Colorado domestic violence charges have somewhat similar parameters as other states, although the crime is often used to enhance other charges like assault or harassment. Miller Leonard, a former prosecutor and public defender, defends those accused of domestic violence.
The punishments for domestic violence can range from probation to extended imprisonment, along with an unneeded blemish on one’s criminal record. Therefore, it’s important to retain counsel immediately when being investigated or after an arrest, even if you’re a first-time offender.
Colorado’s Domestic Violence Law
Much like harassment, being charged with domestic violence means enough evidence exists proving one physically abused their spouse, partner, cohabitant, or family member. Not only does physical or emotional abuse constitute domestic violence in Colorado, but retaliating against an individual by destroying property can be charged as domestic violence.
C.R.S. 18-6-800.3(1) lays the foundation for establishing domestic battery as not only chargeable for striking or injuring an individual who shares an ‘intimate’ relationship (spouse, sibling, parent), but also for attacking animals and property controlled by an intimate partner. Should an individual find themselves arrested for this crime, an automatic restraining order is entered.
Domestic violence charges cannot be dropped by a victim; even if victims beg the prosecutor, the charges are normally there to stay unless evidence says otherwise.
If you’ve been accused of domestic violence, begin your defense today
After You’re Charged and Arrested
Once formal charges are entered and you’ve been taken to county jail, it’s important to not self-incriminate by speaking freely to officers or investigators unless you’ve retained counsel. Less is more when defending domestic violence cases; giving little to law enforcement makes the state work harder to prove charges of this magnitude. You have the right to remain silent and the right to a lawyer: don’t give up those rights.
Just because you are a first time offender doesn’t mean you will not face serious consequences. Miller Leonard will fight to get you released from custody and to modify the mandatory protection order, and he will move quickly to secure the case discovery to determine what next steps are appropriate.
When released, defendants often cannot have contact with the victim in any capacity. Even if the victim feels remorseful about the situation and wants to make amends, engaging in conversation or attempting any form of contact will impose a bond revocation along with additional charges.
The State Must Prove Their Allegations
Although no part of domestic violence is acceptable, an experienced domestic violence attorney plans every case with only one goal: exoneration. Defendants have the right to face their accuser, are afforded the opportunity to see evidence being used against them, and are never presumed guilty until the state proves such.
Colorado assault laws, including those governing domestic violence, require the state to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt. And, since domestic violence encompasses so much, proving cases beyond doubt isn’t always ‘cut and dry’ for prosecutors.
States must provide irrefutable evidence that accused persons committed an alleged crime. It’s the job of Miller Leonard to refute all reports, statements, evidence and demeanor of victim to determine if allegations are valid.
First-Time Offender Domestic Violence Colorado Sentencing
Presuming charges are substantiated, a client may opt to enter an agreement to plead guilty in exchange for reduced sentencing (called a ‘plea bargain’). A defendant will be bound to whatever sentencing was imposed. The exact sentence handed down will depend on whether the defendant pled to felony or misdemeanor charges.
Provided no prior convictions of domestic violence are discovered, and the defendant has no related felonies, sentences will include:
- A domestic violence treatment programs;
- Loss of your right to own or posess a firearm or ammunition.
- A period of probation if a jail sentence is not imposed.
Colorado treats domestic violence offenders harshly from the moment they’re arrested and that continues if found guilty. Therefore, even a first time offender domestic violence charge in Colorado is serious and requires an experienced lawyer.
What Defendants Can Expect from Miller Leonard PC
Retaining counsel when charged with domestic violence is almost mandatory if a favorable outcome is desired.
Bringing 20 years of legal service from both sides of the table, Miller Leonard knows the ins and outs of domestic violence, Colorado sentencing guidelines, when fighting illegitimate charges is appropriate and when taking a plea deal can avoid extended jail time.
All persons defended by this firm are presumed innocent. Miller Leonard never shuns, mistreats or openly expresses his opinion of cases involving domestic abuse. When retained, defendants can expect nothing less than superior representation in matters where their future, and freedom, are jeopardized by charges of domestic violence in Colorado.
For comprehensive criminal defense of domestic violence allegations, contact well-respected Golden domestic violence attorney Miller Leonard via phone or contact form.