Every day, as experienced Denver criminal defense attorneys, we see the results of Colorado’s incredibly stringent domestic violence policies. Reputations are destroyed based on accusations and circumstantial evidence rather than proof. Careers are cut short. Families are torn apart.
At WeedenLaw, we are also well aware of the fact that domestic violence is an incredibly serious issue that needs to be stamped out. We do not believe that domestic abuse should ever be accepted, and fully support victims freeing themselves and their families from dangerous situations. However, we also understand that there are always two sides to every story, and with each domestic violence case we take on, we aim to make sure both sides are heard.
Denver domestic violence attorney Jeff Weeden has a great deal of experience helping couples and families navigate these challenging waters. If you have been accused or charged with domestic violence in the Denver metro area, call WeedenLaw at (720) 307-4330 to set up a free consultation today.
What is Considered Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence, also referred to as domestic abuse or domestic assault, is defined as a “pattern of behavior in any relationship that is used to gain or maintain power and control over an intimate partner.”
There are a number of ways this might present itself, from a threatened act to an actual infliction of injuries upon a partner. In addition to physical violence, domestic abuse also encompasses emotional, sexual, psychological, and economic actions or influence over another person.
Though the target of domestic violence is often a romantic partner (former or current), victims can also include family members (such as children, siblings, parents, and other relatives) as well as any other household member, such as a roommate.
Examples of Domestic Violence
Just as there are a number of potential victims, there are also a number of offenses that can entail a domestic violence charge. For example, in Colorado, domestic violence can include child abuse as well as crimes against property and animals, as long as the offenses were intended to inflict harm (physical, emotional, psychological, etc.) upon the intended victim.
Other examples of domestic violence crimes include:
- Assault and Battery
- Child Abuse
- Family Violence
- Criminal Mischief
- False Imprisonment
- Elder Abuse
- Protective Order Violation
- Stalking and Harassment
- Sex Crimes
Again, these are just a few examples. As Denver domestic violence lawyers, we know firsthand that there are many other actions and behaviors that can fall under the umbrella of domestic violence.
Does Someone Have to Get Arrested for Domestic Violence When Police Are Called?
Many domestic violence cases occur in the home. Picture this: you and your spouse are arguing, loudly and intensely. The way two close people argue when something really matters to them and they are struggling to keep their emotions in check. It is one of those arguments that will necessitate both of you going to your kids afterward to assure them that mommy and daddy still love each other – they were both just really upset and did not know how to communicate it better.
Not one of your proudest moments, no doubt, but it pales in comparison to what comes next:
There is a knock at your door. The police say they are investigating a report of a disturbance. Your spouse breaks down and cries from the stress of it all. The officers ask about the shattered plates and cups on the floor. Then you are handcuffed and taken away, still unsure what is happening.
As a seasoned Denver domestic violence lawyer, Jeff Weeden knows that there are two sides to every domestic violence charge and that, quite often, police officers are not able to or simply don’t care to get the full story. They can only report on what they see and how the situation seems to them when they arrive.
Worse, the laws of our state do not give police officers discretion where domestic violence is concerned. In an effort to protect victims, the statutes say that if the police arrive and have probable cause to believe domestic violence occurred, they have to arrest someone. So, if there is evidence of a fight, they will pick the person who seems more likely to be responsible and take them in.
If you find yourself in a situation like this, you need to fight back quickly and aggressively with the strongest possible legal defense. As a renowned criminal defense lawyer, Jeff Weeden has been successfully battling to protect the rights of the accused for years. He can help you, too. If you’re facing criminal charges for an alleged domestic violence incident, call our Denver, CO law office today to ensure your rights remain protected while we establish an aggressive defense on your behalf.
Domestic Violence Laws Colorado
Some states have specifically outlined domestic violence charges, but not Colorado. However, that certainly does not mean a criminal case cannot be brought against someone for committing acts of violence toward domestic partners. If you are charged with domestic violence in Colorado, what this really means is that you have been accused of a crime of violence against someone with whom you are or have been involved in a relationship.
More specifically, Colorado courts define domestic violence as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship” (C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3). This includes actions and threats intended to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or enact revenge upon an intimate partner.
What is an “Intimate Relationship” in Colorado?
