Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Attorney in Colorado
Domestic violence is a heavily prosecuted criminal offense in the State of Colorado that can lead to serious consequences for the accused party. There are strict laws in place that are meant to help protect victims, but often, they lead to faulty arrests. If you have been accused of domestic violence, it’s important that you fully understand all of your options and act quickly to mount a swift and aggressive defense.
Under C.R.S. § 18-6-800.3, “Domestic violence is an act or threatened act of violence upon a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship. Domestic violence also includes any other crime against a person, or against property, including an animal…when used as a method of coercion, control, punishment, intimidation, or revenge directed against a person with whom the actor is or has been involved in an intimate relationship.”
Even a first conviction for domestic violence has severe penalties, including jail time, fines, court-mandated counseling, and loss of privileges. But the consequences increase significantly for habitual offenders, and it is much more likely you will face felony charges.
Colorado’s Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law
Thanks to a recent Habitual Domestic Violence Offender Law passed in 2015 that went into effect in June 2016, it is now easier for prosecutors in Colorado to seek felony convictions for repeat offenders, even if the prior offenses were in separate jurisdictions. That means if you have been previously convicted of domestic violence, no matter what the circumstances, you could now be facing a mandatory minimum three-year prison sentence, among other penalties.
Charges of Domestic Violence
A charge of domestic violence can be brought for a wide variety of actions. They can be physical, sexual, emotional, economic, or psychological in nature, and include the following:
- Intimidating the victim with guns, knives, or other weapons
- Physically assaulting the victim, such as hitting, slapping, shoving, grabbing, pinching, biting, or hair-pulling
- Denying a partner medical care
- Threatening to hurt, kill, or take away the victim’s children
- Threatening to hurt or kill the victim’s friends, loved ones, or pets
- Forcing the victim to have sex when he/she doesn’t want to
- Forcing sex with others
- Forcing the victim to use drugs or alcohol
- Destroying the victim’s property
- Making the victim financially dependent by maintaining total control over financial resources, withholding access to money, or forbidding attendance at school or employment
If an officer is called to a residence or other location on suspicion of domestic abuse, the officer must make an arrest if there is probable cause to suspect a crime occurred. And even if the alleged victim elects to drop all charges, the only person who can actually decide to drop a case is the district attorney. This means that many disputes that do not actually rise to level of domestic violence end up being prosecuted.
If You Are Accused, Speak to an Attorney Right Away
Anyone who is accused of domestic violence, even a first offense, should seek out a qualified Colorado Springs criminal defense attorney immediately. A person convicted of domestic violence in Colorado cannot possess a firearm. A conviction can result in steep fines and mandatory participation in a treatment program. Even misdemeanor convictions can result in up to a year in jail and harsh probation requirements that keep those convicted from their families and homes.
Don’t delay in seeking help. The sooner you begin preparing to combat any charges that are brought against you, the better able you will be to protect against the worst. The experienced domestic violence attorneys at the Bussey Law Firm, P.C. are committed to providing all of our clients with the expert representation they need to achieve the best possible results. If you have been accused of domestic violence or any other crime, contact us today at (719) 475-2555 to schedule a free appointment.