Colorado Springs Domestic Violence Defense Attorney
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 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.
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. If there is probable cause to believe someone committed an act of domestic violence, the officer must make an arrest. This law was created to prevent future domestic violence incidents, but it often results in unnecessary arrests based on misunderstandings.
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.
What's the Difference Between a Misdemeanor and Felony Domestic Violence Charge in Colorado Springs?
Depending on the circumstances of your case, you could face misdemeanor or felony charges. There are a number of 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.
Realize the severity of the charges. 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 36-session 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 relation, 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. When you're armed with the proper criminal defense attorney, you can challenge many charges of felony domestic violence, that can minimize your consequences. 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.
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.
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 new laws 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 firearms 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 file 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.
After the conclusion of the case, there are often lasting consequences of these charges. These consequences can include not being able to seal the domestic violence charge. A sealing would prevent the charge of domestic violence from appearing on criminal background checks. Sealings often help the accused avoid further persecution from the public because they have a criminal record. So when someone is charged with domestic violence they leave the ability to seal the charge up to the prosecutor’s and judge’s discretion when entering the plea of guilty.
At The Bussey Law Firm, P.C., we are committed to providing each and every client with the skilled and aggressive representation they need to achieve the best possible results. If you have been accused of domestic violence or any other crime, contact a Colorado Springs domestic violence lawyer at (719) 475-2555 today to schedule a no-cost consultation.
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