Getting charged with any crime can be a difficult experience. However, some crimes carry forms of penalties that go beyond fines and jail time. A domestic violence conviction can carry a certain level of social stigma. Many times accusers fabricate allegations of domestic violence in order to gain an advantage in custody or divorce proceedings. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is important to have a skilled defense attorney advocating on your behalf.
Domestic Violence Crimes in Colorado
Domestic violence crimes in Colorado can be confusing. This is because domestic violence is not a crime, in itself. Instead, domestic violence is a different, underlying crime – like assault or battery – that is committed towards a specific group of people: Those that you have an intimate relationship with.
It can be helpful to think of domestic violence not as a crime, but as an aggravating factor to a different crime: It could be the crime of assault, but with a domestic violence component because it was done to someone in an intimate relationship.
In order for a crime to be considered a domestic violence crime, it has to be committed against someone you have an intimate relationship with. Colorado's domestic violence law singles out some examples of what could constitute an “intimate relationship.” These include people who are currently spouses or who used to be spouses, parents of the same child, and people who are or who were unmarried couples.
Despite these examples, there is still a lot of gray area in determining whether a relationship was “intimate” or not.
In these instances, three factors are taken into account: The length of the relationship, its nature, and how often the two people interacted with each other. While a sexual relationship is one indicator that it was an “intimate” one, it does not necessarily end the discussion. Additionally, just because the relationship was not sexual does not prevent it from being “intimate”: Two people who are dating could be considered to be in the kind of intimate relationship that the domestic violence law requires.
Mandatory Arrest Laws
Unfortunately, domestic violence crimes are not treated the same way as their underlying crimes. In Colorado, police are required by law to arrest someone if they have probable cause to believe that a crime of domestic violence had been committed. This is not always the case in a situation that does not involve domestic violence.
Penalties for Crimes of Domestic Violence
In addition to mandatory arrest laws, crimes of domestic violence also carry higher penalties than their underlying crimes. You would not only be sentenced according to the underlying crime, you would also have to go through a treatment evaluation and a treatment program designed specifically for domestic violence offenders. These extra hoops to jump through are not small and could be a significant inconvenience, depending on your circumstances.
Finally, a conviction for domestic violence carries with it a severe social stigma. It could impact your job hunt, and can even make it more difficult to find an apartment.
Domestic Violence Attorney in Colorado Springs
Being charged with a crime of domestic violence can change your life. Having a skilled criminal defense and domestic violence defense attorney at your side can make the difference between a good and a bad outcome. Contact the law office of William Beck online or at 719-301-5979 to get the legal representation that you need.