Domestic Violence Mandatory Arrest Colorado

Domestic violence laws in the state of Colorado are very strict. Did you know that Colorado is a mandatory arrest state? This means that if the police are called as a response to an altercation between intimate or domestic partners, somebody will be arrested whether or not anyone wants to press charges.


Critics of mandatory arrest laws claim victims may be deterred from reporting abuse to protect an abuser from mandatory arrest. The ambiguity of determining probable cause may also force police officers to make an arrest even if no crime occurred—this differs from simple assault cases in which officers are trained to evaluate the context and circumstances of an incident. If police officers aren’t given discretion to investigate, they’re left with no choice but to make an arrest in nearly all instances of potential domestic violence.

After an Arrest

After an arrest, if the partners were living in the same residence, then the accused partner cannot go home. It doesn’t even matter if the alleged victim wants to forgive and forget. This type of charge cannot be dropped once it is in motion. If a court reviews the pertinent facts of the case and decides there is truly evidence of domestic violence or abuse, the court can prohibit you from owning a firearm and order you to enter a domestic violence treatment program. And, again, with the arrest comes an automatic restraining order, which, if made permanent, gets your name in the electronic registry of domestic violence offenders. If you’ve been previously convicted of domestic violence three or more times, you can be charged as a “habitual offender” and your charge will also be elevated from a misdemeanor to a felony, resulting in prison time and fines of up to $100,000.

Bradley A Stephenson, P.C. can help you navigate the muddy legal waters of domestic violence in all areas of Colorado.

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