Domestic violence is a designation within the field of criminal law given to specific crimes when there is an intimate relationship between two parties. Generally, persons are charged with domestic violence when their partner claims that physical violence was involved, or when one person uses an action to control, threaten, bully, or punish the other.
In Colorado, domestic violence is not in itself a crime, but is a considered a “sentencing enhancer” or “aggravator.” This means that it is not deemed a standalone offense, but is instead attached to other criminal charges. It can be applied to increase the penalties against a person who has already been convicted of the crime to which domestic violence has been linked.
Common examples of crimes to which the domestic violence designation is applied are harassment, stalking, assault, false imprisonment, criminal mischief, and violation of a restraining order.
Effects of a Domestic Violence Conviction
Domestic violence in Colorado is a serious allegation, and sentences in domestic violence cases are typically harsher compared to those of the same crime that do not have any domestic violence involved. If probable cause is met, local authorities must arrest the accused individual.
Careers, reputations, and relationships may be lost before the accused individual even has a chance to clear his or her own name. Domestic violence may be either charged as a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the case circumstances.
A domestic violence conviction may result in jail time, costly fines, probation, mandatory completion of a 36-week treatment program, and a mandatory protection order that keeps the accused away from his or her home and family members. It may also result in the permanent deprivation of the ability to possess a firearm, as well as deportation for non-U.S. citizens. A domestic violence conviction may also have consequences in divorce and custody disputes.
Defenses to Domestic Violence
Some of the legal defenses that may be available to someone accused of domestic violence are:
- Defense of others
- Excluded evidence
- False accusation
- Factual contradiction
Depending on the case, other defenses may also be applicable. Each case is different, and an experienced Colorado domestic violence defense attorney may be able to use these facts to the advantage of the accused.
Contact Goldman Law, LLC Today
If you or someone you know has been accused of domestic violence, our Colorado criminal defense attorneys at Goldman Law, LLC are here to help you.
At Goldman Law, LLC, we will advocate aggressively for your rights, minimize damage as best as we can, and immediately begin crafting a plan to position your case for the best resolution possible. We will do whatever we legally can to get your case dismissed and the charges against your dropped. If dismissal is not feasible, our legal team will strive to have your charges and sentences reduced.
Hiring a criminal defense attorney is the most important decision you can make for your criminal case. To learn more about your rights and receive a professional case evaluation, contact Goldman Law, LLC at (720) 504-7437.