A domestic violence conviction can turn your life upside down. You could face difficulty finding employment, qualifying for certain apartments, or obtaining a professional license due to your conviction. A domestic violence conviction can also affect your child visitation or custody arrangements. In addition to these ramifications, you will likely suffer harm to your reputation that is very difficult to recover from.
The extensive consequences associated with domestic violence charges show how important it is to fight against your charges. Our Colorado Springs domestic violence lawyers at Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. work with our own investigators, psychologists, and forensic experts when representing individuals charged with domestic violence. We understand that people find themselves arrested for domestic violence accusations even though they are not guilty. That is why we gather eyewitness testimony, request medical reports, and review all relevant police reports. We will tell your side of the story to ensure the court hears the whole truth. That way, the judge can determine if a restraining order should be rescinded and the charges against you dismissed. Contact us today.
What Is the Definition of Domestic Violence?
Colorado defines 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.” Domestic violence also includes any other criminal acts used to control or hurt someonewith whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. For example, someone could receive a domestic violence enhancement for taking a baseball bat to their ex’s car or hurting their dog.
How Does Colorado Define Intimate Relationships?
Intimate relationships include relationships between:
- Current or former spouses;
- Past or present unmarried couples; and
- Parents who share a child.
It does not matter if the parties have lived together or been married at any time.
Crimes Associated with Domestic Violence
The crimes that often result in domestic violence charges include:
- Elder abuse,
- Criminal mischief,
- Child abuse,
- Sexual assault, and
- False imprisonment.
Again, any criminal statute violation in Colorado involving intimate partners can receive a domestic violence enhancement. Whether you might face a domestic violence enhancement on your charges will depend on the facts of your case.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Colorado
Colorado imposes added penalties on defendants convicted of committing domestic violence. First, the defendant must complete a treatment evaluation and treatment program that complies with the standards adopted by the domestic violence offender management board. The court can order the defendant to complete the treatment evaluation prior to sentencing.
Defendants facing domestic violence charges cannot plead guilty or no contest to any charges that do not include the domestic violence designation unless the prosecutor is unable to prove that an intimate relationship exists between the defendant and the alleged victim.
Individuals convicted and sentenced for criminal violations with a domestic violence designation must relinquish firearms and ammunition in their immediate possession or control. Under federal law, people convicted of domestic violence are prohibited from possessing or purchasing any firearms or ammunition.
Protection Orders in Domestic Violence Cases
If you are arrested on suspicion of having committed domestic violence, the court will automatically issue a mandatory protection order (MPO) against you. The MPO prohibits you from attempting to:
- Tamper with, or
- Retaliate against witnesses or victims of the alleged crime.
The judge can also issue a no-contact order in the MPO, as well as an order to vacate any shared residence. The no-contact order prohibits you from trying to contact the alleged victim of the crime, directly or indirectly. The MPO lasts until your criminal case concludes.
The first violation of a protection order constitutes a class 2 misdemeanor, which carries a possible sentence of up to 364 days in jail and up to $1,000 in fines. If you have previously violated a protection order, the violation is a class 1 misdemeanor, which carries a possible sentence of up to 18 months in jail and a $5,000 fine. The defendant’s conduct must involve either physical touching or some element of direct or indirect communication or attempted communication with the victim to constitute “contact” that violates the order.
Potential Defenses for Domestic Violence Allegations
Domestic violence allegations typically arise in heated, emotional scenarios. Just because you were arrested does not mean you are guilty. Several defenses exist that can help your case, such as:
- Your accuser is seeking revenge with false allegations;
- Your accuser is trying to gain the upper hand in a custody dispute;
- You acted in self-defense; or
- You acted in defense of others.
Even if your domestic violence defense does not convince the prosecutor to drop your case, it can offer valuable benefits at trial.
Need Assistance Fighting Your Domestic Violence Accusations? Our Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Attorneys Can Help
Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. is proud to uphold the legal legacy of Walter L. Gerash, one of the leading figures in Colorado legal history. Our team uses proven defense strategies that have helped our clients for decades. Some of the things that set our firm apart include:
- Our selection for the list of Colorado Super Lawyers®;
- A 5.0 out of 5.0 AV® Rating™ for highest ethical standards and legal skill;
- Our inclusion in the list of Best Lawyers in America®;
- Providing clients with our cell phone numbers; and
- Offering potential clients a free case review.
Our attorneys have earned a number of prestigious accolades within the legal community, in addition to achieving criminal defense victories and not-guilty verdicts across Colorado. As a former deputy public defender, Dan Gerash has significant courtroom experience as well as the knowledge necessary to represent defendants facing any type of criminal charge.
When your freedom and individual rights are at stake, you cannot afford to hire an inexperienced, under-prepared lawyer. You need an attorney who is qualified to defend your case and secure a favorable outcome for you. If you or a loved one is facing domestic violence charges, let Gerash Steiner Blanton, P.C. defend your rights and help you pursue a positive resolution to the difficulties you are facing. Contact us today to discuss your case and get started on your defense.