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Denver Domestic Violence Lawyer

Below you will find a list of the most common domestic violence related charges along with answers to the most commonly asked questions about DV charges.

Denver Domestic Violence Lawyer
Denver Criminal Defense Lawyer / Denver Domestic Violence Lawyer

Denver Domestic Violence Lawyer

Domestic violence is a serious crime that impacts millions of Americans every year. In fact, one in every four women will experience severe domestic violence/intimate partner violence at some point in their lives. Because of this, Denver prosecutors are typically eager to make an example out of domestic violence defendants. Even if the evidence against you is weak, you may still be facing harsh punishment in the form of heavy fines, jail time, a protective order, and more. If you are being accused of domestic violence, we urge you to take matters into your own hands and protect your rights before any further harm is caused to your reputation. Denver domestic violence lawyer Reid DeChant at DeChant Law is ready to provide the legal guidance you need.

Domestic Violence itself is not a crime, but rather an enhancement attached to a crime. For example, you could be facing a charge of assault or harassment with a domestic violence factual basis or enhancer. The charge is assault or harassment, and the prosecutor tags it as domestic violence. If you are convicted of a domestic violence crime, it carries additional collateral consequences. Domestic Violence is the act or threatened act of violence that was committed against a person with whom the offender is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. C.R.S. 18-6-800 If you are arrested on a domestic violence related offense, law enforcement is required to arrest you and you must first appear before a judicial officer to have your bail bond set. In addition to setting your bail bond, the judicial officer will also issue a mandatory protection order pursuant to C.R.S. 18-1-1001.

What is Domestic Violence?

Domestic violence is defined in Colorado as an “act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.” It also includes harming or threatening to harm another person, their property, or their animal as a means to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or seek revenge against that person if the two are in an intimate relationship. Examples of domestic violence include:

  • Assault
  • Battery/Menacing
  • Damaging Property/Criminal Mischief
  • Harming Another Person’s Dog or Pet
  • Yelling and Screaming/Verbal Abuse
  • Child Abuse
  • Elder Abuse
  • False Imprisonment
  • Stalking
  • Harassment
  • Sexual Assault/Rape
  • Other Sex Crimes
  • Protective Order Violation

Not all assault, harassment, or menacing between two people who know each other well is considered domestic abuse or domestic violence. The key phrase to domestic violence is “intimate relationship.” An intimate relationship only exists between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or the two parents of a child, regardless of whether they were ever married or lived together.

Police in Colorado May be Forced to Make an Arrest During Disturbance Calls

Colorado law requires police to make an arrest if they are called to a house for a disturbance and there is evidence that domestic violence has occurred. This means that even if you and your spouse were merely in a shouting match and a neighbor called 911, you can still be arrested if the police see any evidence of domestic violence—maybe there is a broken plate on the floor, a fallen picture frame, or your spouse has a bruise on their arm from work.

Common Signs Of Domestic Violence

Signs of domestic violence can be subtle and often include physical injuries such as bruises, choke marks, black eyes, or sprained wrists, which may result from acts of violence like choking, punching, or being thrown. Victims might try to conceal these injuries with clothing or makeup and frequently attribute them to accidents or clumsiness. Behavioral indicators include a reluctance to socialize, having to seek permission for basic interactions, and experiencing financial constraints, like having no access to money, credit cards, or a car.

It’s important to distinguish between normal relationship disagreements and a domestic violence offense. Domestic violence is not just a simple dispute; it’s a pattern of domestic abuse aimed at controlling another’s behavior. This can manifest as domestic assault or other forms of abuse. The signs of domestic abuse, particularly against men, can be elusive. If you or someone you know is seeking a way out of an abusive relationship, the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence (CCADV) offers support. CCADV collaborates with various advocacy programs across Colorado to provide effective and comprehensive responses to family violence, domestic violence allegations, and dating violence. In situations involving domestic violence allegations, consulting a Denver domestic violence lawyer is crucial to navigate the legal process. A domestic violence conviction carries serious consequences, and a skilled criminal defense lawyer can provide guidance through the complexities of these cases.

What Is a Protection Order?

If you are charged with an act of domestic violence, the Court must issue a mandatory protection order. The common terms of a protection order will prohibit you from contacting the alleged victim, directly or indirectly, you will be prohibited from possessing firearms, and you may be prohibited from consuming drugs or alcohol. You also may be ordered to leave your home if you share your home with the alleged victim. If a criminal protection order is violated, you will be facing a class 1 misdemeanor with penalties including fines and possible jail time (CRS 18-6-803.5). If a civil protection order is violated, you will be facing a class 2 misdemeanor.

What Are Common Domestic Violence Related Charges?

Although a DV enhancement can be applied to any criminal charge or municipal ordinance violation, these are a few crimes that will commonly include the DV enhancement.

  • Menacing (CRS 18-3-206)
  • Assault (CRS 18-3-202 – 204)
  • Harassment (CRS 18-9-111)
  • Child Abuse (CRS 18-6-401)
  • Unlawful Sexual Contact (CRS 18-3-404)
  • Stalking (CRS 18-3-602)

What Are Penalties For A Domestic Violence Related Conviction?

The penalty will ultimately depend on the underlying charge since DV is just an enhancement, however, the enhancement does trigger additional consequences on top of the underlying charge. You will be required to participate in and complete a Domestic Violence evaluation and subsequent classes or treatment. You will also be prohibited from purchasing firearms. If you accumulate 3 or more prior domestic violence related convictions, you could be facing a habitual domestic violence offender enhancement which is a class 5 felony, increasing penalties to potential prison. If you are facing a domestic violence related charge, you need an experienced domestic violence attorney on your side. See the table below for the charge you are facing to determine the possible penalties you are facing as defined in 18-1.3-401 and 18-1.3-501.

