Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Lawyer
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Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Lawyer
In Colorado, you can be convicted of domestic violence if you are proven to have committed a crime or threat against a person with whom you are or were involved in an intimate relationship, so it's important to have a well-versed domestic violence attorney. Domestic violence is not a specific crime in itself; it does, however, enhance the penalties for any crime committed within the context of a domestic relationship or family when the intention is to threaten, control, punish, or intimidate the other party:
- A spouse or ex-spouse
- A person you currently or formerly lived with or dated, whether of the same sex or different sexes, regardless of whether the relationship was sexual
- The other parent of your child, whether or not you've ever lived together
What Is Domestic Violence In Colorado?
First, it's important to know what Colorado law considers domestic violence. C.R.S. 18-6-800.3(1) defines domestic violence as:
"an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. "Domestic violence" also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal, or any municipal ordinance violation against a person, or against property, including an animal, when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship."
An intimate relationship is defined in C.R.S. 18-6-800.3(2) as: "a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time."
Keep in mind that domestic abuse is not a crime itself; rather it's a sentencing enhancer that can be attached to nearly any other crime. Moreover, you don't necessarily need to subject someone to physical contact to be charged with domestic violence. Breaking property, threatening someone, texting or calling repeatedly, or even using obscene language can result in a charge.
What's worse is that Colorado is considered a mandatory arrest state. Pursuant to C.R.S. 18-6-803.6, when a peace officer determines that there is probable cause to believe that a crime or offense involving domestic violence, as defined in section 18-6-800.3 (1), has been committed, the officer shall, without undue delay, arrest the person suspected of its commission pursuant to the provisions in subsection. Basically, you need to know, if police are called, someone is going to jail. If you are contacted by police and believe you may be arrested, don't make any statement. You have the right to remain silent and use it.
How Are Domestic Violence Charges Different?
- In Colorado, domestic violence allegations are handled differently from other types of accusations in several ways. For one, an arrest is mandatory whenever the police are called out on a domestic violence charge. In most other cases, a police officer can exercise a certain amount of discretion. Not so in accusations of domestic violence. If the slightest probable cause exists, the accused must be arrested on the spot, jailed, and is not allowed to post bond until the alleged victim is informed and allowed to be heard.
- The accuser can't decide to withdraw the accusation after it has been made to police, and the mandatory arrest rule still applies. The state can prosecute regardless of the desire of the alleged victim to pursue the matter.
- The alleged victim has special rights in a domestic violence case and has the right to speak at sentencing and to be informed when the defendant is to be released. This can give the accuser significant power over the outcome for the accused.
Mandatory Restraining Order
Once someone is arrested for domestic violence, a mandatory restraining order enters. That means that you cannot have contact with the named victim(s) during the period of the restraining order. It's a separate criminal charge if you do. Also, third party contact counts, so don't call the victim's best friend and ask them to contact the victim.
One of the biggest misconceptions about domestic violence cases is that the victim can simply "drop" the charges. This couldn't be further from the truth. Colorado law says that a prosecutor cannot drop domestic violence charges unless they believe it would be impossible to prove the case at trial. This "no-drop" prosecution policy means that the victim can tell the DA to dismiss the case until they are blue in the face, but the DA isn't allowed (not that they would anyway). So don't think that because you and your significant other made up and they want the case dismissed that it will be.
What Do I Do if I’m Arrested for Domestic Violence:
- Exercise your right to remain silent. Emotions are high during domestic violence incidents - and sometimes things that are exaggerated, untrue, or harmful to your case may be said in the heat of the moment.
- The best thing you can do is stay quiet until you call us and arrange a discussion with an experienced domestic violence attorney. We can advise you
- Do not sign anything, agree to any deals, or admit to anything until you've talked to us. Make sure you're clear with everyone that you've contacted an attorney and are waiting to speak with them.
- Write down what happened in your own words but keep it private and to yourself. This can help you avoid being accused of "changing stories" as the process goes on. Share it with us when we meet so we can make sure to document all the facts of the case.
- Domestic violence cases have been given "fast track" status in Colorado, so it's important that you call an attorney right away so you have representation at your very first hearing - because you'll be expected to enter a plea at that first hearing.
What Are The Penalties If Convicted Of Domestic Violence Charges?
- Jail time
- Fines and court cost
- Domestic violence treatment for an indefinite period, along with psychiatric, anger management, and substance abuse treatment period, at your expense
- A mandatory order of protection order that will remain in effect until your sentence is completed
- Involvement of child protective services (DHS/CPS) in divorce proceedings
- Involuntarily discharge from the military
- Loss of military beneﬁts
- Loss of custody of your children
- Inability to visit your children without supervision, which is at your expense
- Inability to qualify for public housing or other public assistance
- Difficulty obtaining housing
- Inability to obtain student loans
- Disqualification for public office or government jobs
- Loss of Second Amendment gun rights and hunting privileges
- Loss of voting rights
- Deportation, if non- US citizen
Being arrested for domestic violence can be a nightmare. Things like mandatory arrest laws, mandatory no-contact orders, criminal charges and the stigma of being a batterer, are all common and unforeseen.
You Need An Attorney
Because the consequences are so dire, you cannot afford to take the risk of facing a domestic violence charge without an experienced criminal defense lawyer. In Colorado Springs, Steven Rodemer is an effective and highly regarded domestic abuse attorney and former prosecutor who has a stellar track record of successfully defending against accusations of these serious crimes.
Family violence is an area rife with potential for false allegations when emotions are running high, complicated by the fact that even if your accuser has second thoughts, there is no possibility of retraction and your arrest is mandatory. At the Rodemer Law Offices, we conduct a thorough investigation and look into possible motivations for a false accusation as well as other possible defenses, such as self-defense of insufficient proof of abuse.
Resist the temptation to use a public defender, who has such an overwhelmingly large caseload that he or she will have little time to devote to your defense. Call Steve Rodemer immediately for your best shot at an outcome that will preserve your freedom and your assets, and your prospects for the future.
How To Find The Right Domestic Violence Lawyer
Look for former district attorney's, as they know the ins and outs of the DA's office like no other attorney could. Look for an assault attorney who has a proven track record of taking these cases to trial and winning. There are so many attorneys who haven't been in front of a jury since they were wearing a polyester suit to court. While your case may not need to go to trial, DA's know what defense attorneys regularly going to trial and win, and those who take a plea on every case. Obviously, the attorney's who win at trial get a better offer than those who take a deal on every case. You have way too much riding on this case to let an attorney who doesn't know what they're doing handle it, or worse yet, trying to handle it on your own. A domestic violence conviction will prevent you from owning a firearm under the Lautenberg Amendment, which can impact the possibility of future employment and it will follow you for your whole life.