• Speak with An Experienced Defense Attorney Today
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Domestic violence accusations are common in Colorado, and even when they’re made in the heat of the moment with no accompanying threat of violence these allegations can’t be retracted at the scene or in legal proceedings. Once domestic violence is reported to police in Colorado, the situation is entirely in the hands of law enforcement and the prosecutor.

On this page, the Denver criminal defense lawyers at Wolf Law answer some of the most commonly asked questions about domestic violence charges in Colorado. Our compassionate attorneys have extensive experience with domestic violence cases, and we understand the emotional nature and severity of domestic violence charges.

If you or a loved one is facing a domestic violence accusation and accompanying criminal charges in Colorado, please call us today at 720-479-8574 or contact us online for a free consultation.

How is domestic violence defined in Colorado?

According to Colorado revised statute, “domestic violence means an act or threated act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship…”

Domestic violence includes physical violence, as well as emotional or verbal abuse.

Colorado’s domestic violence definition is extremely broad. Intimate partners, for example, do not have to live together or be married to initiate a domestic violence charge. A domestic or intimate relationship may apply to spouses, former spouses, domestic partners, children, boyfriends, girlfriends, and roommates.

Domestic violence includes physical violence (e.g., hitting, pushing), emotional and verbal abuse (e.g., yelling, intimidating, sending harassing texts), and sexual violence (e.g., forcing a person to engage in an unwanted sex act). Domestic violence also includes any other crime against a person or their property (such as a pet) when used to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or exact revenge against a current or former intimate partner.

Do police have to arrest someone if there is probable cause for domestic violence in Colorado?

Colorado has a mandatory arrest policy that requires law enforcement to make an arrest when they have probable cause to believe that a crime involving domestic violence occurred.

Colorado law enforcement are required to make an arrest when they have probable cause to believe a crime involving domestic violence occurred.

Unfortunately, the challenge of determining probable cause on the spot often forces law enforcement officers to make an arrest even if no crime occurred. In Colorado, police consider five factors to determine if there is probable cause for a domestic violence arrest:

  • Intimidation
  • Coercion
  • Control
  • Punishment
  • Revenge

If law enforcement officers suspect the presence of any of these indicators—to any degree—they must make an arrest.

What should I do if I’ve been arrested for domestic violence?

First, invoke your right to remain silent. Do not admit guilt or submit to police questioning until you have an attorney present.

Second, get skilled legal representation as soon as possible. As noted below, Colorado fast-tracks domestic violence cases, which means time is limited to enter a plea and gather evidence to support your case.

Do not accept any plea deals or make a plea without legal representation. Any plea aside from “not guilty” may result in penalties and a permanent domestic violence charge on your public records.

What if the accuser doesn’t want to press charges?

Once a person has been arrested for domestic violence in Colorado, there is no going back, even if the accuser decides he or she doesn’t want to press charges.

Suspected offenders will be taken to jail and will remain there until a judge sets a bond amount. Domestic violence charges can’t be dismissed unless a prosecutor declares under oath to the court that he or she can’t prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.

What is a “sentence enhancer” and how does it relate to domestic violence charges?

Domestic violence is often not a standalone charge. It can be added to a number of other misdemeanor and felony charges, including but not limited to:

In legal terms, domestic violence is often what is referred to as a “sentence enhancer” or “aggravator.” The addition of domestic violence to other criminal charges can affect sentencing in the event of a conviction and also trigger other requirements, such as mandatory counseling.

What is a “fast-track” procedure and how does it relate to domestic violence charges in Colorado?

Colorado developed a fast-track procedure for domestic violence cases in order to ensure victims’ safety and aid suspected offenders in getting the help they need as quickly as possible.

This fast-track process requires arresting officers to complete an incident report the same day a domestic violence arrest is made. Defendants in domestic violence cases are obligated to enter a plea at their first court appearance. Without a good criminal defense attorney by your side, the fast-track experience can be confusing and overwhelming.