Class Presumptive Aggravated Min $ Max $
F2 8-24 years 16-48 years $5000 $1,000,000
F3 4-12 years 8-24 years $3000 $750,000
F4 2-6 years 4-12 years $2000 $500,000
F5 1-3 years 2-6 years $1000 $100,000
F6 12-18 ms 15-36 ms $1000 $100,000
Min Jail Max Jail
M1 6 months 18 months $500 $5000
M2 3 months 12 months $250 $1000
M3 0 6 months $50 $750

While the table above shows the potential penalties for most crimes, the general assembly has specifically identified several charges as extraordinary risk, which adds an additional 6 months to the maximum possible penalty. Such charges include;

  • Assault in the Third Degree as defined in 18-3-402
  • Sexual Assault in the Second Degree as defined in 18-3-304 prior to July 2000
  • Unlawful Sexual Contact as defined in 18-3-404
  • Sexual Assault in the Third Degree as defined in 18-3-404 prior to July 2000
  • Child abuse as defined in 18-6-401
  • All second or subsequent convictions for violation of a protection order pursuant to 18-6-803.5
  • Misdemeanor Failure to Register as a Sex Offender as defined in 18-3-412.5
  • Misdemeanor invasion of Privacy for Sexual Gratification as defined in 18-3-405.6
  • False Reporting of an Emergency as defined in 18-8-111.

Colorado Domestic Violence Laws

Domestic violence charges in Colorado are distinct within the legal framework, as the state does not have a dedicated statute for domestic violence like it does for physical assault. Instead, domestic violence is typically appended to other criminal charges, functioning as a “sentence enhancer” or an “aggravator” in legal terms. Under Colorado revised statutes, domestic violence is defined as an act or threats of violence against a person with whom the perpetrator has or had an intimate relationship. This legal issue extends beyond physical violence, encompassing actions against property and violations of municipal ordinances that target a person or their property, including animals. These actions are particularly significant when used to coerce, control, punish, intimidate, or seek revenge against an intimate partner. Given the complexity of domestic violence incidents and their legal implications, the role of criminal defense attorneys is crucial in navigating these cases. They understand the nuances of how these charges are treated in the legal system and the serious implications of being charged with domestic violence, whether it involves physical violence or threats of violence.

Defend Your Domestic Violence Case With Dechant Law

Facing domestic violence accusations is a serious matter, as it is considered a criminal offense with far-reaching consequences. If you are convicted of domestic violence, you could face federally mandated restrictions, including limitations on gun ownership, impacts on security clearances, government employment, military service, and potentially even deportation.

DeChant Law specializes in providing legal representation for those accused of domestic violence. With their legal experience, they understand the complexities surrounding cases of physical abuse and the importance of protecting your legal rights. If you have any concerns or questions regarding domestic abuse, DeChant Law is ready to assist. You can reach out to them for a free, confidential consultation with a Denver domestic violence defense attorney. Contact DeChant Law at (720) 634-6789 or connect with them online. Their expertise can be crucial in navigating the legal challenges faced by domestic violence victims and those accused.

Frequently Asked Questions

What services does a Denver domestic violence lawyer provide?

A Denver domestic violence lawyer specializes in representing individuals involved in domestic violence cases. They offer legal advice, represent clients in court, help with restraining orders, and work on related family law matters such as divorce and child custody.

How can a Denver domestic violence lawyer help a victim of abuse?

A lawyer in this field can assist victims by securing protective orders, guiding them through the legal process of pressing charges, and representing them in any related family law proceedings. They also provide resources and referrals to support services.

What should I expect when working with a Denver domestic violence lawyer?

Expect confidentiality, a thorough understanding of your situation, legal guidance tailored to your specific case, and representation in court proceedings. The lawyer will also help you understand your rights and the legal options available to you.

How do I choose the right domestic violence lawyer in Denver?

Look for a lawyer with experience in domestic violence cases, a good track record, and someone you feel comfortable with. It’s also important to consider their communication style and availability.

Can a Denver domestic violence lawyer defend someone accused of domestic abuse?

Yes, these lawyers also represent individuals accused of domestic violence. They provide defense strategies, ensure their client’s rights are protected, and work towards a fair outcome in the case.

What factors influence the legal fees of a Denver domestic violence lawyer?

The legal fees can depend on several factors, including the complexity of the case, the experience and reputation of the lawyer, the length of time required for resolution, and whether the case goes to trial. Many lawyers offer a free initial consultation to discuss fees and payment options.

How does a domestic violence case typically proceed in Denver?

Cases usually start with an arrest or a protective order, followed by court appearances. The lawyer will gather evidence, negotiate with prosecutors, and represent the client in hearings and trials. The process can vary depending on the specifics of each case.

What are the potential outcomes of a domestic violence case in Denver?

Outcomes can range from dismissal of charges, plea agreements, to trials and convictions. In cases involving victims, outcomes may also include protective orders and custody arrangements. Each case is unique, so outcomes vary greatly.

Call a Denver Domestic Violence Attorney Today for Assistance

Domestic violence is not a crime in and of itself. It simply enhances the underlying offenses. As such, the crime of criminal mischief (destroying property) is usually a misdemeanor. It could potentially be enhanced to a felony if domestic violence is added on top. There are other penalties for domestic violence, including losing the right to own a firearm, being forced to go to a domestic violence treatment program, loss of custodial rights, and much more. For these reasons, we strongly encourage you to call Denver domestic violence lawyer Reid DeChant at DeChant Law today at 720-634-6789 for a free consultation.