An allegation of domestic violence (DV) is a serious issue that can impact your relationship with your family, your ability to maintain employment, and your freedom. The consequences of a domestic violence conviction could be devastating and last a lifetime.
If you have been accused of domestic violence, let a tenacious defense attorney help you fight the charges. To defend yourself and your rights, contact a Greenwood Village domestic violence lawyer. Jenn and Justie at Colorado Lawyer Team are ready to help you build a defense against the charges immediately upon your arrest.
What Constitutes Domestic Violence?
The crime of domestic violence in Colorado is governed by Colorado Statute 18-6-800, et. al. Domestic violence occurs when an individual commits an act of violence or threatens an act of violence against a partner they are or were in an intimate relationship with. Domestic violence can also include crimes against the property or pets of a person they are in an intimate relationship with. Basically, DV can occur with any type of crime in Colorado if the criminal act is committed as a means of “coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge” against the intimate partner.
In Colorado, domestic violence is not a separate criminal offense. Rather DV is an enhancer and tag that the courts use to flag certain offenses. Basically, what the DA is alleging is that the underlying offense (assault, harassment, criminal mischief, even animal cruelty) was committed as an act of DV. An individual suspected of domestic violence assault may be charged with the crime of assault-DV (as opposed to just “assault”), with added penalties and requirements because it involves domestic violence, for example. That’s why you’ll never see DV as “count 2” on any criminal complaint.
Often, a good Greenwood Village domestic violence lawyer can help an accused prove that they were not seeking to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or retaliate against their partner. If the DA can’t prove that component, they are obligated to drop the DV enhancer, if not the entire case.
Defining Intimate Relationships
An intimate relationship is any relationship between two spouses, ex-spouses, or people who have children together. A relationship is considered intimate, regardless if the couple was ever married or lived together at any point. Intimate partners include unmarried couples—whether cohabitating or not—as well as same-sex couples or common law married couples.
Ultimately, the court will determine whether individuals involved in the case were in an intimate relationship. While a sexual relationship can be an indicator of an intimate relationship, it is not enough on its own to prove a relationship exists. Other close relationships, including co-workers, roommates, and close friends are not considered an intimate relationship. A skilled Greenwood Village domestic violence attorney can sometimes prove to the jury that the relationship between the alleged offender and the plaintiff was not intimate.
Dropping Charges and the Criminal Case
It is important to understand that it is not up to an alleged victim to decide if a prosecutor will continue to pursue a criminal case or not. Colorado is a mandatory arrest state. Meaning that, regardless of whether a victim wants to press charges, if the police on scene feel they have probable cause to feel an act of DV has been committed they are obligated to arrest the offender. Many domestic violence cases stem from simple misunderstandings, which often lead the alleged victim to request the charges to be dropped. Unless the district attorney agrees, the charges brought against a defendant could still continue.
Mandatory Restraining Order
A mandatory restraining order is issued immediately once an allegation is made. In the State of Colorado, it is a NEW misdemeanor offense to violate the terms of the protective order. Typically, a protective order will require a person accused of domestic violence to:
- Vacate the family home and stay away while the order is in place
- Stay away from the alleged victim’s workplace or anywhere they frequent
- Refrain from any form of direct or indirect communication with the alleged victim
- Refrain from possessing guns, ammunition, or other weapons
- Refrain from possessing alcohol or illegal drugs
To learn about the terms of a protective order, seek help from an experienced Greenwood Village domestic violence attorney.
Seek Help from a Greenwood Village Domestic Violence Attorney
From attorneys to investigators, the state will be prepared to expend resources on convicting you at trial. Level the playing field by hiring an experienced Greenwood Village domestic violence lawyer.
Jenn and Justie can investigate the claim, gather evidence, and build a strong defense. You do not need to fight the charges alone. Let our legal team at Colorado Lawyer Team help your case. Call today to get started.