If convicted in a domestic violence case, what penalties and consequences are possible?

If found guilty of domestic violence, offenders will be subject to the following:

  • Domestic violence counseling and treatment
  • A mandatory protection order limiting contact with the accuser and any witnesses for the duration of the case and, if convicted, any sentence
  • Probation, the terms of which will vary based on the offense, jurisdiction and other sentencing terms

A domestic violence conviction can also affect your parental rights, employment opportunities, and ability to obtain a loan among other aspects of your life. Additionally, domestic violence convictions trigger federally mandated restrictions related to gun ownership, government employment, military service, and citizenship status.

Domestic violence charges can lead to life-changing penalties. If you’re facing domestic violence charges, it’s advisable to consult with an experienced criminal defense lawyer.

Multiple domestic violence charges lead to more severe penalties. Individuals with three prior criminal convictions involving domestic violence will be labeled a habitual domestic violence offender—a Colorado class 5 felony, which includes one to three years in prison and/or a fine of up to $100,000.

How can a criminal defense lawyer help in domestic violence cases?

If you or a loved one was arrested for domestic violence, it’s in your best interests to contact a criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. Time is of the essence to protect your rights and build a strong defense.

Domestic violence charges have serious consequences, and domestic violence cases move quickly due to Colorado’s fast-track process. The accomplished Denver criminal defense attorneys at Wolf Law are dedicated to providing personalized representation and fighting for the best possible outcome for those accused of domestic violence.

If you’re facing domestic violence charges in Colorado, please call Wolf Law at 720-479-8574 for a free, no-obligation consultation. You can also contact us online to tell us your story now.

Featured Blogs
  • Answers to 6 Common DUI Questions
  • Assault or Self-Defense?
  • happy hour to sober
  • breathalizer thumbnail
  • 4/20 safety
  • domestic violence cases
Certifications
Testimonials

Highly Recommend Wolf Law for DUI Cases

I hired Jeff Wolf to represent me for a DUI and accident involving damages. While I knew I was 100 percent in the wrong, Jeff never once made me feel like a terrible person for making a mistake. He quickly responded to emails and always called me back quickly when I had questions (I had a lot of questions). I’ve never been in trouble with the law before, and Jeff was patient in explaining everything thoroughly to me throughout the entire process, and was also able to get my sentence reduced. I recommend him to anyone going through a similar situation.

— Emily

Personalized, Professional Service

I utilized Mr. Wolf’s services for my case. Granted each case is individual, but I was able to get my charge dismissed. Mr. Wolf worked with me and communicated with me in a timely manner, always being available for questions and/or support. His fees are reasonable and his service exemplary. I highly recommend Wolf Law if you are in need of services for criminal charges.

— Carin

A Great Lawyer

Colleen was a great lawyer and made everything easily understandable.

— Juan

So Glad I Hired Jeff Wolf for My DUI Case

I was originally considering not hiring an attorney since this was my first DUI offense but I’m definitely glad I did. It was my first DUI but I was involved in a one-car accident and totaled my car. I started to worry about the possible consequences after reading the penalties online. I contacted Jeff’s office after reading reviews on AVVO left by other clients. From the beginning he was very straightforward regarding possible penalties and possible outcomes, and gave me the details of what he would do if I hired him.

We worked out what strategies we would use for the DMV and Court. Without going into too much detail, I have to say that I was extremely happy that I decided to hire Jeff. Immediately after hiring him I felt a lot less stress about the whole situation. He was always in contact with me every step of the process and even did things for me that I didn’t have to do myself, like my DMV hearing.

Every DUI case is different based on many different circumstances, so I can’t say that my results will be yours, however I was extremely happy with my results. He won my DMV hearing, and I didn’t lose my license and got pretty much the minimum penalties in court. Overall, I would recommend him to any family or friends who find themselves in the same situation. I have several friends who had similar situations who couldn’t believe how lucky I was to get the outcome that I did. Thank you for everything Jeff!