In regards to domestic violence cases, Colorado defines an “intimate relationship” as two people who are:
- Parents of the same child (regardless of whether you have ever been married to each other or lived together)
- Spouses (current or former)
- Unmarried couples (current or former)
If someone acts violently against one of these individuals, the state will tack on what is called a “domestic violence enhancement” to the initial charges.
What is Domestic Violence Enhancement?
In Colorado, domestic violence is an enhancement added to other criminal charges and increases the penalties you face.
So, what kinds of criminal charges qualify? It is a large umbrella, because the law covers not only violent acts but also threats of violence, as well as those meant to coerce, control, intimidate, punish, or get revenge on intimate partners.
Penalties for Domestic Violence Offenses in Colorado
The penalties for a domestic violence conviction depend on the penalties associated with the original crime in question. For the sake of the argument, let’s say criminal mischief, which in this case would involve destroying the property of someone with whom you are in a domestic relationship in an attempt to threaten, coerce, control, intimidate, punish, or get revenge on them.
So, you would face a charge of criminal mischief. In Colorado, this can range from a Class 3 misdemeanor to Class 2 felony charges, depending on the value of the property in question. In terms of penalties, this means anywhere from the possibility of six months in jail and a fine of $750 to the possibility of 24 years in prison and up to $1 million in fines.
On top of these already serious consequences, a domestic violence enhancement in Colorado could add even more. Depending on each person’s individual circumstances, these enhancements may include:
- Completion of a domestic violence treatment program or evaluation – This only applies if the sentence does not include jail time.
- Enhancement related to being labeled a Habitual Domestic Violence Offender – Anyone who has received a domestic violence conviction three or more times in the past can be charged as a habitual offender, which will bump up even misdemeanor offenses to Class 5 felonies.
- Loss of gun rights – There are both federal and state laws in place that prevent those convicted of or charged with domestic violence, or under a protective order (even a temporary protective order), from purchasing or possessing firearms or ammunition
- No possibility of house arrest – House arrest will not be an option if you live in the same home as the alleged victim
- Probation less likely – The court must take in to account the safety of the alleged victim before granting probation.
In addition to this, your criminal record would reflect the fact that you were convicted of an act of domestic violence – something that will stick with you long after the court case itself is over and you attempt to return to your normal life. As you might imagine, there are a lot of people who will treat you differently once they learn about this type of crime. It can make it decidedly more difficult to find housing, get a good job, secure a loan, secure or maintain professional licenses, and more. That is where a Denver criminal defense attorney like Jeff Weeden comes in.
Do I Need a Lawyer for Domestic Violence Charges in Denver?
Obtaining a good criminal lawyer can have a significant impact on the outcome of your case. Special skills and sensitivity are critical in a domestic violence case, and its important that your attorney understands this and has a thorough understanding of the Colorado court system and the judicial process.
In every case he takes on, Colorado criminal defense attorney Jeff Weeden carefully analyzes every piece of evidence that plans to be used against his clients. He will use his legal resources and knowledge to ensure you have the strongest defense strategy possible and are met with a fair trial. He knows how quickly everyone can turn against those who have been accused of a criminal offense, and he aims to give them a chance to tell their side of things. Just take it from his previous clients.
Free Initial Consultation With a Colorado Defense Attorney for Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence charges in Colorado can derail your life – but they don’t have to. With aggressive representation from an experienced Denver criminal defense lawyer, it is possible not only to minimize the damage you face, but even get your charges dismissed or dropped. Working with a law office with years of experience handling domestic violence cases in the Denver area offers you your best chance at obtaining a favorable outcome.
As a top Denver criminal defense attorney, Jeff Weeden and his team have helped countless people do just that. They will use every legal technique in the books to make sure that your rights are protected and that you receive fair treatment throughout the case. With our lawyers on your side, you can be sure that your side of the story will be heard and that doubts will be raised about the prosecution’s arguments.
Ready to start fighting for your future and your family? Get in touch with a domestic violence attorney from our law office as soon as possible. We offer free initial consultations to discuss your legal issue and to see if an attorney-client relationship will prove beneficial to your case. For your free consultation and to start forming your domestic violence defense strategy today, complete our easy online case review form, give us a call at 720-307-4330, or email email@example.com.
In addition to Denver, CO, our law firm serves clients in Douglas County, Broomfield County, Jefferson County, Adams County, Arapahoe County, and more.