If you are facing a charge of domestic violence in Jefferson County, Colorado, you likely have a number of questions.
First, let’s talk about what can be domestic violence in Colorado. Unlike many states, the term domestic violence is added to a charge. For instance, if you are charged with assault, the prosecutor adds to the charge of the assault that the alleged incident involved domestic violence. This means that unlike many states, almost any crime can be charged as domestic violence, provided the prosecutor in Colorado so alleges. Usually, though, domestic violence is added to the charge of assault, of the charge of harassment, or the charge of criminal mischief.
Second, in every charge of domestic violence there is a contemporaneous order of protection. This Order of Protection is part of the criminal case. It is separate from a Civil Order of Protection and it is possible to have both types of orders at one time. Understanding the terms and conditions of the Order of Protection is crucial.
Third, if you are found guilty or plead guilty to a charge that involves domestic violence, you will be required to complete domestic violence counseling.
Often I am asked by clients if the alleged victim can tell the prosecutor to dismiss the charge. Yes, of course. But that doesn’t mean the prosecutor will dismiss the charge, and, in fact, usually the prosecutor will not do so.
Domestic violence charges in Colorado carry substantial direct penalties as well as collateral consequences. Don’t go it alone in court. You need an experienced criminal defense lawyer to help you.