Domestic violence charges are very serious in the state of Colorado. Not only do you face jail time, but if you are convicted, you could lose certain privileges that you may not be aware of. As a defendant, it is imperative that you understand what a conviction for domestic violence entails – and more importantly, that you seek counsel from an experienced Colorado defense attorney.
What Facts Should I Know About a Domestic Violence Charge?
- Domestic violence has a broad reach. Domestic violence under Colorado statutes includes any act or threatened act of violence against someone you may have an intimate relationship with. Also, it includes intimidation, punishment, coercion, revenge, and control of a partner.
- You will encounter mandatory arrest. For most criminal acts, police officers can use their discretion as to when and where to arrest a suspect. However, domestic violence requires a mandatory arrest. Officers must do so without delay and the arrested individual must be booked immediately. No bond is given until the victim is informed of the bond hearing and given the opportunity to be heard in front of the courts.
- Victims cannot drop charges. It is not up to the victim who files charges to drops those charges against you. Even if the victim recants his or her story, it is up to the prosecutor to use discretion.
- Domestic violence qualifies for Victim’s Rights. All domestic violence cases qualify as victim’s rights cases. This means that the victim will have rights, including speaking to the district attorney, making statements at bond hearings, and being notified if you are released from jail.
- You could be charged with a felony. There are instances where a misdemeanor domestic violence case escalates to a felony. If you have been convicted three times for domestic violence, you could be a habitual offender; therefore, the prosecutor may charge you with a felony.
- You may lose your right to own a gun. If you are convicted of domestic violence, federal law prohibits you from owning a gun. If you are convicted of felony domestic violence, you are not allowed to own a gun for the rest of your life.
- You most likely will take courses. If you are convicted, you may be required to take a treatment program and evaluation as part of your sentence. This treatment board is state run and they have a lot of power over your freedom. Typically, the course is spread over 36 weeks, and even if you have a deferred sentence, you will be required to complete the course and evaluation.
Arrested for Domestic Violence? Contact a Colorado Defense Attorney Now
Domestic violence accusations are extremely serious. Long before your case goes to trial, you will already face harsher punishments, including automatic arrests. If you have been arrested for domestic violence, it is imperative that you contact a criminal defense attorney immediately. Schedule a consultation now with Christian A. Schwaner, P.C. by calling 719-577-9700. You can also ask a question online.