Colorado Domestic Violence
The Colorado General Assembly has declared that Domestic Violence is not limited to physical threats of harm but includes financial control, document control, property control, and other types of control that could “make a victim more likely to return to an abuser due to fear of retaliation or inability to meet basic needs”.
An experienced Domestic Violence criminal attorney lawyer can be a critical asset in resolving these issues. If you are being charged with domestic violence in Boulder, or anywhere in Colorado, you need an experienced Boulder Domestic Violence Lawyer.
Domestic Violence in its simplest terms, is an altercation between married people, people living together in an intimate relationship (only once is enough to be an intimate relationship), or either of the these two after they have broken up and are no longer living together.
Domestic Violence can be as simple as slapping the person and them saying its hurts to the responding police officer. Depending on how liberal or conservative that police officer is will determine how quickly you are in handcuffs and on the way to jail, court, and numerous headaches and legal expense to resolve the charges.
Domestic Violence can be as subtle regular exhibitions of anger whenever some event in the relationship happens that you do not like. The important fact to remember is that the police officer, or district attorney, or judge, or jury that is asked to look at the facts must look at these facts as if they were in the shoes of the alleged victim. Yup, that’s right, what you the alleged perpetrator thinks doesn’t matter.
When a police officer has probable cause to believe a crime of Domestic Violence has been committed that officer is required by Colorado law to arrest the person or persons involved.
Domestic Violence is a very serious charge that can take many forms: domestic abuse, harassment, stalking, third degree assault, threats of violence, false imprisonment, sexual assault, unlawful contact, and kidnapping, criminal mischief, child abuse, obstructing phone service, to name a few.
Domestic Violence is defined in Colorado Revised Statute 18-6-800.3 as follows:
(1) Domestic violence means 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.
(2) “Intimate relationship” means 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.
A Domestic Violence designation, when attached to any crime, is really used to enhance the sentence of the other crime by requiring the convicted person to participate in 36 weeks of Domestic Violence treatment at their own expense.
A person who has pleaded guilty to a deferred judgment and sentence for a Domestic Violence related crime must still complete the treatment. And there are no deferred prosecutions in Domestic Violence cases. A person who is convicted of a crime of Domestic Violence may not own, possess, or buy a firearm. If you are a hunter, that means no more hunting. If you have a gun for home protection, you must get rid of it. If you are a police officer, you will probably lose your job. You are also prevented from being hired into most public safety positions. And if you are in the military, you could lose your security clearance, or perhaps your entire career.
How a Domestic Violence conviction or a PERMANENT PROTECTIVE ORDER will affect your rights as a citizen cannot be emphasized enough. Firearms violations resulting because you have one or the other of these issues are federal criminal offenses punishable by up to ten years in federal prison. (Title 18 USC subsection 922 and Title 18 USC subsection 924)
If you are being charged with domestic violence in Boulder, or anywhere in Colorado, you need an experienced Boulder Domestic Violence Lawyer.
Some of the crimes that are typically characterized as Domestic Violence:
Harassment: A person commits harassment if with the intent to harass, annoy, or alarm another person, he or she strikes, shoves, kicks, or otherwise touches a person or subjects him to physical contact; or in a public place directs obscene language or makes an obscene gesture to or at another person; follows a person in or about a public place; initiates communication anonymously or otherwise by telephone, computer, computer network or computer system in a manner intended to threaten or harass… or makes a telephone call or causes a telephone to ring continuously regardless of whether there is a conversation, with no purpose of legitimate conversation; or makes repeated communications at inconvenient hours that invade the privacy of another and interfere in the use and enjoyment of another’s home, private residence, or private property; or repeatedly insults, taunts, challenges, or makes communications in offensively coarse language to another in a manner likely to provoke a violent or disorderly response;
Stalking: A person commits stalking if directly or indirectly through another person , such person knowingly:
repeatedly follows, approaches, contacts, or places under surveillance that person,
a member of that person’s immediate family , or someone with whom that person has or has had a continuing relationship; or
makes any form of communication with that person, a member of that person’s immediate family, or someone with whom that person has of has had a continuing relationship, regardless of whether a conversation ensues; or
Third Degree Assault: A person commits assault in the third degree if the person knowingly or recklessly causes bodily injury to another person or with criminal negligence causes bodily injury to another person by means of a deadly weapon.
Second Degree Kidnapping: Any person who knowingly seizes and carries any person from one place to another, without his consent and without lawful justification, commits second degree kidnapping.
False Imprisonment: Any person who knowingly confines or detains another commits false imprisonment.
Criminal Mischief: Any person who knowingly damages the real or personal property of one or more other persons, including property owned by the person jointly with another person or property owned by the person in which another person has a possessory or propriety interest, in the course of a single criminal episode commits criminal mischief. And if this involves defacing property or damage to a motor vehicle your driver’s license will be revoked.
Obstructing Telephone Service: A person commits obstruction of telephone or telegraph service if the person knowingly prevents, obstructs, or delays, by any means whatsoever, the sending, transmission, conveyance or delivery in this state of any message, communication, or report by or through any telegraph or telephone line, wire, cable, or other facility or any cordless, wireless, electric, mechanical, or other device.
In addition to the above listed crimes as possible charges that can have a Domestic Violence designation, others include:
Felony Menacing: Burglary, or most any other crime the DA believes can be construed to be Domestic Violence related.
If a child witnesses the act of alleged abuse, you can be also be charged with child abuse. Domestic Violence related child abuse charges can result in the Department of Human Services (DHS, Social Services) being involved in the criminal case against you.
TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDERS/RESTRAINING ORDERS
A victim of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE/ABUSE typically begins by getting a TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER against the abuser. In this circumstance “Domestic Violence” is not limited to acts of violence but often includes financial control, property control or other types of control that make a victim more likely to return to the abuser.
TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDERS are granted by the court to:
prevent domestic abuse;
prevent emotional abuse of the elderly or at-risk adults;
A TEMPORARY PROTECTIVE ORDER that, after a hearing, becomes a PERMANENT PROTECTIVE ORDER has the same serious consequences as the ones for a person convicted of DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AND THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY
District Attorneys assigned to prosecute Domestic Violence cases are zealous in their pursuit of a conviction. If you have been charged with a crime that includes Domestic Violence you need an experienced criminal attorney that is equally zealous to represent you, otherwise you may suffer the consequences needlessly.
A Domestic Violence charge can be dismissed for lack of evidence, however; you are only asking for trouble if you try to pursue this, or any other avenue of resolution of your case, without the assistance of experienced counsel. This is so important to prevent a person from pleading guilty to some form of Domestic Violence even when there is no evidence to support the charges. A DA does not always dismiss charges of Domestic Violence just because the alleged victim does not wish to prosecute. Quite often you see Domestic Violence charges in a divorce or child custody/visitation case. Often times the alleged victims of Domestic Violence file these charges because they believe that it will give them a stronger position in that case. It sometimes results in the filing of a false police report.
An experienced criminal attorney lawyer can be a critical asset in resolving these issues.