Denver Domestic Violence Lawyer
Fighting DV Charges in Denver
You could be accused of a domestic violence offense if you are alleged to have harmed or threatened to harm a person with whom you have had an intimate relationship. Harm includes various types of abuse, including physical and emotional. A police officer responding to the call may arrest you if they have probable cause to believe that you were the primary offender. Domestic violence is not its own separate charge. It is a sentence enhancement that is added onto an underlying offense, such as assault or stalking. You could face a range of sanctions, including an increased level of charge if you are designated a habitual domestic violence offender. You may also be subject to a protection order, which carries additional charges and penalties if violated and can have other collateral effects such as preventing you from owning a gun or causing you difficulties with employment and housing.
Regardless of the possible outcomes in a domestic violence case, do not lose hope. Defenses may be available to fight your charge. Our team at Castle & Castle is here to help explore your options. Our Denver domestic violence attorney has over 35 years of experience. We have served as public defenders and we have handled an array of complex cases in our private practice for decades. We know what it takes to aggressively challenge allegations against our clients. Throughout your case, we will focus on protecting your rights and best interests.
Understanding Domestic Violence Charges in Colorado
Colorado law defines domestic violence as committing or threatening to commit violence against someone the alleged offender has an intimate relationship with.
Intimate relationships include those involving:
- Current and former spouses
- Current or former dating partners
- Parents of the same child (regardless of marital status or living arrangements)
Violence does not only include physical abuse against a person. It can also consist of emotional, financial, sexual, or technological (e.g., cyberstalking) abuse. Additionally, it does not have to be committed upon an individual. Damaging the property or harming an animal belonging to the person you are in an intimate relationship with can also be domestic violence.
Common types of crimes that can be charged as domestic violence include, but are not limited to:
- Sexual assault
Our domestic violence attorney is familiar with Colorado’s laws and legal processes. We can help you understand your charge. By listening to your side of the story, we can also develop a tailored defense on your behalf.
Penalties for Domestic Violence
Domestic violence is not a separate offense but allows courts to impose enhanced sentences on those convicted. If you are charged with domestic violence, you will face penalties for the underlying crime and may be subject to additional sanctions.
For instance, if you are accused of knowingly or recklessly causing bodily injury to a significant other, you may be charged with third-degree assault, a class 1 misdemeanor. This crime carries a maximum incarceration term of 364 days and/or a fine of up to $1,000.
Because the offense was committed against someone you are in an intimate relationship with, you may also be ordered to relinquish any firearms under your control and be prohibited from purchasing or possessing guns or ammunition. If the act was allegedly committed to intimidate, coerce, punish, or get revenge on the other person, the court might also order you to attend a treatment program.
A fourth or subsequent offense against an intimate partner will result in being designated a habitual domestic violence offender. With this designation, if you are alleged to have committed a misdemeanor domestic violence offense, the level of charge will increase to a class 5 felony.
In Colorado, class 5 felonies are punishable by:
- 1 to 3 years of imprisonment and/or
- $1,000 to $100,000 in fines
The penalties for domestic violence are serious. Our team will discuss the possible outcomes of your case and the paths we can pursue. We can work diligently to seek a favorable result on your behalf.
Domestic Violence Protection Order
In most domestic violence cases, a protection order will be issued against the accused. If you are subject to one of these orders, you may be prohibited from interacting with the alleged victim in any way. You may also be restricted from going near areas where the protected person may be.
A protection order is generally issued before the criminal case is even concluded. Typically, it is a condition of pre-trial release. Therefore, you may be subject to certain restrictions just for being arrested for alleged domestic violence.
Violating the terms of a protection order is a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 120 days of imprisonment and/or up to $750 in fines.
Defenses Against Domestic Violence Accusations
As with any criminal matter, if you have been accused of domestic violence, you have the right to challenge the allegations. The methods of countering the prosecutor’s case may vary depending on the facts.
Common defenses include:
- Self-defense: Harm may have been inflicted on a current or former significant other, but it might have only been done to fend off an attack by that individual
- Accident: The actor may not have engaged in the act of violence knowingly
- False accusations: The alleged victim may claim they were injured by an intimate partner as a form of revenge or to get the upper hand in some other legal matter
Our Denver domestic violence lawyer can review the details of your case to determine what legal strategies are available to defend you.