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Colorado Criminal Defense and Personal Injury Attorneys

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

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DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Boulder Domestic Violence Attorney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHAT IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE? 

Imagine any of these scenarios:

  • During a noisy argument with your spouse or partner, your neighbor calls the police.
  • You get pushed and you push back. Your spouse or partner grabs the phone and calls 911.
  • Your spouse or partner is angry.  They threaten to call the police. You grab the phone and hang up on the call.

In these examples, and a thousand others, you are likely to face a visit from law enforcement and a probable arrest for a domestic violence crime. If you’ve been arrested for domestic violence, it’s important to contact a Boulder domestic violence attorney as soon as possible. An experienced attorney will be able to inform you of your rights and help you 

IS DOMESTIC VIOLENCE A CRIME IN COLORADO?

Under Colorado law, domestic violence is a “status crime.” This means that domestic violence is not actually a crime itself but a designation that attaches to any crime you are charged with where an act or threatened act of violence is alleged to have been directed towards a person with whom you are – or have been – involved in an intimate relationship. In our examples above:

  • Yelling at your spouse or partner can be charged as verbal harassment/domestic violence.
  • Touching your partner or spouse in a knowing or reckless manner which causes simple pain can be charged as third-degree assault and domestic violence.
  • Disrupting your partner or spouse from making a phone call can be charged as “obstruction of telephone” and domestic violence.

BROAD INTERPRETATION OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Domestic violence also includes any other crime against a person, property, or animals, or violations of a municipal ordinance when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom you are – or have been – involved in an intimate relationship.

In a Colorado domestic violence case, the term “intimate relationship” includes a relationship between spouses, former spouses, unmarried couples (past or present), or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether they have lived together at any time.

Domestic violence charges are not limited to heterosexual couples.  Gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals also deal with domestic violence allegations. 

The attorneys at Mertes Law are skilled in providing an aggressive defense to all individuals.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I AM CHARGED WITH A DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CRIME?

If you are charged with a crime carrying a domestic violence enhancement in Colorado, you will be arrested.  And while police officers have some leeway to evaluate situations where two participants are alleged to have committed domestic violence acts you will be arrested and taken to jail if an officer believes that he or she has probable cause.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES COMPLICATE BEING RELEASED ON BOND

Whether and when you can be released from jail after a domestic violence arrest is determined by the bonding policies and schedules in each of Colorado’s counties. In the Denver metro area, including Boulder County, you will be required to appear before a judge on a domestic violence arrest before you can be bonded out of jail. The delay in being released from jail is primarily tied to a mandatory protection order and policies that require a Judge to “explain the order” to you in court.  The delay in being released from jail also allows time to obtain the alleged victim’s input. It is important for you, and for those who are supporting you after an arrest, to call a domestic violence lawyer immediately to help you navigate the court system.

Because an alleged violation of a Court’s domestic violence protective order can result in both a new arrest and new criminal charge, it is important that you tell your domestic violence attorney about any special needs that you and your partner have (such as child care) so that appropriate opportunity for contact can be presented to the Court for consideration in the conditions of your bond.

In cases where you are convicted of domestic violence for felony stalking or habitual domestic violence as a result of a guilty plea or jury verdict, you will be denied bail from the time of plea or verdict until your sentencing.  

WHAT HAPPENS IF MY PARTNER OR SPOUSE ASKS FOR THE CHARGES TO BE DROPPED?

After years of watching police dramas on television and movies, it is a common misconception that an alleged victim chooses whether or not to “press charges.”  Under Colorado’s Constitution, crimes are deemed to have been committed against the peace and dignity of the People of the State of Colorado and not a named victim. And while it is true that under Colorado’s Constitution an alleged victim of domestic violence is legally entitled to provide input to prosecutors and the Court, your partner or spouse cannot stop a prosecution simply by asking for the charges to be “dropped.”

HOW DO YOU DEFEND AGAINST DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES?

Defending domestic violence cases presents many challenges. Oftentimes partners or spouses request that the mandatory protective order be lifted so that a partner can return home in order to parent or simply to begin healing the relationship through counseling and time together.  Lifting the protective order can become extremely difficult if prosecutors use the law to keep couples apart for leverage in plea bargaining, or when domestic violence treatment rules prohibit couples from counseling until an approved domestic violence program is completed (which could be nine months to a year later).

