All states vary in their charges and sentencing for Domestic Violence crimes, however, Colorado is a state that takes this crime very seriously, and has strict enforcement policies. It’s important to know how domestic violence is defined in Colorado and what the process looks like if you ever are faced with a domestic violence charge.
What is Domestic Violence?
According to C.R.S. 18-6-800.3 (1) Domestic Violence is defined by Colorado Law as:
“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.
Domestic Violence is a Complex Sentence
Domestic Violence in Colorado is a crime you really want to avoid. The system is set up in a way that does not give much discretion in these types of situations. This crime is very difficult to deal with and understand because it can be a slippery slope. It’s not technically a “crime,” however it is a sentence enhancer. Domestic Violence is also tricky in that you do not have to be physically present or have physical contact to be charged with Domestic Violence. Acts like excessive calling, texting, breaking property, and threats; all are under the category of a Domestic Violence charge.
Proper Legal Advice is Vital
Because of the range of severity for this crime, you want to be smart about how you handle the situation, legally. If you do get arrested, it is advised that you do not speak. Invoke your 5th amendment right to avoid saying anything that will harm your case later. It’s important to know that many times you will be offered a plea before seeing the judge, or before being able to contact legal counsel. If you take this plea before you have legal counsel, you will be getting charged with Domestic Violence and it never goes away. When you’re facing a DV charge it’s important to seek legal counsel. Find a lawyer who knows how to handle DV cases in Colorado, and make sure you understand what hiring a lawyer does for you.
What does Mandatory Arrest mean?
- Colorado is a mandatory arrest state. This means that if the police are called to your home for a Domestic Violence situation, nine times out of ten, someone is getting arrested. All they need to make an arrest is probable cause to believe that a domestic violence related crime has taken place. In addition to there being a mandatory arrest law, Colorado also has mandatory no contact orders and criminal charges for this crime.
Employment and Personal Life
- Ending up with a Domestic Violence charge is the last thing you want on your record. A DV charge will never go away, and it looks bad to potential employers. Unfortunately, whether you committed a violent domestic violence crime, or a non-violent domestic violence crime, you will have the same labels and stigmas. When a potential employer considers your background check, they won’t know what type of domestic violence you committed, just that you were charged with it, facing them to think the worst. Another big drawback to having a domestic violence charge on your record is that you won’t be able to own or possesses a firearm ever again.
- Of course, a domestic violence charge is going to affect your personal life. Depending on what your consequences are for the crime, you could face a number of penalties: jail time, anger management classes, domestic violence classes, probation, etc. In addition, if you have children and you were the one charged, chances are your custody agreement will change and not be in your favor.
Domestic Violence is very serious and can tear apart families. If you or anyone you know if being affected by domestic violence, call the anonymous domestic violence hotline at 1−800−799−7233.
If you are in need of a domestic violence attorney in the Colorado area, Liberty Law Center is staffed with professional, knowledgeable lawyers who are expertly trained in domestic violence cases. Contact us today to get the legal advice you deserve.