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Coronavirus and Domestic Violence

Due to the Coronavirus, unprecedented Stay at Home Orders issued by Governor Polis, and the closure of all “Non-Essential” Businesses the Colorado Courts are anticipating an increase in Domestic Violence related cases in the coming months. Tension builds when the uncertainty of health and finances weigh on individuals who are under order to stay at home and unable to go out to blow off steam. The intense stress of this time may find some people in situations where tensions begin to boil over and tempers flare oftentimes causing the police to be called.

The police were called, now what? Procedurally, once law enforcement arrives on the scene the parties will be separated to allow law enforcement to gather information and make an assessment of the situation. Because Colorado law mandates an arrest be executed if the police have determined that a crime has been committed, an increase of Domestic Violence calls will undoubtedly increase the overpopulation of county jails. Even if the alleged victim requests that charges not be held against the other party, or that they not be taken into custody rather be required to leave for the evening, once the police have determined that an arrest will be made charges will be placed against the Defendant that can be life-altering and full of frustration.

What happens after being arrested for Domestic Violence? Once arrested, the Defendant will be taken to the county jail where he’ll be held until a bond hearing is held. Usually, a bond hearing is held the next business day, so a Friday or weekend arrest will mean an automatic jail holding period for up to three days! At the Bond Hearing, a Judge will review the facts of the given charges and decide whether to release the Defendant on a cash bond, a personal recognizance bond or deny release. Additionally, a Temporary Restraining Order is issued against the Defendant prohibiting the Defendant access to the home where the alleged victim resides and stops all communication between the parties. Although the Temporary Restraining Order can be modified at the request of the Alleged Victim, ultimately the Judge determines if a modification is appropriate and may take several months to modify after the incident. Sometimes the District Attorney and the Court will overrule the alleged victim’s wishes, deciding for them that they are not going to be safe if the restraining order is lifted and keeping contact between them restricted, even if both the Defendant and the alleged victim want to be able to see and communicate with one another.

How much will Domestic Violence charges cost? Collateral consequences of being charged with Domestic Violence can range from the right to own a gun, obtain employment, credibility, and often custody disputes. The Court may order court costs and restitution depending on the charges or damages. Evaluations, expert testimony, and investigators can vary from $100’s to $1,000’s of dollars. You need an experienced Criminal Defense Attorney advocating for you and protecting your reputation, but can you afford an attorney? The real question should be, can you afford to not hire an attorney? The attorneys at the Law Offices of Clifton Black know how to win in either negotiation or trial. While the stress of uncertainty caused by COVID-19 may have an unanticipated impact on relationships, don’t wait to call a Colorado Criminal Defense Attorney if you have been charged with Domestic Violence in Colorado. Call the Law Offices of Clifton Black today for a free ½ hour consultation for an honest evaluation of your case and straight forward legal advice.

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