What may start as a lover’s quarrel or marital splat can become much more severe. If a situation results in the police being called, you will likely be charged with a domestic violence offense. In Colorado, domestic violence offenses are grave and can result in catastrophic consequences, including legal and social punishment. Following an arrest for domestic violence can be a terrifying and trying time. Don’t gamble with your freedom and reputation. Hire an experienced criminal defense attorney, such as the attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., to challenge the state’s case and advocate for you every step. Contact us today.
Colorado Domestic Violence Laws
In Colorado, as in many other states, domestic violence is not a stand-alone statutory offense. Instead, it is an enhancement to many other crimes. In other words, domestic violence is usually tacked onto additional charges.
Domestic violence is defined as an act or threat of violence upon a person with whom the actor has been involved in an intimate relationship. An intimate relationship is between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of marital or residential status.
In Colorado, there is a mandatory arrest law in domestic violence cases. If the police get called to a dispute, and there is probable cause, one or both parties will be taken into custody. The arrest will trigger a downward spiral of negative consequences. If you live or reside in Aurora, Colorado, and have been arrested for or charged with a domestic violence offense, you need to seek expert counsel immediately. It is crucial to get the charges dismissed or reduced to avoid the harshest penalties. Our Aurora domestic violence attorneys at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C., are ready to take your call.
Consequences of a Domestic Violence Charge
The consequences of a domestic violence charge are far-reaching. Typically, the most immediate impact of many domestic violence disputes is a protective restraining order that will prevent you from seeing or contacting your spouse or loved one. If you reside with your accuser, this can mean that you can no longer return to your home. Further, what may begin as a temporary restraining order can become permanent.
An accusation of domestic violence coupled with other charges could expose you to significant penalties, including:
- Jail time,
- Loss of gun rights,
- Domestic violence rehabilitation, and
- Loss of parental rights.
You will also have to deal with the stigma of having a domestic violence charge or conviction on your record. A domestic violence smear on your record could ruin your reputation in your community and among family and friends. It may also make it impossible to obtain specific jobs. A domestic violence conviction may also prevent you from enlisting in the military or applying to college or other educational programs.
A minor domestic incident can quickly escalate to something much more severe. A skilled lawyer can challenge the prosecutor’s evidence and witnesses to achieve the best possible outcome.
Challenging Domestic Violence Charges
Domestic violence charges are strictly prosecuted. A common misconception is that if the accuser drops the charges or no longer wishes to pursue the allegation, the prosecutor will automatically dismiss the charges. However, this is not the case. Once the accuser makes the allegation, the state (i.e., prosecutor) assumes the case and pursues it on behalf of the alleged victim. In other words, even if your spouse or partner wants to dismiss the charges, it is not up to them, and the prosecutor can proceed with the case anyway.
However, there are ways to challenge domestic violence charges, and a knowledgeable defense attorney can identify potential defenses in your case.
Two of the best ways to defeat a domestic violence charge are to show the defendant and accuser are not intimate partners as defined by the law and to challenge the underlying crime.
Defenses to the underlying crime may include self-defense or proving a false accusation.
A domestic violence defense attorney will rely on evidence such as:
- Expert testimony,
- Eyewitness testimony,
- Medical records,
- Police reports, and
- Video surveillance.
Don’t worry if you have only one of these evidence forms available. The quantity of evidence is less important than the quality of evidence. Remember, each case is unique. It is crucial to be honest with your attorney and provide a complete account of what transpired. A skilled defense lawyer can listen to your version of events and spot weaknesses in the prosecutor’s case and possible defenses available to you. Schedule a meeting with our Aurora domestic violence attorneys immediately to discuss your options.
Is Domestic Violence a Felony in Colorado?
Since domestic violence is not itself a criminal offense, whether a domestic violence-related crime is a felony depends on the underlying crime charged. In other words, if you are charged with a misdemeanor offense such as harassment, you are facing a misdemeanor. However, if the underlying crime is a felony, you face a felony.
Five commonly charged felony crimes with domestic violence are:
- First or second-degree assault,
- Child abuse,
- Unlawful sexual contact (if force or threat of force is used), and
- Menacing (if a weapon or threat of a weapon is used).
Both felony and misdemeanor offenses carry stiff consequences. Challenging these charges is not something you should attempt alone. It would be best if you had an adept advocate on your side. At Gerash Steiner Blanton, our attorneys are litigators ready to challenge any evidence thrown our way. Send us a message on our website or call us to schedule your first meeting today.
Aurora Domestic Violence Lawyers
At Gerash Steiner Blanton, we have three decades of knowledge, practical experience, and reputation needed to defeat a domestic violence charge. Don’t let a heat-of-the-moment disagreement destroy your future. Getting sharp counsel on your side could mean the difference in your freedom. Let us be your advocate and your voice. Contact us today for a confidential consultation.