Competent and Experienced Counsel for the Accused and Victims of Domestic Violence Charges
What you think is just an argument can turn into something much more. Who knows what happened? A neighbor may hear raised voices and call the police. The police arrive, decide probable cause exists, so someone or even both parties must be arrested for domestic violence. Domestic violence convictions in Colorado carry serious consequences when not addressed immediately. These consequences can be both civil and criminal. If you have been charged in Fort Collins, Loveland or Walden with domestic violence, it's imperative to contact experienced domestic violence attorney Kirk Waible who has for two decades represented clients accused of a crime against a partner in a current or prior intimate relationship.
In addition to defending people accused of domestic violence, experienced domestic violence attorney Kirk Waible consults with victims of domestic violence to help them navigate the often murky waters of the Victims Rights Amendment to the Colorado Constitution . It is common for District Attorneys to oppose a victim's requests for modification of a protection order or dismissal of charges against the accused in a domestic violence prosecution. You may not agree with or understand the plea bargain that the prosecution is offering your current or former partner. If the accused sets their case for trial, the victim's testimony is a critical and necessary component of the District Attorney's case. You may served a subpoena that could carry contempt penalties if not complied with.
Contact experienced domestic violence attorney Kirk Waible today if you find yourself on either side of a domestic violence prosecution.
Domestic Violence Law in Colorado
Domestic violence describes a range of harm committed in the context of an intimate partnership. Examples of physical acts that could qualify as domestic violence with an intimate partner include punching, slapping, and shoving. However, it could extend to other patterns of abusive behavior, like threats of violence, stalking, sexual abuse, property destruction, and financial abuse.
When a person is charged with a domestic violence offense in Colorado, they must be arrested. The accused must remain in custody until a judicial officer conducts a bond hearing. At the initial bond hearing the court has the power to order a protection order, also referred to as a restraining or no-contact order as a term of your bond. Additionally, you must sign an affidavit affirming that you have relinquished any firearms you posses to a third party. In essence, when it comes to domestic violence, you can suffer certain consequences before a judge or jury has found you guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
When a protection order is issued, it can result in two significant consequences, and there may be other penalties or restrictions imposed:
- It can restrict an accused's contact with the alleged victim and their children; and
- It can require the accused to leave the family home.
Criminal convictions of any nature, but especially domestic violence offenses, can also impact a defendant's ability to find work or housing. Potential employers or landlords who run a background check may refuse an applicant with a domestic violence conviction.
Penalties of Domestic Violence or a Related Criminal Conviction in Colorado
The sentences for domestic violence offenses can vary depending on the nature of the offense. Much of it depends on the severity of the allegations, any prior protective orders, and the criminal history or lack thereof of the accused. Generally, penalties can include but are not limited to:
- Domestic violence treatment or counseling programs
- Loss of 2nd amendment rights to possess a firearm
When sentencing an offender for a domestic violence offense, the court will take into account aggravating circumstances, like:
- the level of injury sustained by the victim
- whether a weapon was used or a child witnessed the crime
- whether the crime violates an existing protection order
The penalties for domestic violence offenses can quickly become harsher with subsequent convictions in Colorado .
Can Domestic Violence Charges Be Dropped in Fort Collins, Loveland, or Walden?
Domestic violence charges can be dropped, but it is critical to know that they will not be dropped only because the alleged victim of the violence no longer wants charges brought against the alleged suspect. Charges are brought by the state, not by the affected person.
The same is true about the restraining order. Even if the victim no longer wants the protection order, the order can remain in effect. Any person who has a restraining order against them must abide by the order or risk further criminal charges and subsequent consequences. Violating a protective order is a serious offense.
Defenses to Domestic Violence Allegations in Colorado
A person can defend against a domestic violence charge in Colorado . However, the specific defenses available to a defendant will depend on the circumstances of their case.
Some common defenses include:
- Self-defense or defense of others, where reasonable force was used to prevent an attack
- Lack of evidence, if the prosecution fails to present enough evidence to prove each element of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt
- False allegations, where the victim has lied about what happened
A conviction for a domestic violence offense can have a long-lasting impact on many aspects of a defendant's personal life, including their personal relationships, parenting, and employment. It is always in your best interests to consult with an experienced domestic violence attorney about any allegations.
Contact an Experienced Domestic Violence Attorney in Fort Collins, Loveland, or Walden Today
If you find yourself on either side of a domestic violence case, you should speak to an experienced domestic violence attorney at High Country Defense & Consulting immediately. We will listen to your version of events, assess the strength of the evidence, and guide you of through the options available to you. Contact us to schedule a consultation today.