Colorado’s domestic violence laws are severe and offenders are prosecuted to the maximum extent of the law. If you have been accused of domestic violence, the charge cannot be dropped even if the alleged victim doesn’t want to bring action against you, or even if the accusation is false.
Since Colorado assumes an unforgiving position toward this type of offense, you must stage a forceful defense right away. A competent domestic violence defense attorney can turn your charge around and bring your ordeal to a swift and favorable ending.
What is domestic violence?
According to CO Rev Stat § 18-6-800.3 (2017), domestic violence is:
“[A]n 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.”
What is Colorado’s Mandatory Arrest and “No-Drop” Policy?
Colorado is a mandatory arrest state. If an officer believes that domestic violence was committed and has probable cause, they must arrest the suspected offender even if the victim refuses to press charges.
A victim cannot “drop” or dismiss the charges once the state becomes connected to the case through law enforcement. The persons involved have no control over whether the State takes the case to court or not.
Once the state prosecutors file the domestic violence charge, you will learn that Colorado adopts a “no-drop” policy in these cases. Prosecutors won’t drop domestic violence charges even at the request of your spouse, live-in partner, or an ex who accused you of the crime. They simply won’t consider that the two of you have decided to settle the matter amicably.
How Can I Defend Myself Against Domestic Violence Charges?
Prosecutors will be quick in charging you with domestic violence in Colorado and it will be tough to get the charges dropped. Prosecutors, however, have the power to dismiss domestic violence charges or reduce them to a lesser offense.
There is one instance that enables a prosecutor to drop your domestic violence charge. The prosecutor can have the charge dismissed only if they tell the judge that they do not have enough convincing and admissible proof that domestic violence was committed.
An experienced Colorado defense attorney can question, challenge, or attack the integrity and admissibility of the evidence presented, and make it difficult for prosecutors to go forward, leading to the dismissal of your domestic violence charges.
Prosecutors may drop a domestic violence case if:
1. There is insufficient evidence that the crime occurred
It is unlikely that prosecutors will be able to prove you guilty beyond reasonable doubt if:
- There is no physical evidence of a heated argument
- There are no witnesses who can credibly testify about what occurred
- There is no video, records, documents, or other physical evidence of hostile action
- There is no evidence or record of past acts, threats, arrests, or convictions
2. The evidence is in your favor
Document everything that occurred. The more records you have, the more support you may get for your side in what is often a “it’s your word against mine” situation. The person accused of domestic violence is, in many cases, actually the victim. Record in detail any injuries you sustained by taking photos right after the incident. Bruises, scratch marks, lacerations, and bite wounds are defensive injuries that may be adequate in deterring prosecutors from moving forward. The report of a medical examination can be very valuable.
3. The victim is uncooperative
Although an alleged domestic violence victim is not allowed to drop charges,
they are also not obliged to help prosecutors prove their case. A prosecutor can make progress without the alleged victim’s testimony. If a victim, however, changes their statement, withdraws their allegation, and has no credible recollection of the incident, this can strike a serious blow to the prosecutor’s ability to establish their case.
Domestic violence charges cannot be dropped in Colorado. Hire a domestic violence defense attorney without delay to build a credible case on your behalf.
Contact the law office of Goldman Law, LLC at (303) 656-9529 or email us through our contact form to schedule a consultation.