Domestic Violence Consequences
Colorado has a unique way of handling domestic violence cases. In Colorado, you can’t be charged with a domestic violence crime but there is a domestic violence enhancement. The penalties of your crime may be elevated if the court finds the crime stemmed from domestic violence.
If the court determines the crime to be an act of domestic violence, then you could face a multitude of consequences. Your prison or probation sentence may be lengthened, and you may be ordered to counseling, anger management or a substance abuse program. In addition, employers and licensing agencies may not hire you if they discover a domestic violence conviction on your record.
If you or someone you know has been charged with a domestic violence crime, it’s imperative you have sturdy legal representation.
Domestic Violence Attorneys in Colorado Springs, CO
A domestic violence conviction could uproot all your personal and professional goals. You might be court ordered to complete multiple programs or even be sent to prison. Not only this, but you could have issues gaining employment with a domestic violence conviction on your record.
If you or someone you know has been arrested for a domestic violence dispute, it’s important you call the experienced attorneys at Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our legal team has years of knowledge handling domestic violence cases including assault, stalking, and criminal mischief. Call us now at (719) 328-1616 to schedule a free consultation today.
Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC defends people throughout the greater Colorado Springs area including Calhan, Fountain and Manitou Springs.
Overview of Domestic Violence in Colorado
- How Does Colorado Define Domestic Violence?
- Consequences of Domestic Violence
- Additional Resources
How Does Colorado Define Domestic Violence?
Colorado law defines domestic violence as any act or threat of violence on someone you have an intimate relationship with. The term “intimate relationship” refers to a person you have a romantic or familial attachment to. It can include, but isn’t limited to:
- Girlfriends or boyfriends;
- Couples who aren’t together but have shared children;
- Grandparents; or
- Aunts or uncles
There must be a family or romantic undertone for a relationship to be intimate. Roommates, co-workers, friends or acquaintances would not fit under the criteria for domestic violence.
Domestic violence laws are unique in Colorado because it’s technically a sentencing enhancement. Any crime could be considered “domestic violence,” even those committed against property or animals. The prosecution can turn any offense into a domestic violence crime if they can prove that a method of coercion, control, punishment, revenge or intimidation was used against the victim and you had an intimate relationship with them. The court will then enhance the statutory penalties if they determine it to be domestic violence.
Consequences of Domestic Violence in Colorado
Colorado law makers have determined that domestic violence is a very serious threat to society. Because of this, Colorado has implemented harsh domestic violence laws. In addition, law enforcement is trained to take every domestic violence case seriously and any claim of domestic violence will likely end in an arrest.
Listed below are the consequences if you’re convicted or accused of domestic violence.
Held Without Bond
Colorado is a mandatory arrest state when it comes to domestic violence. If the police suspect you of domestic violence, then they’re legally obligated to arrest you. Even if the alleged victim takes back what they said or decides to not press charges. You will also not be allowed to post bond until you’ve appeared in front of a judge.
This means you could be in jail for an extended period. The prosecution may also try to pressure you into a plea agreement at your first appearance. They may add more charges or threaten to enhance the penalties to coerce you into pleading guilty or no contest.
Enhanced Prison or Probation Sentence
Many crimes have jail or prison time listed in their statutory penalties. However, if the court determines it to be a domestic violence crime your jail or prison sentence could be lengthened. Your crimes could even be enhanced to a class 5 felony if you have three prior domestic violence misdemeanors on your record.
If you’re not sent to jail or prison, then the court will court order you to community supervision. Community supervision is also known as probation and will require you to follow strict conditions. Some of these include visits to your probation officer or submitting to random drug screenings. If the court determines the crime to be domestic violence, then the judge can extend your probation period.
Domestic Violence Treatment Program
Under Colorado law, any domestic violence sentence must include participation in a domestic violence treatment program. Prior to sentencing, you will be asked to attend a domestic violence evaluation and follow their recommendations. The evaluation will decide on how much treatment is required if you’re convicted of the crime.
You will be required to complete a minimum of 36 hours of domestic violence treatment and you must pay the full cost of it yourself. The program is usually completed at a rate of 2 hours per week, meaning it could take some time. The treatment may be composed of counseling, group therapy and other forms of treatment.
Anger Management or Substance Abuse Treatment
Depending on the circumstances of the case, you may be asked to complete additional programs alongside domestic violence treatment. You could be asked to successfully finish anger management classes to address any rage issues. This, however, is rare if you’ve already been sentenced to a domestic violence treatment program.
The judge may also require you to complete a substance abuse evaluation. If the evaluation reveals you have substance issues, then you could be sentenced to a substance abuse treatment program. You may be court ordered to participate in withdrawal therapy and undergo random testing.
Prohibited from Owning a Firearm
To protect the victim and their family, the court might ask you to relinquish your firearms. Colorado Revised Statutes Title 18 Article 6 Part 8 states you’re prohibited from owning a firearm if you were convicted of a domestic violence crime. You will be required to get rid of or store all your firearms within 24 hours of your release from bond or incarceration.
The court will only give you three days to notify them that you’ve relinquished your weapons. If you don’t complete the task within the time limit, you’ll be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor, which is punishable by up to 6 months in jail and fine of up to $1,000.
Mandatory Protective Order
Colorado law states a mandatory protective order must be issued if you’re arrested for domestic violence. A protective order is also known as a restraining order. It prohibits you from being near the victim, their residence and places they visit or people they associate with.
You must follow the protective order even if the alleged victim didn’t wish to issue it in the first place. It can be even more complicated when you live with the victim. Many offenders are forced to move out because they’re subject to a restraining order filed under a false claim.
Once the protective order is issued, you name will be entered Colorado’s online protective order registry. There law enforcement agencies will be able to pull up your information so they can protect the alleged victim. Violating a protective order will also result in criminal charges. You will be charged with a class 2 misdemeanor which can result in:
- Up to 12 months in jail; and
- A fine of up to $1,000
National Domestic Violence Hotline – Visit the official website of the National Domestic Violence Hotline to learn more about their mission to help victims of domestic violence. Access the site to find the number of the hotline, where you can get help and how to get involved.
Domestic Violence Laws in Colorado – Visit the official website of the Colorado Revised Statutes to learn more about their domestic violence sentencing. Access the site to learn more about the consequences associated with domestic violence including probation and protective orders.
Lawyer Explains Consequences of Domestic Violence in El Paso County
Have you been accused of domestic violence? The consequences for even a simple allegation could create a significant impact on your life. Start building a strong defense against these charges today by calling Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC. Our attorneys have spent years representing people accused of crimes including domestic violence offenses.
Call us now at (719) 328-1616 to set up a free consultation. We will analyze your charges and create a defense plan to attack your charges. Law Offices of Clifton Black, PC accepts clients throughout El Paso County and adjacent counties including Denver County and Arapahoe County.