When your child is arrested, your whole world may come crashing down around you. You may be worried about how these charges will affect your child and their future. While children and teens are impulsive, you don’t want one mistake to derail their entire lives. Even though most juvenile cases are not tried in the adult criminal justice system, that does not mean that your child will not face consequences and penalties. It is important to understand the severity of the charges and how they will impact your family and your child’s future.
At Liberty Law Center, we have successfully defended juveniles accused of criminal actions including those charged with:
- Vandalism or property destruction
- Shoplifting and other petty theft
- Simple assault
- Underage drinking
- Assault and battery
- Rape or sexual assault
- Violent crimes
- Armed robbery
- Drug crimes
Most juveniles who are arrested are processed through the state’s juvenile court system. Yet, they still face serious consequences, including fines, probation, detention in a youth corrections center, and jail time. In some cases, juveniles can even face conviction in an adult criminal court. For these reasons, it is important to have an experienced and skilled Colorado Springs juvenile criminal defense lawyer on your side from the very beginning. At Liberty Law Center, our attorneys can work with you and your family and help you through this difficult process.
In Colorado, more than 16,700 people reported a domestic violence crime in 2014. In addition, the domestic violence hotline in the state takes more than 21,000 calls a day. The law in Colorado defines domestic violence as a sentencing enhancement and it is based on the relationship you have with the victim. Domestic violence itself includes a level of control, punishment, intimidation, or violence against a person with whom you have had an intimate relationship. This includes partners, co-parents, exes, and spouses. It is not necessary to be in a sexual relationship to be convicted of domestic violence.
Since domestic violence is a sentence enhancer, it occurs along with other criminal charges such as:
- Child abuse
- Sexual contact
- False imprisonment
- Elder abuse
Penalties for Domestic Violence Enhancement
The penalties you face for domestic violence are based largely on the type of crime you are also charged with. However, a domestic violence enhancement does come with a mandatory arrest if the arresting officer has reason to believe that domestic violence occurred. Even if the victim opposes or does not want to press charges, you will face immediate arrest. A domestic violence charge will also trigger a mandatory protection order. During this time, you may not violate the protective order or you risk jail times of up to 18 months.
Another consequence of a domestic violence charge is that you will lose your right to possess a firearm while there is a restraining order against you. If you have guns or firearms in your possession, you must surrender them to law enforcement until the restraining order is lifted or the case is dismissed. If you are convicted of a felony or a violent misdemeanor, such as assault, you will lose your gun rights forever.
If you are convicted of a domestic violence-related crime, you must wait three years before you can attempt to have your conviction expunged or sealed. However, this option is only available to you if your conviction was a municipal court case.
As you can see, the consequences for domestic violence enhancement are huge and can have a serious impact on your life and your future. That is why it is important to fight these charges aggressively from the beginning. At Liberty Law Center, we know how to fight against domestic violence enhancement. We know that to be successful, we must fight the underlying charge aggressively and expose holes in the prosecution’s case against you. To do this, we must find evidence that you were acting in self-defense or that the incident was an accident. We may also look for evidence that you were never in an intimate relationship with the accuser.
There are ways to fight these serious charges, however, you must act quickly and choose a law firm with the experience and resources needed to go the extra mile.
In Colorado, an assault is defined as any injury caused to another person. This can be done by hitting, shooting, stabbing, pushing, or kicking another person. Fights in bars, drunken altercations, and shoving someone on a bus can all be considered assaults.
By law, prosecutors can charge you with either felony or misdemeanor assault depending on many different factors including intent, type of injury, and whether a deadly weapon was used. After all, the law considers there to be a real difference between someone who throws a drunken punch and someone who shoots an individual after stalking them.
Colorado prosecutors only have three years to press felony charges against you or 18 months to bring misdemeanor charges. During that time, if you are arrested and charged with assault, it is important to know the seriousness of these charges.
In general, however, there are varying degrees of assaults and each comes with significant penalties and consequences.
- First-degree assault. This occurs when someone intentionally uses a deadly weapon to hurt someone. You can also find yourself facing first-degree assault charges if you permanently disfigure someone in an altercation. Consequences are serious and you face:
- 10-32 years in prison
- Class 3 felony record
- Fines up to $750,000
- Second-degree assault. This occurs when someone intentionally causes harm to another person but without the use of a deadly weapon. Second-degree assault can be the result of recklessness with a deadly weapon. Consequences and penalties include:
- 2-6 years in prison
- Class 2 felony record
- Fines up to $500,000
It is important to know that if you use or threaten to use a deadly weapon or if your assault causes serious bodily injury, you could face between 5 and 16 years in prison.
- Third-degree assault. This is the least of all assault charges. It occurs when someone knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury, but not severe or life-threatening bodily injury. You can face consequences, including:
- 6-24 months in jail
- Class 1 misdemeanor
- Fines up to $5,000
In addition to these penalties, it is important to know that assault is a deportable offense in Colorado. If you are non-citizen, your entire future is at stake. In addition, felony three convictions can never be sealed, meaning your future employers and landlords can see these records when they perform background checks. This can significantly decrease your future opportunities.
At Liberty Law Center, we know the best defense against assault charges is an aggressive defense. There are numerous ways we can expose the holes in the prosecution’s case against you and multiple defenses we might use. Perhaps you were acting in self-defense or the injury was accidental. Maybe you were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time and falsely accused. In many cases, a partial defense might be that you acted in the heat of passion, such as you were being taunted or harassed. This could reduce the penalties and consequences you face significantly.