itself, but it is attached to other crimes you can get convicted of, and leads to increased penalties. For example, you can beat a dog and face criminal charges, but if you did it to “punish” your ex, then domestic violence can be added to your crimes. With charges of domestic violence comes a mandatory restraining order where you are banned from seeing the person in question or being anywhere near the property they reside in or work at. If you contact the person or are seen on premise to their property, you can get arrested. This can mean that you have to leave your own home until the court can determine when or if you should be allowed to return.
A huge thing to understand about domestic violence cases is that even if you and your partner make up, you can’t have the restraining order just dropped. According to Colorado law, the prosecutor cannot drop domestic violence charges unless they cannot prove the charges. This means that very few cases are dismissed outright. The case will go to court to make sure that any changes in the mandatory protection order are warranted and will not lead to future new charges between the parties.
3. If you have been charged or are being threatened with domestic violence charges, you need to consult a Lawyer ASAP.
If you have been charged with domestic violence or are being threatened with such a charge, you need to be extremely careful. Do not think that pleading guilty to a domestic violence charge is going to make it easier on you or get the law off your back. Even if you feel remorse or regret about your actions, you must think through the legal ramifications of pleading guilty to a domestic violence dispute. If you are convicted, you can face time in jail, huge fines, mandatory counseling, inability to gain employment or certain licenses, loss of reputation, inability to own a firearm, and loss of access to children and residences.
If you are arrested in a domestic violence dispute, you must remain quiet until you have spoken with a lawyer. Anything you say can be held against you.