Your Mertes Law domestic violence attorneys will start with a strong initial push to thoroughly investigate all aspects of your case.  You will be directed to early therapeutic evaluations to establish a lack of dangerousness, which is often key evidence to present a judge to establish that a protective order is unnecessary.

Colorado law rigidly controls the type of plea bargains that domestic violence lawyers can negotiate to resolve a domestic violence case. In-home detention (a jail-sentence alternative) is not permitted in a domestic violence case if the victim lives in the same home. Any consideration of a probationary sentence for a person marked as a domestic violence offender requires the Court to consider the victim’s safety. Under Colorado law, prosecutors are only permitted to plea bargain away a domestic violence designation upon establishing that he or she could not prove a domestic violence case existed if the case were to go to trial.

Any person with three or more domestic violence-enhanced convictions can be charged with a Class 5 felony carrying a presumptive prison term of one to three years in the State penitentiary and a possible fine of $1,000 to $100,000.  

In Colorado if your domestic violence lawyer resolves your case by plea bargain or if you are convicted at trial, the Court is required to sentence you to a State-approved domestic violence treatment program. The Colorado Standards for domestic violence treatment feature three possible treatment tracks based on risk (designated tracks A,B, and C) and no longer identifies how long a course of treatment should last. Instead treatment completion is determined by risk and progress in treatment. 

State-approved providers for domestic violence counseling are few in number and are closely monitored by the Colorado Domestic Violence Offender Management Board: http://dcj.dvomb.state.co.us/

If you are convicted of a domestic violence act involving strangulation via use of hands, use of ligatures or constricting bands such as a phone cord, or of using a choke or sleep hold, domestic violence treatment providers are required to automatically place you in a higher category of treatment requirements: http://cdpsdocs.state.co.us/dvomb/WhatsNew/Strangulation.pdf

DO DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CHARGES IMPACT MY SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHTS?

Colorado law requires that anyone who is convicted of a domestic violence-related crime surrender any firearms or ammunition that they own. This is true even if the conviction is a deferred sentence (a contractual plea agreement that allows convictions to be withdrawn later if certain requirements are met).  Gun ownership rights are also now restricted by mandatory provisions if the Court issues a civil permanent protection order (PPO) and when a mandatory protection order is issued as a condition of bond in a domestic violence case. 

This means that you (or your domestic violence attorney) must provide the Court with proof – within 24 hours of a domestic violence bond release or domestic violence conviction – showing that you have transferred your firearms and ammunition in compliance with Colorado law governing private firearm transfers.  That is to say, any person that you would like to transfer your firearms to must pass a Colorado InstaCheck background check (although some police agencies have programs for storing firearms surrendered under the law).

Contact Our Boulder Domestic Violence Lawyers Today

Mertes Law | Boulder Domestic Violence AttorneyCall Mertes Law now for a free consultation on your domestic violence case. You owe to it yourself and your family to understand your rights and to be represented by qualified and experienced domestic violence attorneys who will fight for you. Call us today at 303-440-012, fill out the contact form on this page to schedule a free consultation.  

“Larry Mertes is Exceptional”

– Katie S. –

Larry Mertes is exceptional. His legal advice, guidance, and compassion resulted in a positive legal outcome and our family healing. He is much more than a talented and educated attorney, he was a beacon of hope and a friend during our families darkest hour.

“Care, Compassion, and Professionalism”

– M. Rider –

The Mertes Law Firm handled my case with care, compassion, and the high level of professionalism. I would highly recommend Larry Mertes to anyone needing legal assistance.

“Great Representation”

– Sheryle M. –

I have had fair and great representation with this firm.

“Larry and his staff took excellent care of both my husband and I”

– Car Accident Client –

Larry and his staff took excellent care of both my husband and I. My injury was not severe but it changed both of our lives. I am not a fan of litigation so I tried to get better on my own. My treatments were costly and I continued to struggle. I had to give up many of the things that gave me pleasure. Larry made me realize that I still had rights even though I had a previous injury. I was not the same person. It was good to have Larry in my corner.

“Much needed help in my time of need!”