— Daniel G.

Winning the Case

Colleen Kelley came through for me when I thought all else was lost. Colleen worked diligently and kept up the fight; she was able to get the job done, and I’m so appreciative for her work.

— Randy J.

Amazing Results

I worked with Jeffrey on my first DUI case. I had a high BAC but instead of focusing on that, he had me focus on the things I could do before court to prepare. I did my part and he did too. 2/3 charges dropped, 1 largely reduced which prevented any jail time. I’m so thankful, highly recommend Wolf Law.

— Aaron S.

Successful and Very Pleased

My name is Matt and I was ordered to register as a sex offender for 10 years. I ended up registering for 15 because the courts make it near impossible to get off the list. I tried on my own more than once and the paperwork for one county alone is enough to discourage someone, let alone four counties. I felt hopeless.

I decided to call Wolf Law and get an estimate. I ended up meeting with Colleen Kelley and she was very helpful. Told me the price, which was very reasonable, and I paid to get started. She warned me that it can take up to a year to get a court date and she was right. For me it took nine months, but when the time came, she represented me well and I finally got off the registry.

Life is so much more comfortable now and less embarrassing. The S.O. title is one of the worst badges of shame one can wear and thanks to Colleen Kelley and Wolf Law I no longer carry that weight. I’m thrilled to feel like a normal guy again.

— Matt S.

Hit and Run Charges

I had multiple charges stacked against me by the CSP office for a questionable “hit and run” in my office parking lot. Jeff reviewed the video evidence and was able to get the charges reduced from 26 points against my driver’s license down to 4. He was also able to get the fines reduced to the minimum amount! Jeff was extremely knowledgeable and helped ease my fears each time we spoke and explained the whole process and what to expect along the way. Thank you, Jeff!

— Jim M.

Incredible Defense with the Perfect Outcome

When I was arrested at a concert hall for trespassing and placed in a detox center it didn’t feel right. I had confronted the police in order to find out why they where arresting somebody I knew and within seconds of my questioning I was in cuffs and associated with a crime that I seemingly had nothing to do with.

When I was released from detox I thought it was over but then I understood that I had to appear in court and my previously clean record was facing the documentation of a criminal charge. I wanted to try to keep my record clean and with some help I hired Wolf Law.

Given the relative simplicity of my case I only had to meet at the office of Jeffrey Wolf a handful of times. From the first visit I could tell that Jeffery was very professional and very serious. As more of my case was revealed and in consecutive meetings I could tell that Jeffery was building a strong defense.

While he couldn’t promise me any certain outcome his resolve to defend me as strongly as he possibly could was obvious. On my first court date, before much of the details of my case where known, I was accompanied by Jeffrey Wolf’s associate lawyer Colleen Kelley. Colleen defended me with a skillful amount of experience and made it possible for Wolf Law and me to buy more time and obtain the legal information required to build a defense.

On my second court date, after having met several times, I was accompanied by Jeffrey. Jeffrey told me to wait outside the courtroom and I complied. After roughly 20 minutes he reappeared to me with a welcoming smile and gave me the good news that he had gotten my cased dropped.

I’m not quite sure what he did in those 20 minutes but I can say with satisfaction that it was an amazing job. I felt, with fingers crossed, that it was a possibility that my case would be dropped but when it actually happened I almost couldn’t believe it. I’m very thankful for the work and service that was provided by Wolf Law. For them I have the utmost respect and my recommendation to anyone needing legal service goes to them with 100% certainty in their ability to promise and do their best.

— Christopher P.

Colleen is one of the best!! Goes Above and Beyond

I had to use legal services regarding a personal matter and I contacted 3 other lawyers. Colleen was the only one who took time to understand the issue but only explain legally how it can be addressed.

Also, I was surprised when she got me the desired result but she kept moving forward to make sure I had material for a potential criminal case. It shows that she cares and understands legal strategies.

— Anonymous