In the state of Colorado, domestic violence itself is not technically a crime. It does, however, come with serious penalties and consequences. It can also come with additional criminal charges. According to the law, domestic violence is any violent act or threat of a violent act against someone with whom the offender has an intimate relationship. This can be an ex-lover, a current partner, a spouse, or someone you share a child with.
When you are accused of domestic violence, it is important to understand that Colorado is a mandatory arrest state. This means that if an officer believes that domestic violence has occurred, they are required by law to arrest you. Following your arrest, a mandatory restraining order will be issued to prevent you from contacting the alleged victim. Even if the victim declines to press charges or tells the officer that they’re not hurt, the arresting officer will still arrest you.
Since domestic violence is not a crime, prosecutors will need to determine what charges will be brought against you. In many cases, the charges would be physical assault or battery. The criminal act itself will determine the level of charges against you and the penalties you will face if convicted. Being charged with a crime that involved domestic violence may result in significant time behind bars, probation, and hefty fines. In many cases, it will also result in having a protective order against you. This means that you may be unable to return home, hang out with friends, and even maintain current employment (if the accuser is a coworker). It could adversely affect custody decisions, parenting time, and even your ability to possess or own a firearm.
If you have three prior domestic violence convictions, you will be considered a habitual offender. This means that you will not just face misdemeanor charges, you will face felony charges for your crimes. This could result in years behind bars, fines up to $100,000, and being unable to possess or own a firearm.
Contact Our Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
If you’ve been arrested and charged with domestic violence, it is important to understand the severity of these accusations and how it can affect your entire life. Without an attorney on your side, you may be unable to spend time with your children, return to your home, or maintain your relationships. Don’t delay in calling a knowledgeable Boulder criminal defense attorney from Mertes Law who can guide you through the process, looking out for your rights and your future. Call us today at 303-440-0123.