Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Defense Attorneys
Defending Clients Facing Colorado Springs Domestic Abuse Charges
Domestic violence charges are serious. If you are being accused of domestic violence, Colorado Springs criminal defense lawyer Timothy R. Bussey can offer experienced and aggressive representation in your defense. Call (719) 475-2555 for answers to your legal questions and to learn more about your legal rights and options.
There are many different criminal acts that are classified as domestic violence when they involve two people who have or have had an intimate relationship. Any crime committed in Colorado Springs between couples or those who have been involved in an intimate relationship, involving coercion, assault, punishment, intimidation or revenge can result in domestic violence charges. Even destroying property can result in domestic violence charges under Colorado law if it was done out of spite or anger against a spouse, partner, cohabitant or family member.
Colorado Mandatory Arrest Laws
Under normal circumstances, it is at the discretion of the Colorado Springs officer to determine if an arrest should be made. In domestic violence cases, however, officers are required to make an arrest if there is probable cause to believe that a crime has been committed. This law was created to prevent future domestic violence incidents, but it often results in unnecessary arrests based on misunderstandings.
The Elements of a Domestic Violence Offense
Domestic violence is not a charge in itself, but an enhancement to another offense. The types of offenses that may include a domestic violence enhancement include but are not limited to:
- Sexual assault
- Child abuse
- False imprisonment
- Restraining order violations
- Sexual contact
- Elder abuse
For an offense to be considered domestic violence, the crime must have been alleged to have been committed against a person with whom you had an intimate relationship. The act must be believed to be intended to punish, intimidate, control, coerce, or performed as an act of revenge.
Penalties for Domestic Violence in Colorado Springs
The penalties imposed in a conviction can be very severe, based on whether it is alleged that physical harm was inflicted on an intimate partner. A prior conviction for a domestic violence crime will also affect the sentence imposed by the court. You may face months or years in prison if convicted, and many other personal consequences, such as:
- Loss of employment
- Loss of professional licensure
- Loss of child custody
- Loss of professional or personal reputation
- Loss of the right to own or possess a firearm
- Mandatory attendance in behavior modification programs
Domestic Violence Defense Strategies
While you are innocent until proven guilty, it may not feel that way. You will be required to defend against the charges, even if you are completely innocent. Some of the common defenses against domestic violence charges include:
- You were acting in self-defense, to ward off a physical attack
- You did not commit the act of domestic violence
- You are being falsely accused of the crime
- The alleged victim is attempting to influence a divorce or custody matter
- The injury was the result of an accident, not an attack
The goal of your defense attorney is to reduce the damage to your life and future, which could include seeking a case dismissal, reduced charge, reduced sentence, or a full acquittal in court. The skills and experience of your defense lawyer can make all the difference in the outcome of your case, and in cases of domestic violence, you simply cannot take any chances. We urge you to contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. immediately after an arrest for domestic violence. Exercise your right to remain silent and wait until your lawyer is present before answering any questions – what you say to law enforcement may be used against you.
Domestic Violence Case Results
- Felony Domestic Violence Case - Reduced to Misdemeanor - No Jail Time
- Multiple Domestic Violence Charges - Avoided Conviction - No Jail Time
- Domestic Violence and Careless Driving Charges - No Jail Time - No Points Reported
- Criminal Mischief/Domestic Violence - Dismissed
- Third-Degree Assault/Domestic Violence Allegation - Dismissed
- First-Degree Domestic Violence Assault - Deferred Sentence/No Jail
View more case results.
Victims of Domestic Abuse in Colorado Springs Cannot Drop the Charges
Even if the person who reported the crime has decided to no longer pursue a case, the charges will not be dismissed automatically. It is entirely up to the prosecutor. Only the DA responsible for the case can decide whether the case goes forward or not. Therefore, it is entirely possible that you will face charges even if the alleged victim wants the charges dropped. In these circumstances, it is even more important to have an attorney on your side.
The Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony Domestic Violence Charge
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. There are several reasons why you may face felony charges, including:
- If there is reason to believe you intended to cause serious harm.
- If a dangerous weapon was used during the incident.
- If you are considered a habitual domestic violence offender.
Unlike a misdemeanor domestic violence crime, a felony domestic violence crime could affect your ability to vote, work, and pass many background checks in addition to carrying longer jail sentences and more punishments (for example, many Coloradans who are convicted of domestic violence crimes must complete a domestic violence prevention course in addition to their prison term).
