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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 the Colorado revised statute, “domestic violence means 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 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 domestic abuse 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.

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Excellent

I had Jeff work on two cases of mine. Very professional and very understanding. Outstanding communication and advice. I would highly recommend Mr. Wolf to anyone seeking legal help.

— Jasen B.

Helped Me Through a Rough Time!

I became quite the habitual traffic offender with two speeding tickets and one ticket with two charges totaling 12 points. Jeff brought the 12-pointer down to a 3-pointer and a small fine, and saved my license with the two other tickets at bay. I had a lot of trauma at the time of the tickets, and he not once judged me. He is quick to respond to a call or email or text and walks you through each process. I am so glad I listened to earlier reviews because he made this process so much easier. I would definitely recommend him to anyone dealing with similar infractions and problems!

— Tiffany

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.

Amazing Service and Representation

I had the pleasure of working with Cassandra on a petition I was making to the court. Cassandra’s representation was amazing. She communicated exactly what would be required of me. She set realistic expectations of how the process would work and kept me updated on where my petition was i the judicial process. I give Cassandra Monahan and Wolf Law my highest recommendation if you need someone on your side in the judicial system.

Thank you Cassandra for everything you did. I appreciate you!!!

— Mark J.

My Case

Jeffrey handle my domestic case with sympathy and understanding. He reviewed all the facts and found that l was actually the victim in his opinion and never should have been put in the position l found myself. He reviewed his findings/opinion with the DA and got my case dismissed. Jeffrey was very thorough, sympathetic and a pleasure to work with. I would highly recommend him.

— Glen

Mr. Wolf Blew My Expectations Out of the Water

After recently facing two relatively serious traffic violations, Mr. Wolf was able to obtain an outcome for my case that far exceeded my expectations. From the initial consultation onward, Jeff was extremely professional, punctual, and confident. Jeff clearly defined our objectives and provided me with some serious peace of mind. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Mr. Wolf’s services to any family member or friend in need and couldn’t be more pleased with his representation!

— Michael

DUI Charge Reduced to Reckless Driving

I approached Mr. Wolf due to a first-time DUI charge. He was extremely knowledgeable and professional throughout every step of the legal process. As a result of his diligence in court, the charges against me were reduced to reckless driving. I would recommend Mr. Wolf’s services to my friends and family.

— Gina

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.

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.

Jeff Wolf was Well Worth the Investment

When you get charged with a crime it is tough to deal with, mostly because you are embarrassed and disappointed with yourself for what you have done. I was charged with theft and was very worried about what type of impact that would have on my business professional career when applying for jobs. I contacted a few lawyers but knew that Jeff was the right direction to take. He made me feel more at ease knowing that people make mistakes and that this would not effect my whole life. He was very helpful and quick to respond to any questions or concerns that I had.

During my time with Jeff he made me feel very comfortable and I knew going into everything what to expect, what to say, and how to present myself. Whether you hire a lawyer or not is your own decision. But to me what Jeff was able to provide was well worth it. I literally told him my story, how I felt and what type of outcome I was looking for on the first day. Besides showing up with him to court he did everything else and took care of everything. We were sentenced to the verdict that we were looking for and now I can move forward and put this case behind me. Thanks for all your help Jeff it was much appreciated.

— Nick