In the heat of the moment, a simple argument can escalate quickly. Words may be said that can’t be unsaid and actions may be taken that can’t be undone. An accuser may call the police and claim that domestic violence or assault has occurred. Sometimes these accusations are completely true and all care should be taken to protect the victim. But sometimes, these accusations are false. However, once they’re made, an accuser can’t simply take them back. Colorado law is very specific and strict about what happens after an accusation of domestic violence is made.
- The Police Arrive – When someone is accused of domestic violence, the police will show up at the home. Perhaps the neighbor reported a loud argument or your partner called the police in the heat of the moment.
- The Police Assess the Scene – When the police arrive, they will assess the scene. If they believe that there is probable cause, you will be arrested. In fact, law enforcement officers are required by law to arrest you if they believe that domestic violence occurred, even if the accuser decides not to press charges or states that nothing happened.
- Arrested & Restraining Order – Once you have been arrested, a mandatory restraining order will be placed against you. Even if you are completely innocent, you will be unable to return home or see your family until your case is heard in court.
- Jail Time – Once you are arrested, you will likely spend a few hours or a few nights in jail. You will remain in jail until the judge sets your bond.
- Hearing – The District Attorney will decide whether or not to prosecute your case or whether there is insufficient evidence to bring your case to trial. The restraining order will remain in effect until the judge decides to remove it.
By itself, domestic violence is not a stand alone charge. It is a sentence enhancer that can have a significant impact on the penalties and consequences you face. This means it must accompany another charge, such as assault or harassment.
If you are convicted of a domestic violence related crime, you could face serious penalties and consequences, including jail time, excessive fines, and the loss of your rights to own a gun. In addition, all sentences imposed by the court for domestic violence crimes must also require the defendant to attend a treatment program. It is important to know that a mere accusation of domestic violence is often enough to ruin careers, relationships, and your reputation in the community as well.
Contact Our Domestic Violence Criminal Defense Lawyers Today
If you’ve been arrested and charged with a domestic violence crime, it is important to know how these charges could affect your entire life. Don’t delay in calling a knowledgeable Boulder criminal defense attorney from Mertes Law who can guide you through the process, all while looking out for your rights and your future. Call us today at 303-440-0123.