Felony domestic violence crimes include assaults that are committed on a spouse, or person involved in an intimate relationship, harassment or stalking, some restraining order violations, and kidnapping. Even if a victim recants their story, you can still be convicted of a felony, and juries are notoriously biased against accused perpetrators of domestic violence.
The above might sound like an immediate sentence. A good attorney can help mitigate the consequences of a domestic violence offense. The key is finding the right Colorado Springs felony domestic violence lawyer – someone who understands the legal system and its many twists and turns, who has access to the best support staff and the best expert witnesses, and who can collect the evidence you need to dismiss or withstand a domestic violence accusation.
How a Domestic Violence Charge in Colorado Springs Can Affect Your Future
Anyone convicted of a domestic violence charge in Colorado cannot possess a firearm. Furthermore, a conviction may result in heavy fines, incarceration and mandatory participation in a treatment program such as family counseling or anger management. Misdemeanor convictions can result in up to a year in jail and felonies are punishable by incarceration. It is also common for individuals convicted of domestic abuse to face harsh probation requirements that keep them from their families and homes. If you are facing domestic violence charges, it is crucial that you obtain the resources, guidance and counsel to ensure that your rights are protected every step of the way.
Firearm Rights and Domestic Violence Charges
According to Colorado law, domestic violence means an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. The law states an intimate relationship exists when two parties who are spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child. Colorado finds the commission of act of violence to occur when someone commits a crime against a person or property (including an animal) or any municipal ordinance violation and uses a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge against a person with whom the actor has been involved in an intimate relationship.
On July 1, 2013, a new law went into effect concerning domestic violence charges and firearm rights. The law states that a person charged with domestic violence must relinquish control of any firearms and any ammunition in their possession within 24 hours of release from incarceration or release from custody on bond; this includes anyone who has notified of or has a protection order filed against them. To legally satisfy this requirement to relinquish weapons, the defendant must either:
- Sell or transfer their interest to a federally licensed firearm dealer;
- Arrange for the storage of the firearm or ammunition by a law enforcement agency; or
- Sell or transfer the firearm or ammunition to a private party who may legally possess the firearms or ammunition.
A receipt of relinquishment must then be filed with the court within three business days. The accused may also have to pay fees for storing their firearms and ammunition.
A domestic violence charge may also affect future gun ownership rights. The Lautenberg Amendment is a federal law enacted to prevent people who have been convicted or plead guilty to domestic violence from possessing a firearm.
Sealing Domestic Violence Charges
A criminal conviction can be “sealed,” which makes it invisible to those who choose to search your criminal record. However, the information is still available to law enforcement and prosecutors. If a domestic violence charge is dismissed, you would far prefer that the arrest for the offense is not visible on your criminal record. At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we can help you with the process, which includes filing a petition with the court and possibly a hearing. We don’t recommend attempting this process on your own.
How Our Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Lawyers Can Help
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to providing every client with the skilled and aggressive representation they need to achieve the best possible results.
If you have been accused of child abuse, stalking, or any other form of domestic violence, contact a Colorado Springs domestic violence lawyer at (719) 475-2555 today to schedule a no-cost.
The Most Important Things to Know About Domestic Violence
- Domestic violence may involve stalking, harassment, controlling behavior, and other acts that don’t include physical violence.
- A domestic violence charge triggers a mandatory protective order, and the defendant must avoid the accuser.
- A domestic violence conviction may harm your job opportunities, military status, professional licensing, child custody rights, and the right to own firearms.
- A spouse, ex-spouse, current or former girlfriend or boyfriend, and the parent of your child are all considered intimate relationships.
- You must transfer possession of all your firearms while there is a restraining order against you for domestic violence.
- Domestic abuse may be prosecuted as a misdemeanor or a felony.
- Domestic abuse convictions can have severe immigration consequences.
Attorneys Who Know the Other Side’s Playbook
As a former district attorney for multiple Colorado counties, our founding attorney, Timothy Bussey, understands the other side’s tactics and know how to counter them at every turn. If you’re ready to get your life back on track after a criminal charge, do not wait another minute to pick up the phone and contact The Bussey Law Firm, P.C.
To take control of your future and get your life back, call The Bussey Law Firm, P.C. for a free consultation, at (719) 475-2555.
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