No relationship is without its struggles, and sometimes tensions can rise beyond a breaking point. People can say or do things they don’t mean or wouldn’t otherwise do in the heat of the moment. This is when arguments turn violent. Domestic violence is a serious charge in Colorado law that shouldn’t be taken lightly. If the case gets to trial and there is a domestic violence charge on your record, you are unlikely to have a smooth trial or preferable outcome.
Unlike other categories of assault, domestic violence charges have certain requirements in court that attorneys need to understand and follow. For instance, if the defendant has been charged with assault, of which domestic violence is included, the defendant cannot make any guilty plea that does not include pleading guilty to domestic violence unless the attorney is able to prove that the defendant and the victim were not in any form of relationship. This means that you will need a truly skilled attorney to minimize or even drop your charges.
What Counts as Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is described as “an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.” This means that you don’t have to actually hurt, or even touch, your partner to be charged with domestic violence. If you are found to have been threatening the victim or acting violent with the goal of controlling them, whether it was breaking items or abusing pets, you don’t need to have hurt the victim for them to accuse you of domestic violence. – § 18-6-800.3
The law also has a broad definition of the relationship you have with the victim for it to be classified as domestic violence. You don’t have to be married to, currently dating, or even have a current intimate relationship with the victim. The victim can be a former or current spouse, former or current romantic partner, former or current roommate, or parent to your child.
Consequences of Domestic Violence
Domestic violence charges are added on to assault or other offenses, meaning you might be convicted of assault with a domestic violence misdemeanor added to your record. This is done so that the law can identify repeat offenders, so that if you have three or more prior domestic violence convictions it becomes nearly impossible to dispute any new domestic violence charges, and can upgrade your misdemeanor offenses to a Class 5 Felony. – § 18-6-801
Once convicted of a Class 5 Felony, the defendant can be subject to at least a year of imprisonment as well as fines and the forfeiture of certain rights. In Colorado, these rights include the right to bear arms and the ability to vote in federal elections while imprisoned or on parole.
Defendants charged with domestic violence may also face complications when attempting to go on probation, as the court may see them as a threat to the victim. Probation may be denied if they will be living with the victim or are thought to still be dangerous, and house arrest is often out of the question. Without a good attorney, a defendant is likely to suffer extreme penalties for what was likely a mistake.
Hire A Defense Attorney That Has Your Back
A domestic violence conviction will follow you for the rest of your life, which is why it’s vital that you get your charges reduced as much as possible. Attorney Jay Tiftickjian has years of experience working in the criminal courts of Colorado and understands the ins and outs of criminal defense law. If anyone can reduce or repeal your domestic violence charge, it’s Jay Tiftickjian.
Contact Tiftickjian Law Firm today to schedule a consultation and discuss your situation. Time is of the essence in domestic violence cases, so make sure you get the help you need early.