What is domestic violence?
In the state of Colorado, domestic violence can be defined as either a threat or act of violence between two individuals who share an intimate relationship. The victim of domestic violence could be a former partner, an immediate member of the family, or a member of the household.
What acts can be considered domestic violence?
Domestic violence in itself is not considered to be a crime, but a sentencing enhancer. When committed against a former partner or household members, acts such as harassment, stalking, assault, or criminal mischief are typically considered as domestic violence. Note that physical contact is not necessary. To justify a domestic violence charge, there only needs to be a threat directed toward the other individual that makes them feel they were in danger. Domestic violence also includes any crime that is committed against an intimate partner as a means of control, coercion, intimidation, punishment, or revenge.
What are the penalties of domestic violence?
Penalties for a domestic violence conviction may include up to two years in prison, probation for a minimum of one year, hefty fines, and at least 36 weeks of domestic violence counseling. It also includes a court-issued protection order or restraining order that forbids the individual from contacting the victim, or coming within a specific distance of him or her. Other penalties may include the loss of right to carry a firearm, and loss of certain professional licenses. If the individual is charged with felony domestic violence, he or she may also spend a period of time in state prison.
What is mandatory arrest?
When it comes to the threat of domestic violence, police officers are required to arrest the accused without undue delay. Simply put, this means the officer needs to arrest the suspect of domestic violence as soon as the opportunity to do so arises. The suspect will not be released until the accuser has been heard at the bond hearing.
What if I am falsely accused of domestic violence?
Unfortunately, there is a chance that you may be convicted of domestic violence—even if you are falsely accused. It is essential, therefore, that you seek legal representation from an experienced and knowledgeable attorney. Otherwise, there is much you could lose if you are convicted. You could potentially lose your right to enter the marital home, lose your personal possessions, or even lose custody of your children.
Will I still be prosecuted if the victim changes his or her mind?
Yes, you will. If the police investigate the case and find probable cause to deem that an act of domestic violence indeed occurred, then Colorado law dictates that local authorities must arrest the individual.
Can a domestic violence conviction affect my divorce?
If visitation and child custody are involved, the courts will very likely examine the domestic violence charge being filed against you. Courts primarily aim to find solutions in the best interests of the children, and so their potential exposure to violence is a serious matter to take into consideration.