Deciphering domestic violence charges and casework can be tricky.
In Colorado, the definition of domestic violence—sometimes called battering or partner abuse—is “a pattern of behavior in which one person attempts to control another through threats or actual use of physical, verbal, or psychological violence or sexual assault on their current or past intimate partner.”
Sometimes these actions are overt; other times the control is subtle and ongoing.
For abuse to fall into the category of domestic violence, the person acting violent toward another or threatening violence must be in an intimate relationship with the victim.
This can include a current or former spouse, past or present unmarried couple, or persons who are both the parents of the same child, regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.
Domestic violence cases are also different in the legal ramifications involving these specific charges. Here are some of the most profound differences that anyone facing a defending domestic violence charge should know:
- You are required to go to jail. A police officer on the scene will arrest you, or if a warrant is filed, you must turn yourself in, spend the night in jail and have the judge set bond the next morning.
- You will lose your gun rights.
- A mandatory protection order can force you to leave your own house.
- Prior crimes/accusation may be admitted into evidence.
- The charge cannot be dismissed unless the district attorney makes record that he or she can’t prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.
- Case dismissal requires DA approval.
Because domestic violence cases operate differently than legal proceedings for other types of abuse, it’s important to hire a Denver domestic violence attorney with explicit criminal defense experience in partner abuse.
This is not the time to go it alone. An astute Colorado domestic violence lawyer can get you on the path to reclaiming your relationships.