– Christa –

Larry Mertes and staff provided me with exceptional representation in my biggest time of need. After being rear-ended, I attempted to handle everything myself, which ended up feeling like a second job. I was in deep turmoil with paperwork, doctor bills, physical and mental pain, and confusion….and Larry Mertes and his team set up a free consultation immediately. They explained the whole process clearly, and eased my mind by handling the case. I’m extremely satisfied with their professionalism, time, dedication, and care that they showed me and my case. Someone I know recommended Larry to me and now I recommend him to you!

“I love Mertes Law”

– Nyxi –

I love Mertes Law. Not only is Larry Mertes a brilliant, thorough, experienced, knowledgeable, and well networked lawyer, he is a kind, intuitive, caring, trustworthy, and genuine person. What seemed like an unfortunate circumstance actually ended up a blessing in disguise, and meeting and hiring Mertes Law was the catalyst. I now have a greater understanding of the insurance business so I can make sure I’m taken care of. The health care professionals Larry put me in contact with matched my personal needs and I’ve retained lasting, cherished relationships, both professionally and personally. Thank you!

“A great choice in an attorney for us.”

– Anonymous –

We hired Larry to help seal the files of felony charge for my husband that had occurred several years ago. There were a lot of crazy circumstance to the original case/charges that made it seem impossible. It was difficult to do for many reasons but Larry got it done.

“The entire staff was great!”

– John –

They handled a DWI and Criminal Mischief case for us. Very patient and helpful!! The entire staff was GREAT!!!

“Great services, and excellent result, well worth the time and money!”

– Jeremy –

Larry Mertes handled my DUI case in a very professional manner. I got positive feedback from the start, as he had a lot of questions I never would have thought of when we had our initial consultation. I understood that due to the large number of cases the firm handles, I had to be patient to hear a response back. But it was always a very thorough response, and he made good suggestions. TJ Willard also assisted in my case, and helped me to win my administrative hearing by simply stating the facts and explaining that I was only sitting in the vehicle, and not actually driving it. He had helped Larry a great deal with my case and I would also recommend his services. Larry had recommended a good course of action for me to take to help my case to include gathering as much information and evidence as I could and attending alcohol classes ahead of time for my DUI charge. All of this preparation had helped put me in a good situation. He had presented an excellent argument toward the District Attorney stating that I had not intended to drive, and was merely sitting in the car staying warm to try to figure out what to do next. He also mentioned the arresting officer had no reasonable suspicion for approaching my vehicle because I had tinted windows and he could not see inside. I was also parked legally in a parking garage. The DA had later reached a plea bargaining agreement, and I plead guilty to a reckless driving offense with community service, and my DUI charge had been dismissed. Well worth the cost and peace of mind of maintaining a clean criminal record. I would strongly recommend Larry Mertes for his legal services! Thank you!

“Reduced 4 felonies to deferred misdemeanor…”

– Rob –

Larry and TJ were very adept at handling both my son and the DA in dealing with my son’s felony charges. With some sage advice to take an extra two weeks on bond, my son was able to demonstrate he was trying to get back on track, and the bond officer was able to give an excellent report. TJ was right there helping my son see what he needed to do, and encourage him to keep trying to put his best foot forward with the judge, DA, and bond officer.

“Superior…”

– Jack –

Mr. Mertes resolved my case in a expedient and professional manner. I had multiple serious charges and he was able to reduce my felony charges down to a 1st class misdemeanor. He was very compassionate and was always available to discuss my case. From arrest to disposition was only 36 days. He should be appointed to be a judge in my opinion.

“Mertes Law Office did an outstanding job…”

– Max H. –

The Mertes Law Office did an outstanding job in analyzing each piece of my case and strategizing ways to determine whether or not I was charged fairly. Throughout dealing with me their team stayed on top of everything, made sure I was informed and updated in addition they answered all of my questions promptly. In the end I was able to keep a clean record and received the best outcome due to their recommendations. Mertes Law will not disappoint.

“Exceptional law firm and had a great experience with them!”

– Abigail A. –

Exceptional law firm and had a great experience with them! 100% recommend 🙂

“Larry represented me a few times for cases involving auto accidents and he never ceased to impress.”

– Brycen –

Larry represented me a few times for cases involving auto accidents and he never ceased to impress. He understands the system and insurance companies very well and always painted a clear picture of what the plan was. His coaching for times when I had to speak, like depositions, was always on point. He referred me to great doctors who helped me get healthy and whose reports helped aid our case. Whenever Larry was wasn’t immediately available, the staff was always eager and willing to help. Beyond being great at what he does, Larry also took interest in my personal life by getting to know me and ensuring the legal process didn’t derail everything else in my life. He cared from day 1 and it has always been appreciated.

