In Colorado, domestic violence is considered a sentence enhancer that can apply to a whole host of crimes, including non-violent offenses.
Have you been arrested for domestic violence? Do the following:
Remember each case is different and there is no such thing as one-size-fits-all legal representation.
Contact our office. We routinely represent individuals accused of domestic violence. We’re open during regular business hours, but we will stay late or be available on weekends if necessary. Schedule a free consultation. We are ready, willing and able to discuss and defend you against any domestic violence charge in Denver, Aurora, Arapahoe County, Adams County or any court in the State of Colorado.
Domestic violence is defined as “an 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. See C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3.
In order to determine if a crime qualifies as an act of domestic violence, you must first determine if there is an intimate relationship.
What Is An Intimate Relationship
An intimate relationship is defined as “a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.”
The courts have further defined intimate relationship as a romantic relationship as opposed to purely a sexual relationship. While sex can be a component to a intimate relationship, it is not the only consideration.
A court will look at the length of the relationship, nature of the relationship, and frequency of interaction between the parties to determine if there is an intimate relationship. A religious couple that has never had sex can be considered to be in an intimate relationship. Conversely, it can be argued a couple having a one-night stand does not equate to an intimate relationship.
Individuals are often charged as being in an intimate relationship regardless of the actual facts, and a criminal defense attorney can help avoid the seriousness of a domestic violence charge.
What Can Be Considered Acts Of Domestic Violence
Most Colorado crimes can be categorized within the broad term of domestic violence. As the definition indicates, domestic violence includes any crime for the purpose of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge.
These terms are broad and can apply to various crimes, and prosecutors and courts will generally seek to apply that classification regardless of facts or circumstances. It is also important to remember that municipal ordinance violations can also be considered crimes of domestic violence.
A theft charge in Aurora Municipal Court can and has been prosecuted as an act of domestic violence.
How Are Crimes of Domestic Violence Handled Differently
There are several major differences from regular crimes and crimes of domestic violence. For example, criminal charges require a court to issue a mandatory protection orders. These orders typically require the defendant to not speak to the victim and vacate their home.
A domestic violence protection order will require a person to leave their home if it is shared, and it will require a gun owner to turn any firearms over to the authorities within three days of being arrested. The court could also require the individual to be monitored by GPS.
A domestic violence will also aggravate the underlying charge, and it could result in additional jail time for a charge. Outside of the criminal justice system, a domestic violence allegation will have collateral consequences on a person’s life:
A conviction will prevent an individual from possessing or owning a firearm.
Charges could prevent you from renting an apartment or working in certain industries.
Crimes also have serious impacts on immigration status.
These additional punishments happen for municipal ordinance violations, misdemeanors, and felonies.