In Colorado, domestic violence is defined as “an act of violence or threat of violence against a person with whom the aggressor has or had an intimate relationship.” However, it does not end there… DV is a sentence enhancer on “any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal… when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge” against the other party in the intimate relationship. This includes past relationships, and “intimate relationship” is defined very broadly to include folks simply living together at any time.
Colorado is classified as a “mandatory arrest state,” which means that authorities have the right to arrest anyone whom they have probable cause to believe has committed domestic violence. Whether or not the victim has pressed charges, this arrest can still be made. While the charges for the offender are pending, the victim will be protected by a mandatory protection order.
If you believe you have been falsely accused of domestic violence, don’t hesitate to contact a domestic violence attorney.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence can include one party punishing, threatening, controlling, coercing, stalking, or seeking revenge on someone with whom they had been in an intimate relationship. An “intimate relationship” includes ex-partners, former spouses, parents of the same child (whether or not they were ever a couple), and current spouses.
The penalties for such behavior typically begin with a DV evaluation. The evaluation will help to determine the appropriate sentence for the offender. A repeat offender’s consequences look different than a first-time offender re: the domestic violence charge in Colorado.
If someone has three prior convictions of domestic violence on your record, the crime is punishable as a Class 5 felony, meaning they could get up to four years in prison. They may also be classified by the court as a “habitual domestic violence offender.”
Even if they are not a repeat offender, the crime itself (for example the degree of physical violence) will determine the level of their charge.
Here is a list of other possible penalties for domestic violence offenders:
- If the defendant is not sentenced to prison, they will be enrolled in a domestic violence treatment program.
- It is possible to be sentenced to probation after the safety of the offender’s victim and children are evaluated.
- The defendant may be prohibited from purchasing or possessing any guns or ammunition following their conviction.
Fast-Tracked Domestic Violence Cases
Colorado takes both female and male domestic violence cases seriously. Because of this, police fill out a report on the same day as the arrest and the defendant will typically go to court the next day for their first court hearing. The mandatory protection order will enter as a court order on that first day in court and can prove very difficult to modify.
Domestic Violence in Colorado
If you are involved in a case of domestic violence, get in touch with a domestic violence lawyer like us at Colorado Law Team – give us a call at (970) 670-0738.
If you are a victim of domestic violence and need help, either call us or the national domestic violence hotline at 800-799-7233.