“Mertes Law Firm has helped our family in many ways!”

– Lori –

Mertes Law Firm has helped our family in many ways! They are smart, thorough and willing to step outside the box to find solutions. In times of much stress, they can be counted on to provide information in a format that is easy to understand. I cannot recommend them enough.

“I’m so happy and grateful I chose them to help me.”

– Sara –

I’ve recently used Mertes Law and cannot be happier with their service. Both Larry and Pete made me feel welcome and helped ease my worries about possible outcomes. They always kept me in the loop and made sure I understood all of my options before I made a decision. If it wasn’t for their professional guidance, I wouldn’t have had the outcome I received. I’m so happy and grateful I chose them to help me. I would never use anyone else and highly recommend them both.

“Larry and his staff have been great resources for my family and I.”

– Michael U. –

Larry and his staff have been great resources for my family and I. Providing excellent guidance in a timely and fashionable manner. Highly recommended.

“Larry Mertes is a dedicated and experienced attorney committed to putting the needs of his clients first.”

– Leb B. –

Larry Mertes is a dedicated and experienced attorney committed to putting the needs of his clients first.

“5 stars”

– Travis L. –

5 stars

“Super smart, great to work with, outstanding results!”

– Sara –

Larry and his team were beyond great! It was such a relief to hand my legal issues over to them so that I could focus on healing after my car accident. The folks at Mertes Law worked hard on my behalf and got a great settlement. I’m very grateful for everything they’ve done. Thanks, Larry, Karen, and Mariah!

Settlements and Victories

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Successfully defended a CU student in a Title IX Sexual Misconduct claim alleging non-consensual sexual contact and sexual intercourse on campus at CU Boulder. No criminal charges filed, client found not responsible.

TITLE IX DEFENSE

Client Found Not Responsible

Boulder, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Burn injury case at a nursing home in Boulder, settled for $675,000.

Personal Injury – Elder Abuse

$675,000 Settlement

Boulder, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Slip and fall accident at a fast food restaurant in Longmont, settled for $82,500.

Personal Injury – Slip and Fall

$82,500 Settlement

Longmont, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Personal injury case in Denver tried for a verdict exceeding policy limits ($390,990 with costs and interest).

Personal Injury – Negligence

$390,990 Verdict

Denver, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Negligent snow board accident at a ski resort, settled for $225,000.

Personal Injury – Ski Accident

$225,000 Settlement

Boulder, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Professional malpractice claim in El Paso County, settled for $140,000.

Personal Injury – Professional Malpractice

$140,000 Settlement

El Paso County, Colorado

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Car accident in Longmont resulting in a brain injury. Settled for $350,000.

PERSONAL INJURY – TBI

$350,000 Settlement

Longmont, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Bicycle accident in Boulder County resulting in a damaged shoulder. Settled for $120,000.

PERSONAL INJURY – BICYCLE ACCIDENT

$120,000 Settlement

Boulder, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Rear-end car accident in Boulder, settled for $245,ooo.

PERSONAL INJURY – CAR ACCIDENT

$245,000 Settlement

Boulder, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Sex assault trial involving a religious cult in Boulder. Resulted in a not guilty jury verdict.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE – SEXUAL ASSAULT

Not Guilty Jury Verdict

Boulder, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Second degree assault charge in Boulder reduced to a misdemeanor menacing charge.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE – ASSAULT

Reduced Charge

Boulder, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Sex assault on a cognitively impaired person charge in Boulder that resulted in a not guilty jury verdict.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE – ASSAULT

Not Guilty Jury Verdict

Boulder, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

Domestic Violence and second degree assault charge in Longmont reduced to a misdemeanor with deferred sentence.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE – DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Reduced Charge

Longmont, CO

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

DUI charge in Weld County reduced to Careless Driving.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE – DUI

Reduced Charge

Weld County

LEARN WHAT WE HAVE ACHIEVED
FOR OUR CLIENTS.

DUI charge in Longmont, reduced to Careless Driving. Work up of the client’s medical condition resulted in a plea result, but also saved the client from blindness when an untreated glaucoma was identified as a causal factor.

CRIMINAL DEFENSE – DUI

Reduced Charge

Longmont, CO

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